With grace and style, Jason Sommer considers how to live in the wake of history among those who are indelibly marked by it. On the surface a book of poems composed in the shadow of the Holocaust, The Man Who Sleeps in My Office offers more than a poetic chronicle of suffering and loss. Instead, Sommer - the son of a survivor - has discovered a delicate balance that allows him to be in and of history without succumbing to it. In these works, both the seen and the unseen - the failed or rejected vision - alter the seer, as the limit of one thing becomes the verge of something else, Whether about the Holocaust, the dog he'll never own, or love between a husband and wife or parent and child, these poems savor the mysterious instant when alternatives of vision unfold.
Jason Sommer, professor of English and Poet-in-Residence at Fonthonne University in St. Louis, Missouri, is the author of two books of poems, most recently Other People's Troubles, published by the University of Chicago Press, Sommer received a Whiting Writers Award in 2001.