Oli Hazzard's third collection emerges from the daily disarray of care and work, nature and technology. Its ambitious, formally various poems extract 'the ore / from boredom', as memory—personal, familial, social, historical—and the collective memory of poetry itself are wrenched out of shape by dramatic disruptions in rhythm, space and scale. The sadness and pain of forgetting is here too, alongside its unexpected forms of potential. The title, borrowed from the Lutheran hymn that inspired a Bach cantata, catches the book's dreamy, kaleidoscopic, cross-temporal dialogues. Through satirical, allusive, tender, hopeful poems, Sleepers Awake makes spaces for intimacy with the reader, arguing 'through an off-key melody / for the jovial texture of batshit relations, for the pleasure of live-drawing in sceptical company'.
'Within the kaleidoscopic tour de force of Sleepers Awake, we find the human, burdened, joyful, overwhelmed with desire, duty, bureaucracy and everyday life. Everything seems to be spinning, and also turning, and also moving outward into a larger register of being. So much so, the entire book is constantly reaching and manifest through an incisive and restless lyric address.' - Peter Gizzi