In her latest collection, The Insomnia Poems, Grace Nichols explores those nocturnal hours when Sleep (the thief who nightly steals your brain) is hard to come by, and the politics of the day hard to shut out, never mind the lavender-scented pillow. Here memories of her own Guyana childhood mingle with the sleeping spectres of dreams and folk legends such as Sleeping Beauty. A lyrical interweaving of tones and textures invites the reader into the zones between sleep and no-sleep, between the solitude of the dark and the awakening of the light. The Insomnia Poems is Grace Nichols's first new collection since Picasso, I Want My Face Back (2009). Neither that collection nor this one is included in her Bloodaxe retrospective, I Have Crossed an Ocean (2010).