Cover for McPherson: Expectation Days. Click for larger image

Expectation Days

Reflections on everyday living and bereavement

From moviemaking to medical misadventures, meditations on widowhood to feminist protestations, Expectation Days is a dazzling portrayal of instances in Sandra McPherson's life. Her autobiographical collection uses peculiar and exact language to reflect on a wide range of activities that include grouse hunting, going through airport security after 9/11, and climbing a coastal cliff. From being an unintended child to ceremonializing a lifetime "served," McPherson speaks in both clear and distressing voices from the state of speechless fear that is bereavement.


"This book is a knockout. Sandra McPherson is fully aware of art's limited power to console, and the stunning poems of her new collection admit not a whiff of affection or artificial catharsis."--Poetry "In the completeness of her description—tender, shocking, hilarious—McPherson’s Expectation Days leaves the stuffy woolens of inhibition locked behind closed doors, preferring to dance outdoors in a gauzy linen dress, letting the sun trace her silhouette, in all its beauty and misery.”--Sacramento News & Review

"McPherson . . . stands in a sort of magic circle and conjures up a world I am glad to be part of. . . . A poet among us who deserves more readers, more homage, more celebration."--Field

"Read Sandra McPherson's poems to experience the beautiful intellect of words placed in perfect positions of sound and sight. Read Expectation Days to encounter multiple ways to measure memory, subtle stratagems to release loss, the coaxing of magical phrases to retain the present, the play of wit and light to keep a balance. Read Sandra McPherson's delving and surfacing poetry carefully. Immersion. Don't miss a single word."--Pattiann Rogers, author of Firekeeper

"Sandra McPherson's edgy elegies, lyrically nuanced observations, and meticulously stitched narratives inhabit a landscape of yearning, hope, and skepticism. Balanced between grief and affirmation, the beautifully crafted, fearlessly honest poems of Expectation Days shimmer with delight in the things of this world even while they brood on the losses to which all things must succumb."--Sandra M. Gilbert, author of Belongings

"Sandra McPherson is one of the first poets in my generation to declare her individuality. She transposed the core--the freshness of seeing--into a sensibility that was younger, more raffish, more political. Maturity has only honed her fine diction and her emotional accuracy. Expectation Days finds her at the top of her form."--Alan Williamson, author of The Pattern More Complicated


Sandra McPherson is a professor of English at the University of California, Davis, and the author of numerous poetry collections, including A Visit to Civilization.

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