Chelsey Clammer

Chelsey Clammer is the author of BodyHome. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Essay Daily, McSweeney's, The Water-Stone Review, and Black Warrior Review, among many others. She is the Essays Editor for The Nervous Breakdown, a reader for Creative Nonfiction magazine, Editorial Coordinator of World of DQ, and Founding Editor of Inside/Out Editing Services. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop and an MA in Women's Studies from Loyola University Chicago. She lives in Austin, TX.

All Books


Chelsey Clammer

Publication Date: October 3, 2017

$14.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-603-4


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


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, […]
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