"What I find particulary satisfying about Sleeping With One Eye Open is the way the different women's voices and dialects and souls sing together in a powerful symphony of language. This anthology should be read by both women beginning to write as well as by those who are more established and want to feel connected to a larger community."
—Sue William Silverman, author of Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, winner of AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction
The title essay, Judith Ortiz Cofer's "The Woman Who Slept with One Eye Open," defines the collection. Cofer relates the ways in which a mythological story from her Puerto Rican culture gave her confidence and courage, encouraging her creative success and emphasizing the rewards of "women's power" and personal strength. Denise Levertov's "The Vital Necessity" urges poets to make time for daydreams—essential, empowering creative food. Tillie Olsen offers a frank discussion of the pressures of work and expectations that too often sap creative energy. Tess Gallagher connects her mother's creative gardening with her own inspiration as a poet and the need for growth in her writing. Marilyn Kallet's interview with Lucille Clifton relates the personal strength that helped Clifton raise six children and publish her first book at the same time. This affirming collection offers a wealth of writing advice, given through honest accounts of perseverance and accomplishment.
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