What I Knew

A book-length poem that grapples with the global and the globalized, bringing urgently needed visionary reflection to our tumultuous world.




What I Knew engages activities and knowledge that can’t be mined or verifyed by search engines or easily surveilled. Sourced from poetry’s ancient materials of dream, memory, story, and experience, What I Knew aims to create a site of resistance to, and refuge from, our current overflow of information and fact checking, where private desires and whims cannot be commodified. It seeks alternative, personal forms of globalization rather than the public forms we know.


All things speak in Eleni’s project – all things know and all things dissolve into each other through the undulations of unknowable being that just happens to know you and your interconnections with the “capito-human-desire landscape.” Somehow Eleni’s “yoginni” script is able to see and make an incision into the stuff of our body-planet-cosmos, the “big-loco-shining-night,” and  “accordion out the world.” These multi-form and multi-vocal texts of quarked holes, of reversed see-thru lives, of “serpent communications,” call us out, to unlock ourselves from our “religio-military-citadel.” Will we?  This text is one-of-a-kind, a “wet psyche” writing itself in vision-meters, jagged, fearless new languages, and thought-arrangements for us to enter and un-peel the incredible life-life-is.

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ISBN: 9781937658991 W
112 pp, 6 x 8
Publication Date: May 2019

“What I Knew composes a collage counter to the isolation that emerges from a wealth of data, but little in the way of knowledge, instead composing a wealth of knowledge that comes from an engaged curiosity and open attention. “Now I tell everything / I heard & knew,” she writes, early on, setting the scene for the purpose of the collection. What I Knew is a poem that has returned home, wishing to impart the wisdoms gathered along the way, as Sikelianos writes a body, a house, a poem and a perspective that is engaged with the world, one that refuses to isolate for any of the short-sighted arguments that might be presented.”

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Eleni Sikelianos was born and grew up in California, and has lived in New York,
Paris, Athens, and Colorado. She is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently …

More about Eleni Sikelianos