Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick’s Before Isadore Released by Sundress Publications


Sundress Publications is pleased to Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick’s full-length book of poetry, Before Isadore. The book is available to preorder at the Sundress store!



“Shannon Hardwick’s Before Isadore gives insight into the softest spaces and the harshest regrets, creating a book ‘birth-sick’ with its own existence. These poems are a waking dream, a dream of lovers and rivers and piles of bones. Hardwick creates a mythos of life and love inseparable from death, asking her readers to ask where the border lies between hope and suffering, if it really exists at all. Hardwick’s invitation is also a prayer ‘about touching / the untouched again.'” -Amy King, author of The Missing Museum and I Want to Make You Safe

“Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick is a remarkable writer. Breathtakingly intimate, riotously magical, by turns harrowing and majestic, Before Isadore is a work of astonishing power. A true triumph.” -Musa Okwonga, poet, journalist, musician and author of A Cultured Left Foot and Eating Roses for Dinner

“Written inside a runnel of a life, these poems work both as offering and birthing, and spell out the coming-to-be of Isadore, along with the dissolution of a marriage—in the poet-mother’s lively inventive and surreal poems. There is a mix of god talk “sounds/only a god knows/exists” and ‘guilt, glitter and grace.’ In such an intelligent book, the poems beckon us to stop and read again “wonder’s first” words, so that we ‘stretch inside circles,’ and so that a newborn, ‘blue lipped/ in the last prayer’ is brought forth both in form and in fancy. The middle section a series of poems describing how parts of the body, marriage and child were made, as in ‘ear is made/into the absence,’ is evocative and inventive. The arc of the book’s poems work wonderfully, ending then with ‘the one who broke/into a person who prays.’” -Veronica Golos, Author of Rootwork


Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick has chapbooks out with Thrush Press and Mouthfeel Press and an e-chapbook with Agape Editions. Hardwick serves as the poetry editor for The Boiler Journal. Before Isadore is her debut full-length collection.


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