A complex and entangled text that explores inherited trauma, the presence of ghosts, interspecies communication, the dream world, grief, and human/animal separation.
Weaving wisdom from her shamanic practice and the interstices of language and in the difficult moments anticipating the deaths of her beloved dog companions, Separation Anxiety marks the first collection of poetry from acclaimed prose writer Janice Lee and is a meditation on inhabitation and existence beyond the human.
A Finalist for the 2023 Oregon Book Award.
“In Separation Anxiety, we embark with the knowledge that ghosts contain an echo to listen for and intuition is a form of sight. Both an astute guide and a fellow wanderer in the liminal landscape of anticipatory grief, Janice Lee observes, ‘sometimes one must choose death/ not to run away from life.’ Living fully requires embracing transformation―of those we love and of ourselves. She admits, ‘it is brutal,’ but qualifies, ‘it being linear time.’ As we stop resisting mortality and linearity, we simultaneously transcend their illusion; ‘we will all go down these paths/ more than once.’ Navigating the territory of despair and denial without becoming consumed, Lee invites us to wake, forget, and wake again, to clear our vision and ‘look around/ rather than/ ahead.’”―Teresa K. Miller, National Poetry Series–winning author of Borderline Fortune
“A delicate constellation of lives both human and not that keep threatening to come together to form meaning but then, with each new section, changes shape, continuing to open up. Imagine a Death is an illuminating exploration of radical intersubjectivity, the understanding that even though everyone and everything potentially can touch everything else, nothing accumulates with narrative neatness. Through brilliantly complex sentences, Lee offers a disjunctive synthesis on the multifold possibilities and fears of being.”– Brian Evenson, author of eilee
Janice Lee (she/her) is a Korean-American writer, editor, teacher, and shamanic healer. She is the author of 7 books of fiction, creative nonfiction & poetry: KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), Imagine a Death (Texas Review Press, 2021), and Separation Anxiety (CLASH Books, 2022). A roundtable, unanimous dreamers chime in, a collaborative novel co-authored with Brenda Iijima, is also forthcoming in 2022 from Meekling Press. An essay (co-authored with Jared Woodland) is featured in the recently released 4K restoration of Sátántangó (dir. Béla Tarr) from Arbelos Films. She writes about interspecies communication, plants & personhood, the filmic long take, slowness, the apocalypse, architectural spaces, inherited trauma, and the Korean concept of han, and asks the question, how do we hold space open while maintaining intimacy? Incorporating shamanic and energetic healing, she teaches workshops on inherited trauma, healing, and writing, and practices in several lineages, including the Q’ero, Zen Buddhism, plant & animal medicine, and Korean shamanic ritual (Muism). She is the Founder and Executive Editor of Entropy, Co-Publisher at Civil Coping Mechanisms, and Co-Founder of The Accomplices LLC. She currently lives in Portland, OR where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Portland State University.
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