The Small Door of Your Death. Autumn House Press, forthcoming 2018.
"In this brilliant, wrenchingly beautiful book, Sheryl St. Germain limns the unbearable death ofher son via overdose, the agonizing history of her family’s addictions, and her own fragile recovery. With astonishing lyricism, she gives us “snow and its dark sister: a kind of brutal cold that stings you awake.” She gives us an “Ode to Needles,” in which the needles of White Spruce and Lodgepole Pine become the needles both she and her son used to inject drugs. And in “Versions of Heaven,” she takes us to a place where her musician son might be “showing the gone ones…how to scat god’s breath.” This book is an invaluable companion for anyone who has wrestled with addiction, or lost a loved one to it. St. Germain knows both the rawness of grief, and the ways we must find to go on living. She can help us learn."
—Ruth L. Schwartz, poet
Words Without Walls: Writers on Addiction, Violence and Incarceration. co-edited with Sarah Shotland, fTrinity University Press, 2015.
"If, as William Blake says, “Prisons are built with bricks of law,” then this searing, delving, heartbreaking and healing collection, composed in diverse conditions and shared in a thousand lightless places, is potently unlawful. Featuring an array of America’s most admired writers along with new voices speaking out bravely, this book sings with a power no walls can quell: the power of witness. Words Without Walls is a unique and necessary tool—both balm and weapon—for those of us teaching, reading, writing, and listening in the world beyond the academic pale." -- Philip Brady, editor, Etruscan Press.
Navigating Disaster: Sixteen Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair. Louisiana Literature. 2012.
"This is a lush, heartbreaking, magnificent feast of a book, a book that asks and answers, again and again, what it means to be alive. Lament and prayer and bawdy love song, vibrating wound and celebration, this book will teach you, haunt you and hold you tight." Ruth L. Schwartz
Between Song and Story: Essays for the Twenty-First Century, co-edited, Sheryl St. Germain and Margaret Whitford. Autumn House Press
Forty-six writers explore the range of the contemporary essay. Between Song and Story celebrates the contemporary essay’s capacity to live between the two worlds of lyric and narrative. The editors have sought to capture that duality in this anthology, a collection of writings that exemplifies the diverse, exuberant, and intrepid forms of the contemporary essay. Designed for use in any writing course focusing on the craft of the essay, the anthology includes healthy selections of lyric and formally adventurous essays, as well as those focused on nature and travel writing, and more nuanced explorations of place. This anthology tells a rich story about the wealth of experimentation and diversity of approaches to the essay in the twenty-first century.
Let it Be a Dark Roux: New and Selected Poems Autumn House Press
"Sheryl St. Germain’s poetry is filled with sensual delight, with the enjoyment of good food, good company, and good music. While she travels the world, St. Germain returns again and again to her native New Orleans, to the bonds of family and the forces of nature that break through and spill over human walls and barriers. In Let it Be a Dark Roux, St. Germain teaches us how to embrace all the currents of life‹its pleasures, its sorrows, its inevitable challenge to step out into the street and take up the dance once more." Mary Swander
Swamp Songs: the Making of an Unruly Woman University of Utah Press
"Landscape shapes this collection of essays by the New Orleans-born and bred poet St. Germain (The Journals of Scheherazade). While her family has all the earmarks of a troubled one-"drugs, alcoholism, sex, murder, suicide"-their tale is merely the frame within which St. Germain has constructed a memoir of and dirge for a place: Louisiana. St. Germain brings these essays together with little disjunction and few repetitions. In her telling, family data are often blurry and family versions of events can differ (e.g., why and how Grandfather shot his eye out). Place, however, is unmistakable and tangible. St. Germain's passionate commitment to place is the lens through which she conveys the specialness of growing up in the Louisiana swampland, where Christmas celebrations, amusement parks, meals and even fishing are as ordained by the landscape as hurricanes, which can wreak "almost one and a half billion dollars worth of damage," and Mardi Gras, that time when the uptown streets become so clogged St. Germain sits on her friend's shoulders, "lifted high and parentless above the swaggering crowds." St. Germain succeeds in simultaneously offering a sensitive memoir and an homage to Louisiana's swamps, the people who dwell near them and New Orleans." From Publishers Weekly
The Journals of Scheherazade The University of North Texas Press
"Whereas poets such as Anne Sexton and Sharon Olds heartily achieve their numerous effects by shocking the reader with language formerly unacceptable within women’s discourse, Sheryl St. Germain attacks these same subject areas via a clean elegance of language and close attention to rhythm. These are not so much ‘confessional’ poems, as women are accused of writing, but works which reach the universal heart of humankind and are... worthy of a Ferlinghetti mindset in terms of social impact." –Penelope Reedy,The Redneck Review of Literature
How Heavy the Breath of God The University of North Texas Press
"St. Germain personalizes nature, and her relationship to it, in the way that Adrienne Rich has encouraged us to do. She refuses patriarchal objectifying, fetishizing, or romanticizing in favor of a primarily non-anthropomorphic embodiment... where humans, in body and spirit, are recognized as part of nature." — Spoon River Poetry Review.
