On the Eighth Day Adam Slept Alone

  • The Lambda Book Award in Poetry 2001 Finalist

Nancy Boutilier’s first book, According to Her Contours (1992), was hailed by Booklist as “an exciting exploration of relationships, gender identity, and the politics of clothes from a woman who chose high tops over high heels and has the courage to love her family and her lesbianism.” The intense, disarming new poems of this, her second collection, fearlessly address life’s deepest riddles: “the unexamined life / is not worth / living. / That’s Plato / but ‘expunge’ is one word you can live with / believe it or not/ things never lost have / been found.” Childhood, memory, love, death, “the cosmic question mark” — all the old imponderables are pursued again here, in limber, lucid lines that go directly to the source, bringing back invigorating news.

On the Eighth Day Adam Slept Alone is a poetry collection that renews one’s sense of all that is good and beautiful. There are many, many wonderful love poems here, [and] Boutilier’s observations are clear and often humorous, as in her pointed poem ‘When Straight Women Flirt . . . With Me.’ Witty . . . heartfelt . . . downright inspirational . . . an antidote to angst-ridden political dread.
San Francisco Bay Guardian

Nancy Boutilier is a poet, reporter, columnist, and professor at Oberlin College. Most recently, Boutilier has been developing curriculum to enrich of the writing experience of international students on campus.

Boutilier’s two poetry collections, According To Her Contours (1992) and On the Eighth Day Adam Slept Alone (2000), were both finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Poetry. Her writings about sports, politics, literature and culture have appeared in a variety of publications, and she was a columnist for San Francisco’s Bay Area Reporter for a number of years.

A former collegiate athlete, Boutilier serves as the Faculty Athletic Advisor for the Oberlin College Softball team. She is a faculty representative on the Student Union Board, and along with her rock band, Backbone, she helps to produce the Feline Riot every spring.