by Bernd Sauermann
It’s nothing short of stunning what Bernd Sauermann can create in less than a hundred words. Do not ask whether these are poems or small fictions. They are sui generis and they are universal. They are human life captured elegantly and vividly and deeply. Redshift is a remarkable book by a splendid young writer.
—Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Redshift occurs as a result of light’s lengthening wavelength – if it made a sound, it would thrum at a lower frequency that only a few could hear. But Bernd Sauermann’s listening for us, and he’s filed a report that’s filled with locomotives and typhoons and cracked teeth and burnt-out volcanoes. In Sauermann’s new book of poems, there is a recognition of, and a resignation to, the tyranny of time – not the melancholic’s lament, but the clear-eyed adult’s exaltation at life lived on its own maddening terms.
—Michael Kelsay, author of Too Close to Call
Redshift is at once a love letter and a lament: to lives and loves, current and past, as well as to time itself. Delicate yet potent, these precision-cut prose miniatures cull the archetypical trappings of an array of timeless every-days, from the pastoral to the post-industrial, the temperate to the tropical; but all are suffused with the eponymous blush created by the relentless ebb of experience itself. In quietly stunning lines that “break the morning like a dropped glass of water” we are shown the melancholy beauty of a world in which “the years have no pulse, and weeks are silent as light.” In the tradition of all great literature, “[t]ime thrusts its shadow” on these hauntingly beautiful poems, which gently but wisely ease us to our knees “at the altar of a moment.”
—Susan Lewis, author of This Visit
Bernd Sauermann was born in Hof, Germany and graduated in 1993 from McNeese State University with an MA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry). Since then, Sauermann has taught at colleges in Illinois and Vermont and currently teaches composition, literature, creative writing, and film in the Division of Fine Arts and Humanities at Hopkinsville Community College in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Saumernann is an associate editor at Posit, an online journal of literature and art, and was the poetry editor at Whole Beast Rag, a retired online journal of literature, art, and ideas. He’s had poems, stories and photographs published in the McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets, McSweeney’s, Southern Indiana Review, New Orleans Review, Nimrod, Poet Lore, Kansas Quarterly Review of Literature, Leveler, e’Ratio, Vinyl Poetry, and many others.
Cover Art by Shin-Yeon Moon