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.
A manuscript of lyric poems is in development, as is a manuscript of short, linked prose poems.
Praise for Publications
Laurel Blossom's Degrees of Latitude is almost a lyric novel, so sweepingly re-imagined is the life it illuminates, but it is as well an expedition into territory seldom explored in lyric mode. Blossom begins her journey on an ice-breaker during the white nights of a polar north — cold as childhood — and then turns her gaze upon the uncharted regions of family history, secrecy and illusion, bravely and with uncommon self-knowledge, in deft and beautifully cadenced language that belies the arduousness of her task. This work crosses, formally and insightfully, the traditional borders of confession and memoir, and moves into the unknown, mapping what is visible as well as what has, until now, been hidden. I have been waiting a long time to read this book, and it is very much worth the wait.
--- Carolyn Forché
Degrees of Latitude is a remarkable book-length poem that captures our culture in crisis and celebration. Blossom has extended, and renewed, her already formidable work. She has created a visionary, deeply felt, meditation set in every emotional, sexual, political, addictive and moral landscape of the body and soul. Through lyric meditation, overheard conversation, personal anecdote, newspaper entries, and journals, she charts an interior life not seen before but at once recognizable. I love how this book renews one's faith in the possibilities of poetry, and in its power to delight with true innovation and luminous renewal.
--- Jason Shinder
As natural as speech or thinking, the poems in Degrees of Latitude consist mostly of single sentences, alone, like persons, and as alive. In developing the conceit of the great globe's zones. Laurel Blossom's decision to make the world of the personal, and of the global, "literal" strikes me as poetic justice. We have the wounds of the earth and the wounds of its inhabitants made transparent by blunt truths. This is an intimate book, without explanations or conclusions for our suffering. Rather, the poems perceive our inheritances — of the body and of the planet — critically and graphically.
--- Jane Miller
Laurel Blossom's New and Selected Poems ...is a gift to anyone who reads and loves poetry. This is...a deeply moving and skillful book written by a grown up American woman. Read it and weep. Read it and sing.
--- Thomas Lux
Reading Blossom is like participating in a writer's mini-decathlon; the poetic stretch is there.
--- American Book Review
A daring voice out on the edge, held by her skill and courage. Ecstatic!
--- Toi Derricotte
The Papers Said is enchanting. It's as if the reader comes in on Laurel Blossom mid-argument: she's wound up, passionate, impatient, but wholly present in these poems -- and completely persuasive. I believe her side of it. Despite wildly comic moments, every poem has a gravity and a sweet eloquence and (whether villanelle, pantoum, troilet or the remarkable 'title' sestina) a shape made to last.
--- Carol Muske-Dukes
I'm giving baboons a wide berth from now on.
--- John Frederick Nims
...each poem seems to grow in the reader's own imagination by the force of the prosody (unobtrusive), versatility, and energy. The poems are not surreal but they leap about with a heightened reality that makes them great fun to read.
--- Small Press Magazine
She can be just as punchy in her poems as any slam performer, and just as lyrical as any romantic.
--- The Ashes Art Review
Reading her poems is like watching a knife-thrower in full fling.
--- Roderick Townley
--- Small Press Magazine
Blossom takes risks that work.
--- Small Press Review
The poems are a clear hard look instead of an estimation. They show Blossom's guts.
--- Northeast Rising Sun