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Released April 30th, 2024 // 978-1-916938-94-6 // 118 pages // RRP £10.99


Broken sleep and disturbed dreams, or vice versa. A compilation of modernity’s conditions needs to include insomnia, accompaniment to work stress, twitchy doomscrolling, existential dread, memories of minor indignities, hectic feelings of a lack of control, shame. Often attributed to incessant technological interruption, by radiant blue light, the proposed cure is often also technological, the white and brown noise from Bluetooth speakers, the voice of the podcast to counter loneliness. Yet people have always struggled and the greater the struggle the further from peace. Shakespeare described his weariness, seeking ‘dear repose for limbs with travel tired’ only to begin ‘a journey in my head / To work my mind when body’s work’s expired’. Others sought out insomnia: the desert fathers wandered in abject poverty and sleepless doxology.


Gaining a perspective on insomnia is hard when in its grip, or its wake. We read insomnia as a symptom of our waking life, its worries. We interpret insomnia according to our working life, its stresses. But can insomnia also be a gift, a door ajar, a point of access? In this short collection a number of contemporary experimental writers write of insomnia, or write from insomnia to see what might be discovered.



Sam Ladkin, Frances Kruk, Fran Lock, Verity Spott, Sarah Bernstein & Hilary White, Aaron Kent, Mira Mattar, Steven Zultanski, Brandon Brown, Eleni Stecopoulos, Jo Lindsay Walton

In Insomnia: An Anthology


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