That Kind of Sleep

Poetry by Susan Atefat Peckham

September 1, 2001 • 7 x 10 • 96 pages • 978-1-56689-116-5

Poems that delicately unveil the sensual beauty and occasional terror of the author’s Iranian heritage.

Stirring and verdant, the poetry within That Kind of Sleep invites readers behind the opaque curtain that has historically concealed the lives of modern and traditional Iranian women. Susan Atefat-Peckham’s images alternately whet and sting the senses as rich chador fabrics, earthy cooking scents, and the tender guidance of uncles and grandmothers give way to scene of female mistreatment that make the reader ache to return to the shelter that the chador and the curtain—rightfully or otherwise—provide. Atefat-Peckham’s love and celebration of family and culture burnish this collection to a touching glow.

About the Author

Susan Atefat Peckham (1970-2004), author of That Kind of Sleep, was born in New York to Iranian immigrant parents. She received a B.S. in biology and chemistry, a M.A. in English from Baylor University, and a Ph.D. from University of Nebraska. She taught at Hope College. She also studied piano at the Geneva Conservatory in Switzerland and was a volunteer for Caritas, Habitat for Humanity, and the United Way.

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“Like Rumi, Atefat-Peckham finds holiness in the immanence, the presence of beloved family. Her rich and sophisticated poems lead readers from Iran to Switzerland to the United States, Tehran to Staten Island and beyond, to renew our faith in empathy and the healing properties of human love. These poems help reconcile political divisions and human separations. Oh, lucky to be here, with her, in this artful book.” —Hilda Raz