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Awake
     

Awake

by Dorianne Laux, Philip Levine (Foreword by)
 

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Awake, Dorianne Laux's first book of poetry, is introduced by Pulitzer Prize winner and U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine for a reason: It's a near-perfect, emotionally haunting book—one which follows a narrative trajectory that touches upon the speaker's ability to endure the cruelties of parental abuse, and maturation into womanhood, alongside the joy's of

Overview

Awake, Dorianne Laux's first book of poetry, is introduced by Pulitzer Prize winner and U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine for a reason: It's a near-perfect, emotionally haunting book—one which follows a narrative trajectory that touches upon the speaker's ability to endure the cruelties of parental abuse, and maturation into womanhood, alongside the joy's of noticing everyday details and using the imagination and a fearless poetic voice to confront—if not escape—suffering's violent hand.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her first book of poems, Laux's writing is at its most potent when she deals simply and bluntly with the vicissitudes of growing up and getting old. The almost matter-of-fact tone of ``What My Father Told Me'' and ``Two Pictures of My Sister'' expresses the resignation of girls who have learned to assimilate the horrors of sexual and physical violation into the otherwise innocuous routines of their childhood. Too often, however, the uncompromising directness of the poet's vision is diluted by imprecise metaphors and insignificant themes. The strained erotic images of ``The Laundromat'' are gratuitous as well as embarrassing, and ``Adam's Dad Teaches the Kids to Play Ball'' transforms an already bland subject into a cliche. It is difficult to believe that this is the same writer who, in ``Quarter to Six,'' gives us such a masterfully complex portrait of a friendship between two women battling the pain of their pasts amid the hellishness of a mental asylum. This poem, encompassing Laux's most important themes, is the vibrant heart of this uneven but provocative collection. (June)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887485732
Publisher:
Carnegie-Mellon University Press
Publication date:
09/03/2013
Series:
Carnegie Mellon Classic Contemporary Series: Poetry
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
72
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.30(d)

What People are Saying About This

Adrienne Rich
“I’m drawn to the tough, sensual voice of Dorianne Laux, for the way she loads her poems with physical details that add up to more than their sum, her visions of working-class lives, family solidarity, and violence, of how the end of the world might come to a woman reaching for a doorknob in the nuclear age.”
Philip Levine
"Awake is a book written with enormous precision and beauty. It has such confidence in its authority, it overstates nothing. Sculptured, economical, tough, possessing a vision informed by experience and compassion, this is an astonishingly mature first book, the wisest I have read in years."
Peter Makuck
“Not always funny, not always pretty, Dorianne Laux’s poems nonetheless pulse with vivid colors, are full of passion and sympathy. Awake makes us consider virtue and vice, ugliness and beauty in new ways, and its carefully crafted language provides revelations large and small.”

Meet the Author

DORIANNE LAUX is the author of several collections of poetry, including What We Carry, Facts about the Moon, and The Book of Men winner of The Paterson Prize. She teaches at North Carolina State University and is founding faculty for Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program.

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