Awake

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 ...
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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.
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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
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Product Details

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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Table of Contents

Foreword
Ghosts
Two Pictures of My Sister
Augusta
What My Father Told Me
The Nurse
The Twins
Quarter to Six
The Tooth Fairy
Skipping Stones
When I Was Born
Awake
On the River
Return
Girl in the Doorway
Break
Bird
On the Back Porch
Cross Country
Water Street Bridge
Thaw
China
The Laundromat
Adam's Dad Teaches the Kids to Play Ball
The Children's Train
Jennifer
The Catch
The Garden
Sunday
Acknowledgments
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