Square Inch Hours

Longlist, National Book Awards 2017 for Poetry

Square Inch Hours by Sherod Santos book cover
ISBN 9780393254983
W. W. Norton & Company
Sherod Santos author photo, credit: Lynne McMahon
Sherod Santos

Sherod Santos is the author of seven books of poetry. A National Book Award Finalist, he received an Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Chicago, where he works in an outreach program for the homeless. More about this author >

Award Years

Award Status

Award Categories

In the manner of a poetic meditation, Square Inch Hours draws on elements from fiction, memoir, daybook, and reverie, piecing together moments that follow in the aftermath of a breakdown.

Writing from an area outside psychology or personal history, the intensely solitary speaker relates the experience of reengaging with the world. With an adamant attentiveness, he turns his focus to observing reality in its minutest particulars: the expression on the face of a random passerby; the palsied hand of a grocery clerk; copulating flies on a windowsill; a deep gouge, like a bullet hole, in his apartment door. How he perceives is how he reconnects. The title, Square Inch Hours, expresses that impulse to capture each moment, as in the square of a photograph.