Only As the Day Is Long: Book summary and reviews of Only As the Day Is Long by Dorianne Laux

Only As the Day Is Long

New and Selected Poems

by Dorianne Laux

Only As the Day Is Long by Dorianne Laux X
Only As the Day Is Long by Dorianne Laux
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Book Summary

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

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Generous ... This is a catalogue of honest work, from beginning to end." - Publishers Weekly

"A prodigious imagination that somehow manages to sift through the ordinary, quotidian, and squalid realities of our world, to produce moments of grace and shimmering beauty, and empathetic illumination. Dorianne Laux is a national treasure, a poet of immense insight and masterful craft…Only as the Day Is Long is a tour de force, a work of striking beauty and humanity - a work for its own time." - Kwame Dawes, author of City of Bones: A Testament

"Throughout the years and throughout her five books Dorianne Laux has not faltered. She has wrestled with the angels and with the serpents, eros and thanatos are wrestling still, and the sound they make is the sound of this woman singing." - Marie Howe, author of Magdalene

"Another splendid new one by one of our best, who never stops paying attention, and is never unwilling, and summons from her readers unwavering trust." - Mark Doty, author of Deep Lane

"In a vast ocean of too-much-to-read out there, I can always find an island of sanity in Laux's work, and within individual poems, always, always spots of light and breath and truth." - Lia Purpura, author of It Shouldn't Have Been Beautiful

"Dorianne Laux is one of those poets I turn to again and again for cradling beauty and darkness so close together in a poem." - Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of Oceanic

This information about Only As the Day Is Long was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Dorianne Laux

Dorianne Laux teaches poetry in the Program in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University and is a founding faculty member of Pacific University's Low Residency MFA Program. A National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and a recipient of the Oregon Book Award and the Paterson Prize, she lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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