Laurie Clements Lambeth

Laurie Clements Lambeth understands that the crisis facing the speaker in this indelible book--the dawning struggles of MS, which troubles the nerves and veils and burns the vision--is an intensification of what it is to be any body, the edge-of-crisis on which we all dwell. But her title also suggests the way photographers enhance images in the darkroom, making them more defined and beautiful. With courage and formal acuity, humor and tenderness, Lambeth 'veils and burns' a moving debut, a suite of poems that are forthright, adult, and entirely humane.

                                                                             -- Mark Doty

In a poem that celebrates ease of movement, Lambeth writes 'who wouldn't want to/ embrace that bird like air, feel its bones shift to leave you?' Poem after poem calls up this desire to rise above her symptoms of multiple sclerosis, above 'the feeling of true slowness' that assails her. She is both lyrical and pragmatic, nostalgic and tough-minded. As she says, 'Praise to all flinging bodies'--and to this brave book.                

                                                                       -- Maxine Kumin

National Poetry Series winner,
selected by Maxine Kumin