Pub Date: April 2015
ISBN (Trade paper): 978-1-935210-68-9
Read an interview with Hansen
Read an excerpt
White Pine Press
A memoir collaged from the prismatic and defining moments of Hansen's life, To Some Women I Have Known is told through lyrical explorations of the women in her life who calibrated their own moral compass and defined their own beauty.
About the Author
Re'Lynn Hansen's work in essay, prose poem and short story has appeared in numerous literary publications including Hawai'i Review, Prism, Rhino, New Madrid, Water~Stone, New South, Poem Memoir Story, and online at contrary. She is the recipient of the New South Prose Prize, and the Prism International Creative Nonfiction Prize. Her chapbook, 25 Sightings of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, was published by Firewheel Editions. Her Novel, Take Me to the Underground, was nominated for a Lambda Literary award.
Her work combining image and word has been featured in Calyx and Fifth Wednesday journals. She has edited a journal with emphasis on lyric essay and hybrid work, South Loop Review: Creative Nonfiction + Art. She is associate professor in the Nonfiction Program in the Creative Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago.
Re'Lynn lives with her partner, Doreen Bartoni, near the southernmost point of Lake Michigan. Here also is where four forest eco systems converge—the northern hardwood with the northeastern coniferous, and the central broadleaf with the oak pine forests of the south. This is where they write, shoot films and photos, keep up with family and friends, mentor local youth, and drive down to the lake to watch the storm systems come in and sway the trees.
"Re'Lynn Hansen's book asks not the head's question 'what is meaning?' but the heart's question 'what has meaning?' What is worthy of recalling (calling out to again), of remembering (putting back together what is fragmentary, dissolute) from our prospect halfway between what is and what could be. Looking back at her old selves, old friends, old family, and old lovers, Hansen sees them all 'as we had imagined them to be' and as citizens of a lost world. Whatever these texts are—prose poems, lyric essays, memoir—they are luminous with loss."
"Re'Lynn Hansen's To Some Women I Have Known is deliriously immersive, but the real beauty of this work is in the juxtaposition. What yokes the memory of a friend's dying mother, a kidnapped heiress, a syphilis-stricken aunt, the ivory-billed woodpecker, and a woman in a yellow steakhouse shirt? Birds, women, horses, and pears float interdependent in the persistent spume of this gorgeous book."
—Barrie Jean Borich
"To Some Women I Have Known is poetic and essayistic, offering edges—of moments—and of genre. These pieces are lists and litanies, research and recitation, incantations and illusions, and they're all exquisite. Here is a collection about our yearning to look back at what and who has been lost by looking at the moments of such losing. Hansen finds her reflection in the snow, in her grandmother's eyes, in the sand, in the windows above the bar, and in the photographer's flash—as a way to trouble her own memory. There's a wistful distance to every line, a fade. The writing in this collection is lyrical and composed, controlled even, and I know I'll come back to it again and again."