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Spring 2020: A Voyage of Discovery

Sasha Steensen

Colorado State University

Sasha Steensen is the author of four books of poetry:  A Magic Book, The Method, House of Deer (from Fence Books), and, most recently, Gatherest (Ahsahta Press). Her poetry books have looked at topics as wide-ranging as the recently rediscovered proofs of Archimedes’ mathematical equations, the Back-to-the-Land movement of the 1970s, child-rearing, forest fires, nineteenth-century American magicians, and Christian mysticism. She also writes long-form essays that explore large obsessions such as sleep (or the lack thereof), shame, familiarity, sentence diagraming, Greek mythology, underground worlds, politics, and graffiti. You can read her essay, Into Our Vertical Cosmos (part of which examines the Chu Chi tunnels of Vietnam) at Essay Press. She teaches undergraduate and graduate literature and creative writing classes at Colorado State University, where she also serves as a poetry editor for Colorado Review.

She has traveled to South America, Central America, Europe, Turkey, North Africa, Vietnam, and India. She has bathed in Italian volcanic mud-pits that left her smelly for weeks, spent 24 hours on a delayed train in India, been spat on by a camel in the Sahara Desert, and became so ill with strep throat in Bolivia that she was forced to give herself antibiotic shots. She cannot wait to add to this list of adventures during her Semester at Sea voyage.

When she isn’t traveling, she spends her time reading, knitting, boxing, hiking with her standard poodle, driving her two daughters (ages 9 and 12) to their various sporting and musical events, and cleaning up after the family’s many pets. Over the years, they have had goats, chickens, bees, rats, hamsters, a poisonous nocturnal frog, a bearded dragon, various fish, and two dogs. At the request of her husband, she is finally learning to play the bass guitar so that she can round out the family band. You can learn more about her and her work here.