Poetry Catalog

Five Sextillion Atoms is the debut collection of a skilled portraitist and satirist whose poems of formal compression and epigrammatic exactitude distill public and family history into gemlike perfection, peeled of all idyllic fantasies.


"In a single drop of water there are five sextillion atoms, yet Earth in relation to the rest of the universe is infinitely smaller still by comparison. Jayne Benjulian takes this astonishing fact for the title of her first collection of poetry and aptly so, for these poems hold vast reaches of perception, loss, personal and family history, all with admirable compression. Diamond edged, fiercely honest, Benjulian's work pulses with lyric intensity."  -- Daniel Tobin


"What distinguishes Benjulian's debut collection is the enormous range of history—personal and world—it covers and does so by employing spare, unadorned language, and does so while withholding all but essential narrative, and does so by focusing the reader's attention to vivid, precise details that arise from memory and present day occurrences, details that are tiny and large at once. Five Sextillion Atoms deserves our attention and our praise."  -- Martha Rhodes

ISBN 9780996907415


$16 (Kindle $4.99)

Jayne Benjulian

Five Sextillion Atoms