Inspired by The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, the 11th century musings by a lady to the Japanese Empress Consort Teishi, Karen Mulhallen’s poetry collection The Pillow Books merges the deeply personal with linguistic precision. Mulhallen draws not only from this Japanese work, but from the landscape of locations around the world, from the Toronto Islands all the way to Bosnia and Herzogovina, Hungary, Turkey, and Italy.
“The poems in this collection embrace experience open-heartedly. Their beauty is poignant; home is seen by the exile, freedom by the oppressed, love by one familiar with loss. How grateful we can be for poems that are unafraid of love’s necessary risks and sorrows.”