Making Bread at Midnight Slough Press, Austin, TX (Out of print)
"Sheryl is the archetype of woman. Her poetry breathes the breath of a woman who has had children, who has known love, death, betrayal, passion, and all those great things, but never does one feel a tinge of bitterness. Sheryl drinks life in all its forms as if at a wine tasting. She chews each bit of experience as one trying a new bread, a new gumbo recipe. She offers you a bit to chew, and it becomes a part of you. You are changed afterward.
It's sad that her books can fall into obscurity. I have most of them, bought them from her or a local bookstore which carried them when she published them. She autographed them for me, and I feel as if they are treasures. More than treasures. They are food. Now and then I get a strange hunger that cannot be satiated. Eventually, her books find their way to my desk again, and I am filled once more.
Jesus fed the multitudes with a basket of fish and loaves. Sheryl is not Jesus, but with her little stack of poems, her few books, she could feed the multitudes in a way that might finally fill that something which has been missing for so long. If only..." Amazon.com review
Going Home Perivale Press, (Out of print)
Je Suis Cadien Translation from the Cajun French of Jean Arceneaux. Cross-Cultural Communications
The Mask of Medusa Cross Cultural Communications
The Berkeley Literary Women's Revolution, Editors Marsha Hudson, Bridget Connelly, Doris Earnshaw, Olivia Eilson and Judy Wells McFarland & Co, 2004
Christmas Stories from Louisiana, Editors Dorothy Doge Robbins and Kenneth Robbins University of Mississippi Press, 2003
In the Middle of the Middle West: An Anthology of Creative Non-fiction, Editor Becky Bradway, Indiana University Press, 2003
Line Drives: 100 Contemporary Baseball Poems, Editors Brooke Horvath and Time Wiles. University of Southern Illinois Press, 2002
Illinois Voices: An Anthology of Twentieth Century Poetry, Editors Kevin Stein and G.E. Murray, University of Illinois Press, 2001
Rape, Battery, Incest: Women Writing Out The Pain, Editor Miriam Harris Texas Christian University Press, 2000
Best Texas Writing 2, Editor Brian Clements, Denton: Firewheel Editions, 1999
Outsiders: Poems about Rebels, Exiles, and Renegades, Editor Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 1999
Uncommonplace: An Anthology of Contemporary Louisiana Poets, Editor Ann Dobie, Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 1998
Night Out, Editors Kurt Brown and Laure-Anne Bosslear Minneapolis: Milkweed, 1997
Inheritance of Light, Editor Ray Gonzalez, University of North Texas Press, 1996
A Certain Attitude: Seven Texas Women, Editor Laura Kenneley, San Antonio: Pecan Grove Press, 1995
Drive, they said, Editor Kurt Brown, Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 1994
Gulf Coast Stories and Poems, Editors James White and Jeff Todd, Texas Center for Writers Press, Montrose, Alabama, 1994
Epiphanies: The Prose Poem Now, Cumberland, 1988