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Stephen SossamanStephen Sossaman is a writer, speaker, teacher, and teacher-trainer. He is Professor Emeritus of English on the faculty of Westfield State University in Massachusetts, where he taught creative writing and literature for many years.

He retired early to spend more time writing. After time in Virginia, San Francisco, and New York City, he lived in Napa, California, where he served on the Napa County Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, and was a judge for three years in Napa’s Poets Out Loud competition. He now lives in Burbank, California.

New!

My interview of Randy Brown, poet and key figure in the veterans’ writing movement, was published in 2017 by Live Oak Review Read it here.

And Job Lies in the Feedlot Where He Fell

I am happy to say that my long-poem book And Job Lies in the Feedlot Where He Fell is available in paperback. The poem is spoken by Job’s dying wife to the itinerant poet who would later write The Book of Job, leaving her out, and substituting his own beliefs for hers.

For a paltry $11.95, the price of one and a half burritos, you can buy this book at Amazon. Merv Kaufman says “I love the poem and marvel at its language, its earthiness. The imagery propelled me through it. Just brilliant.” Bill Conelly, author of Uncontested Grounds, says it is “Wonderful poetry, both pleasing and wise.”

Rob Wilson writes: “I must say I like this telling, of the story much better [than the King James], through the experiences and memory of Job’s wife, Sitis.  Sossaman gave her a powerful personality, instead of making her a nameless bitch telling Job that his mishaps and maladies were his own problem to deal with. I loved the individual rhythms of each poem and the ways they connected to each other. Quite a feminist statement, when juxtaposed with the original story. I thought her version of Job’s story rang with more humanity, truth and insight than the original version. Sitis’s perception into the world, men and the realities of life and of war was way more acute, too.”

Ralph White writes: “With this slender volume of verse Stephen Sossaman weaves art into his lamentations for the civilian casualties of war. The story of Job has been in the public domain for some 2,600 years, but how about the suffering of Job’s family, his wife Sitis and their children? Wouldn’t Moses have wanted future generations to be as awestruck by the collateral damage? First Mr. Sossaman creates empathy in our protagonist. He makes the matchmaker cross-eyed. He makes women weavers of life. His women are the soil into which the seed is planted. “Tilling is prayer to the soil gods.” He makes his characters more realistic and more sentient than Moses’s and we care deeply about their fate. The carnage begins offstage. Our friends may not have been targeted for violence but their suffering in its aftershock is every bit as agonizing and entirely undeserved.”

Would they fib?

And Job front coverContact:

sossaman (at) poetsandwar .com