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NC Poets - Dorianne Laux and Gibbons Ruark

Only as the Day Is Long represents a brilliant, daring body of work from one of our boldest contemporary poets, known to bear compassionate and ruthless witness to the quotidian. Drawn from Dorianne Laux's five expansive volumes, including her confident debut Awake, National Book Critics Circle Finalist What We Carry, and Paterson Prize-winning The Book of Men, the poems in this collection have been "brought to the hard edge of meaning" (B. H. Fairchild) and praised for their "enormous precision and beauty" (Philip Levine). Twenty new odes pay homage to Laux's mother, an ordinary and extraordinary woman of the Depression era. The wealth of her life experience finds expression in Laux's earthy and lyrical depictions of working-class America, full of the dirt and mess of real life. From the opening poem, "Two Pictures of My Sister," to the last, "Letter to My Dead Mother," she writes, in her words, of "living gristle" with a perceptive frankness that is luminous in its specificity and universal in its appeal. Exploring experiences of survival and healing, of sexual love and celebration, Only as the Day Is Long shows Laux at the height of her powers.

Fred Dings on The Road to Ballyvaughan by Gibbons Ruark: "These are poems that look quietly and speak quietly, calm enough with time enough not just to recall but to feel the past, the past that informs our present, the full length of the river coming to the mouth of its present and, in this case, the mouth of the poet who sings quietly for those who would hear. In these poems we hear also the ancient kinship of poetry and music, particularly song. Ruark writes primarily in iambic meter with pentameter lines, frequently in the form of sonnets or blank verse. He does not confuse “free verse” with the reckless abandonment of the qualities of the English language itself, its accentual-syllabic rhythms, its tonal registers and sonic textures. Instead, he brings the full inheritance of English-language poetry into its current, living, contemporary voice."

Event date: 
Sunday, March 24, 2019 - 2:00pm
Event address: 
North Hills
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Road
Raleigh, NC 27609
Only As the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780393652338
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 15th, 2019

A collection of new and selected works from a prize-winning poet known to bear compassionate and ruthless witness to the quotidian.

The Road to Ballyvaughan Cover Image
ISBN: 9780936481036
Availability: On our shelves
Published: Jacar Press - September 18th, 2015

A collection of poems about Ireland