The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Almonds are Members of the Peach Family by Stephanie Sauer

This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Almonds are Members of the Peach Family by Stephanie Sauer, released by Noemi Press in 2019. 

content warning for domestic violence

Two black and white images. One appears to be from a textbook and says, "Embroidery has always been a deservedly popular hobby. It stimulates the imagination and at the same time provides an island of calm in the midst of a hurly-burly world." The other is a picture of embroidered words above a floral flourish, which say, "came home and beat the shit out of me."

My friends and I joked in high school that the street on which our grandparents lived should be renamed Wife Beater Lane, and not for the cotton apparel. It was the first suburb in town, and nearly every post-war home hid a violent story that had been stricken from the Greatest Generation documentaries airing on TV. We all knew the stories: cops who responded to calls by driving the men around until they sobered up, then dropping them back off at home. No consequences. No shame. Now that same street, like so many sub-urban streets in this country, is home to meth labs and hydroponic pot farms. The police are called out for a different kind of danger, a danger seen as real.

Stephanie Sauer was raised in Rough and Ready, California (a real town), where she learned to sew and make art in 4-H on her way to becoming a member of the FFA. She instead fled to Chicago to earn her MFA, co-founded an in-translation press (A Bolha Editora) in Brazil with her wife, and authored Almonds Are Members of the Peach Family (Noemi Press) and The Accidental Archives of the Royal Chicano Air Force (University of Texas Press). You can find her other writings and book work in Pleiades, Gulf Coast, Drunken Boat, Asymptote, Lavender Review, So to Speak, and Another Chicago Magazine. She currently serves on the faculty of Stetson University’s MFA of the Americas program (also real) and directs Lolmĕn Publications for the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. 


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