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Insomniac nights

Insomnia-stricken students now have the option of reading a poetry collection about sleepless nights to help them catch some Zs.

University Creative Writing Administrator Lisa Spaar edited "Aquainted With The Night: Insomnia Poems," which students can find in the University Bookstore now.

"I have insomnia," Spaar said. "Ironically I didn't have it while I was working on the book."

When she read poems to help fall asleep at night, every once in a while Spaar would come across one about insomnia. Two years ago she decided she would try to edit a collection of such poems, and started looking for a publisher. She found about 50 insomnia poems from her own bookshelf, ranging in variety from ancient to contemporary poems in several cultures.

"It's not any wonder that poets write about it," Spaar said. "It's very common."

Columbia University Press wanted to publish Spaar's collection, which eventually included not only University poets Charles Wright and Rita Dove, but also ancient scribes Sappho and Job. Fifteen languages are represented in the collection.

Many of the local poets represented in the book will participate in a reading Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. at the University Bookstore.

"It was a lot of fun to put together," Spaar said, and without a trace of irony, "I never grew tired of it."

Compiled by Mary Rekas

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