Longevity, a book-length narrative prose poem following the path of a woman's life past the age at which her mother died into the uncharted territory of what it means to be a sister. Longevity was published in Fall 2015 by Four Way Books. Read excerpts at Frigg Magazine #43 Tupelo Quarterly 2, Linnet’s Wings Summer 2014, and Hotel Amerika #43. In several versions under different titles, the manuscript has been a finalist for the 2010 Marie Alexander Prize (White Pine Press), the 2011 National Poetry Series, the 2011 South Carolina Poetry Initiative Poetry Book Prize, judged by National Book Award winner, Nikky Finney, and a semi-finalist for the 2012 Poets Out Loud Prize from Fordham University Press.
Purchase a copy of Longevity at Four Way Books.
is a book-length narrative, a fictional prose poem told in fragments and in the heightened language of poetry, making it accessible to the general reader and the poetry aficionado alike. Longevity
deals with the protagonist's relationships with the women in her life and the deaths of those women: her mother, her best friend, her sister. Longevity
is told in reverse, starting with the present and working back to the birth of the younger sister, which was the beginning, for the speaker, of both memory and loss.
Dreams are ways in which we can see what we sometimes don't want to see, where in some brief truce we might work out our human conditions. Blossom's book-length poem Longevity achieves such translation: bordering the longed-for and the ill-gotten, a speaker sorts out her survivorship: a sister, a mother, a dear one. This poem skirts 9/11, family, and the degradation of the body in time and illness, as 'Memory catches on the sprockets of grief.'
--- Sophie Cabot Black
...In Laurel Blossom's Longevity, we share a survivor's guilt for deaths both imagined and experienced—a falling away from love, a piecing-together of fragments of memory, a lyrical booklong dream-meditation on trauma, transgression—and how, in desire and empathy, we fashion from loss the shapes that sustain us.
--- Carol Muske-Dukes
...Longevity's narrative arc possesses the range, density, and richness of a novel, but Blossom's long poem is buoyed by an elegant lyricism that is wrenching in its musicality. The poem's style and structure seem so inevitable, it would be easy to overlook the audacity of the book's project, which is nothing less than to salvage our dead. In this wise, generous, heart-breaking book, 'Everything is elegy.'
--- Gary Young
Oct. 2015 • 978-1-935536-62-8 • Poetry • $15.95
UPNE • 1-800-421-1561 • www.upne.com
Four Way Books, PO Box 535, Village Station, New York, NY 10014, firstname.lastname@example.org
An excerpt from Longevity:
Where it says I, it means me.
Where it says she, it means Margaret or Lucy or
my poor mother.
Where it says she, it means said. It means dead.
Not that she was such a good guide, but I miss my
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