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Cheryl J. Fish reads from The Sauna Is Full of Maids


As I read The Sauna Is Full of Maids by Cheryl Fish, I was constantly reminded of friendship. There are countries I’ve visited that became my friend, Mexico and China come quickly to my mind; those two countries and I shared days as only friends can. And then, of course, there are the new friends we meet in those countries we visit as delicious as the berries that we come to pick in a new forest or as cleansing as the smoke we find in our first sauna.

When I think of the sauna, I think of the gym, a very hot place between the exercise and the shower to relax and sweat, but only for a few minutes. When Cheryl Fish was a Fullbright professor teaching in Finland, she fell in love with the sauna tradition there. The sauna and the sights in a country that she comes to love became a travelogue of poems, The Sauna Is Full of Maids, published by Shanti Arts on the summer solstice. Hot off the presses, the reader, I believe, will find friends in these poems because they are inviting, evocative and sensual as open arms waiting to be discovered.

The Gulf of Finland edges against moonlight, tumescent water resembling a lake.

The happy and the lucky by the headlands. Longing for eternal things.

In the Vimeo below, I include some of the photos to accompany the poems as the poet reads along. Enjoy.





Kuusijärvi sauna before and after fire

Boardwalk at Pyha-Luosto National Park



Autumn woods in Ii


Autumn foliage along the Iijoki River


The Sauna Is Full of Maids is published by Shanti Arts. You can check it out here:


The author with Angie Pohja in Telakka Bar and Restaurant, Tampere.


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