The Sleeping

The Sleeping, by Caroline Maun
Paperback: 53 pages
Publisher: Marick Press (April 2006)
ISBN: 0971267626
$14.95 US; $19.95 CAN

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"The Sleeping takes us between rest and retreat, sex and ignorance, daydream and wakefulness. Maun's careful poems of containment and possibility are filled with insights, compassion, and a powerful faith in language and love. A tender adventure of words." --Monifa Love, author of Freedom in the Dismal and Dreaming Underground

"[The Sleeping] sneaks up to you on tip toes wielding a sledge hammer; the language, seemingly, is direct, the details active and involving, the reader is lulled in, there will be pain, discomfort, but it will all be safely occuring behind the thick glass of some one else's experience, then suddenly from the poem Thanatos 'the purpose of poetry is to/crack the skull/scoop out the corrugated flesh/heft it wetly onto the board/and reveal for the slicing/the absolutely naked/singing soul.' Above and beyond the beauty of the langauge (this stanza scans exceptionally well), as good as Whitman could conjure, we are all implicated in this creation, the stakes are quite high. Ms. Maun, in her best work, gives you no space of safety, you will see her coming, marvel at her craft, and then suddenly be left at the raw end of a nerve, her's, your own. When she writes about medical procedures endured, for example, there is an almost dispassionate curiousity, as if she is looking, with the reader, over the shoulder of the examiner, coming to a terrible and exacting conclusion, that we realize at that instant, is inexhorable. review by Robert Lipton, author of A Complex Bravery.

"The language of this volume is direct and simple; The Sleeping will be enjoyable for those who aren’t typically comfortable with poetry. In it, moments of calm wisdom: 'If you move too much/you may always be homesick;' 'this skin isn’t a shell/but an integral part of the living thing/that I am.' The voice of The Sleeping is decidedly feminine, and pulses with a warm, enthusiastic energy. In a world of often outlandishly abstract verse comes Caroline Maun: a poet who’s open, honest, and concrete; a poet you’ll enjoy on a leisurely summer afternoon; a poet who’ll give you an intimate thrill—reading her verse often feels like eavesdropping, or flipping through a secret diary." -- Heather McMacken,

"Deserving of loving attention, the interiority of these poems symbolizes the interior of the poet's personal world. Every poem has something special to offer: they resonate in the imagination and invite the reader to take more of them in to the very last drop. It is a book of poems to which I will always make reference, for it is deserving of multiple readings." --Rudy Lewis, Editor of Chickenbones: A Journal [].

"The Sleeping is the first book of poetry by Maun, a Grosse Pointe Park resident and Wayne State University assistant professor of critical literacies. In the book, she explores the meanings of what 'home' is with naked vulnerability." ---- Bonnie Caprara, Detroit journalist

“The poetry came out of lived experiences. I needed to put a frame around them. Florida, where I grew up, takes place as a memory. A lot of it takes place in Baltimore, where I lived from 1998 to 2004. There are lots of different nested houses, from a doll house to the gravesite of my grandparents. Is home a provisional thing, or is it a place in the heart?” Maun said. (Marick Press press release)

"The Sleeping is a compelling and intimate exploration of the self. In language that is at the same time sophisticated and coherent, Maun offers startling images of her body as it is acted upon by the doctor, the rapist, the lover. In other poems the poet bears witness to terrifying narratives--for instance, the cicadas who return every seventeen years only to emerge and to die. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the volume is Maun's ability to recall private places and through them create universal images of childhood, sexuality, and death." ----Mary Jane Lupton, author of Menstruation and Psychoanalysis


"The Sleeping" and "Thanatos" (individual poems) nominated for the 2007 Pushcart Prize

2006 Poetry Book of the Year, ChickenBones: A Journal for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

Discussion of Marick Press in Vince Carducci's article for the Detroit Metrotimes, 7/5/06

Review of The Sleeping by Rudolf Lewis at Chickenbones: A Journal (

Review of The Sleeping and Robert Lipton's A Complex Bravery on