Circadian is a collection of lyric essays that reach beyond personal narrative and exist in the vast landscape of curiosity and intrigue. With an astute attentiveness to language and form, Chelsey Clammer poetically weaves personal stories into the narratives of different–yet connecting–fields of study. Through this, she explores experiences of trauma, mental illnesses, and the rhythmic and oscillating desires for solitude and connection. Using math to figure out the problem of an alcoholic father, weather to re-consider trauma, the history of sexism and the facts of its lingual effects, anatomy as a way to process memories, and even grammar to question our identities, these “facts” don’t work as metaphors, but frameworks and forms that naturally circle around one another. Each essay in Circadian stands as a witness to the brilliant and destructive cycles that create our lives.


“Clammer (BodyHome), a contributor to McSweeney’s and the Rumpus, engages with trauma, letting go, and the pleasures of writing in this collection of 12 lyric essays. She is a compassionate and self-reflective narrator, weaving the personal into experiments with form. . . . Each essay builds on the one before, demonstrating the author’s evolution as a writer and survivor. Clammer has successfully bridged genres here while exploring difficult subjects.”—Publishers Weekly

“In her second collection, Clammer (BodyHome, 2015) once again stretches the boundaries of the form, pushing against ‘the tenuous fences between poetry and fiction and nonfiction and humor and critical writing and academic writing and blogging and every other genre that has existed, ever, in order to discover how to discuss our lives.’ The essays are notable for their inventive language; many take the form of prose poems or verbal collages; one is constructed of bullet-pointed sentences; another, like a class syllabus. . . . An affecting memoir emerges from a dozen circuitous, digressive essays.”—Kirkus Reviews

“I have never read an interrogation of language, gender politics, or aftermath quite like Clammer’s passionately searing Circadian. Though evocative of writers from Anne Carson to Kate Zambreno, Clammer’s urgency and electricity here create a flash of lightning all her own.”—Gina Frangello, author of A Life of Men and Every Kind of Wanting

“In these beautifully written essays, Clammer considers the intricate, confounding, and powerful connections between story and body, narrative and physical form. She examines the subject of trauma through a series of innovative frames, casting a fearless and curious gaze on her material and bringing new insights to life.”—Marya Hornbacher, New York Times bestselling author of Wasted (Pulitzer Prize finalist)

“Chelsey Clammer’s new book of essays, Circadian, is a lyrical, playful, and delightfully idiosyncratic exploration of everyday wonder, language, and the ‘poetics of pain.’ Her voice is surefooted and smart, deftly guiding her reader through rich landscapes of memory and meaning; but it’s also equally critical and confrontational, holding a light up to experiences that demand our witness and daring us to think deeply.”—Steven Church, author of One with the Tiger: Sublime and Violent Encounters Between Humans and Animals

“In sharp, beautiful language, Chelsey Clammer creates elegant, intimate prose about the violence of being female, being a daughter, the way PTSD engraves itself upon us, altering us body and mind, majorly shaping our experience of our own lives. A powerful book.”—Michelle Tea, author of Black Wave

A yellow background and an abstract graphic of black hexagons and white script that reads Circadian by Chelsey Clammer.

Chelsey Clammer ( Author Website )

Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Genre/Imprint: Non-Fiction, Red Hen Press

$14.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 978-1-59709-603-4

Download the Press Kit Here



The Mindful Word reviews CIRCADIAN

Many thanks to The Mindful Word for this lovely review of Chelsey Clammer’s CIRCADIAN, noting “Clammer is swift with language, intelligent and funny. She’s lyrical, poetic and sometimes mesmerizing in her prose. […]

On Chelsey Clammer’s’ ‘Circadian’

Huge thanks to author Melissa Grunow for writing a wonderful review of CIRCADIAN on The Coil. As she puts it, “Clammer’s vital essays challenge everything we know as true & scientific, […]

JMWW Circadian Review

"This book is fearless, even in its confrontation of fear and trauma." Great review by Amelia White of JMWW on Chelsey Clammer's Circadian. Read the full review

US Review of Books praises Circadian

Chelsea Clammer is praised for Circadian by the US Review of Books. They write, "In this volume, the author proves that no topic is taboo, especially with the right choice […]

Hobart Pulp interviews Chelsea Clammer

Thank you Hobart Pulp for this insightful interview with Chelsea Clammer, author of Circadian. “Essays seem to encourage digression and tangents, and you do such a great job of managing […]

CIRCADIAN gets rave review from Reader Views!

Huge thanks to Reader Views for this fantastic review of Chelsey Clammer’s CIRCADIAN! “If you read just one essay collection this year, make it “Circadian” by Chelsey Clammer.” Read the […]

WOW! Reviews CIRCADIAN by Chelsey Clammer

Women of Writing reviewer Angela Makintosh gives high praise to Chelsey Clammer's debut collection of essays, CIRCADIAN. "Circadian is a masterfully written collection of 12 lyric essays that are poetic, […]