Category Archives: Poetry

The Alexandria Papers Newsletter #86

The Alexandria Papers Newsletter #86 | Dr. Alexandria Szeman 26 November 2023


10 important lessons the Stoics can teach you about finding inner peace | Hack Spirit
We all crave a little calm and tranquility in our lives and we all hear about the many ways people find peace in their lives. But what about wisdom from […] More
A Mindfulness Practice to Meet Tough Emotions with Curiosity | Mindful
Curiosity is a helpful tool for engaging with emotions like sadness and anxiety. Try this practice to shift toward what you’re feeling.
I’m More Than My Anxious Thoughts-And So Are You | Mindful
A lifelong high achiever, Melena Kiriaki was afraid she would lose her momentum if she wasn’t operating from a place of anxiety. Meditation showed her that she’s more than her fearful thoughts.


What Is Migraine? | American Migraine Foundation
What is migraine? Learn about the symptoms, causes and treatments of this disabling neurological condition affecting more than 39 million Americans.
The 4 Stages of Migraine: Why You Feel Strange Before and After an Attack | Migraine Again
There are four stages of a migraine attack. Discover what they are, how long each lasts, and what you can do to better manage your attack through them all.
Concussion and Migraine: Does a Blow to the Head Mean a Lifetime of Pain? | Migraine Again
Do concussions cause migraine and headaches for years to come? Learn more about post-traumatic headache and how to reduce your risk of prolonged pain.

Trauma and Sexual Abuse

Understanding the Role of the Vagus Nerve in Managing Stress and Anxiety | Edge Coaching and Consulting
The vagus nerve, recognized as the 10th cranial nerve, is instrumental in mitigating the stress response and minimizing symptoms associated with anxiety and PTSD. By activating the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, it possesses the potential to diminish the fight, flight,…
9 subtle signs you’re more perceptive than you give yourself credit for | Hack Spirit
We often underestimate our own abilities, especially when it comes to perception. But you might be more perceptive than you think. Perception isn’t just about noticing the details in your […] More
Why do some people who experience childhood trauma seem unaffected by it? | The Conversation
Childhood trauma can completely alter the trajectory of someone’s life, but for others, it barely affects them at all. After going through trauma, why do some people seem fine?

Mental Health

Trying to Find My Voice on the Page: On Self-Doubt and Finding the Confidence it Takes to Write | Literary Hub
I’m twenty-two or twenty-three and sitting at the table playing cards with my father and brother. When it’s my turn, I admit I need the rules explained again. My mind is so distracted by self-doubt…
4 Tips to Get Through Difficult Family Meals | Psychology Today
With a little preparation, you can cope with even the most toxic family members!
5 Things I’ve Learned in 5 Years of Living as a Minimalist | Rich in What Matters
Minimalist living has shown me that, contrary to our consumer culture’s push for more, happiness isn’t found in bigger or trendier things.


The Guardian’s Ten Best Historical Novels of All Time | Books of Brilliance
These are The Guardian’s Ten Best Historical Novels of All Time!
The 10 Must Read Thriller Books of All Time | Books of Brilliance
These are The 10 Must Read Thriller Books of All Time!

Cooking and Baking

55 Best Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes After the Big Feast | Pioneer Woman
So, you’ve successfully made Thanksgiving dinner, cleaned up the dishes, and put on your favorite Thanksgiving movie. Now, what?
20 Recipes To Make With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers | How Sweet Eats
My favorite recipes for thanksgiving leftovers, including soups and salads, but also mashed potato waffles, breakfast hash and coffee cake. Use up all those delish thanksgiving leftovers!
What We’re Baking for the Holidays – Bake from Scratch
We’re making our baking list and checking it twice. From festive candy cane cookies to rich six-layer sticky pudding cake, this is our baking game plan for the week’s upcoming festivities. Don’t miss out on these delicious recipes, including a few from our November/December issue and Holiday…

eBook Giveaway 2023: Black Friday (11/24/23) through Cyber Monday (11/27/23)

The Kommandant’s Mistress, (a novel)

The rumors spread by the Camp’s inmates, other Nazi officers, and the Kommandant’s own family insist that she was his “mistress,” but was she, voluntarily? Told from three different perspectives – that of the formerly idealistic Kommandant, the young Jewish inmate who captivates him, and the ostensibly objective historical biographies of the protagonists – this novel examines one troubling moral question over and over: if your staying alive was the only “good” during the War, if your survival was your sole purpose in this horrific world of the Concentration Camps — whether you were Nazi or Jewish — what, exactly, would you do to survive?  Would you lie, cheat, steal, kill, submit?

Flashing back and forth through the narrators’ memories as they recall their time before, during, and after the War, and leading, inevitably, to their ultimate, shocking confrontation, “Szeman’s uncompromising realism and superb use of stream-of-consciousness technique make [this novel] a chilling study of evil, erotic obsession, and the will to survive” (Publishers Weekly * review).

A New York Times Book Review “Notable Book” and one of its “Top 100 Books of the Year,”  Winner of the University of Rochester’s Kafka Prize for “the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman,” the tales told by the Kommandant, his “mistress,” and their “biographer” will mesmerize and stun you, leaving you wondering, at the conclusion, which, if any, is telling the complete truth about what happened between them.

• New York Times Book Review “Notable Book”
and “Top 100 Books of Year”
• University of Rochester Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize
“the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman”
• Publishers Weekly (* review) “Outstanding Merit”
• Talmadge McKinney Award “Excellence in Research”


As powerfully written, darkly humorous, surprising, and accessible as Szeman’s prose works, these poems let you glimpse into the hearts, lives, and minds of ordinary people — whether they be mythological, biblical, literary, or contemporary — as they struggle to make sense of relationships, family, marriage, divorce, children, spirituality, faith, and the existence of God. As they struggle to comprehend the very things each of us experiences every day.

Szeman’s themes are universal, encompassing the perspectives of men and women, adults and children, equally honestly. All of the poems in the collection have been previously published in literary and university journals; several were part of her dissertation, Survivor: One Who Survives. Elliston Poetry Prize (’83, 84, ’85) and the Isabel & Mary Neff Creative Writing Fellowship (’84-85). Along with her Holocaust poetry collection, Where Lightning Strikes, this collection, Love in the Time of Dinosaurs, was unanimously accepted for publication by all outside readers of UKA Press in 2004.

• Grand Prize Winner, Elliston Poetry Prize
• Isabel & Mary Neff Creative Writing Fellowship
• First Place, Elliston Poetry Prize
• Second Place, Elliston Poetry Prize
• Centennial Review Prize for Poetry
• Honorable Mention, Non-Rhyming Poetry,
Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Contest

Books by Alexandria Constantinova Szeman
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