Steam Laundry

Poetry by Nicole Stellon O'Donnel
ISBN: 978-1-59709-228-9
Size: 7x9
Pages: 142
Binding: Tradepaper
Price: US $19.95

Steam Laundry

by Nicole Stellon O'Donnell


In O’Donnell’s narrative of familial and social history, we experience Alaska—its financial and romantic allure— and the gender disparities that defined frontier reality in the early 20th century. Readers meet Sarah Ellen Gibson, her marriage “so new/I could hold it in my palm /like an egg still warm/ from the henhouse.”  We learn that “where men prospect, women wash” and witness Gibson’s struggle to “wring /our living out of this frozen dirt.”  O’Donnell’s research yields unsparing details that vivify daily life in the Yukon Territory; she honors women who build laundries and roadhouses, making a place for themselves under unrelenting emotional and physical conditions.  This book-length sequence will hold you in its spell.

-Robin Becker, author of Domain of Perfect Affection

Steam Laundry is a great story, poems that work research into narrative art.  These are the stories  of the earth, broken for gold, and the women whose work doing laundry made possible difficult but ambitious lives.  One family goes in search of gold.  We readers find gold here in this brilliant book that won’t be put down!

-Hilda Raz, author of TRANS and What Happens

This collection of poems about those who came to the Yukon and Alaska over a century ago in search of gold and a better life is a compelling read. I could feel the bitter cold of the landscape and the desires and passions of the characters as I read poem after poem unable to put the book down until I reached the end. This is a book that deserves to be read.

– Tom Sexton, former poet laureate of Alaska



[ back to top ]


[ back to top ]


Eva Saulitis To come.



[ back to top ]