Synopses & Reviews
You are born and it is to a black life
Full of abuse and strange things . . .
In her brazen second collection, Dorothea Lasky cries out beyond prophecy and confession, through to an even more powerful empathy. On the verge of becoming pure substance and sensation, Black Life is emotion recollected not in tranquility, but in radically affirming intensity.
I leave and I am a black life . . .
And I want to
Be what you made me to be
Dorothea Lasky is the author of three collections of poetry. Educated at the University of Massachusetts, Washington University, and Harvard University, she currently teaches at Columbia University.
"If these poems, cast in ragged columns and haphazard lines, often seem dashed off, that's part of the point: they surge with immediacy, meaning and not meaning what they say."Publishers Weekly
"Through her specific, strange, and always riveting voice, Lasky reveals truths about the self in relation to all that inspires awe, be it a sexual relationship and its unraveling or metaphysical confrontations with holiness. These poems read as prophetic and yet incredibly immediate."American Poet
"Balancing a ferocious confessional poetry with her trademark levity and playfulness, Lasky examines the dark undercurrents of what it means to exist with an uncertain expiration date, the very sadness and strangeness of humanity."Rain Taxi
"In a 2008 interview with Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Dorothea Lasky cites Sylvia Plath's Ariel as a major touchstone for her own writing, describing the potency of Plath's seriousness as a basis for poesis. She writes, "I am very concerned with how power occurs in a poem and so through every word I write, I try to infuse it with the kind of power [Plath] displays." Lasky attributes Plath's power to her ability to communicate "the purpose of things" with a forceful directness, and the same could be said about Lasky's second collection of poems, Black Life. Balancing a ferocious confessional poetry with her trademark levity and playfulness, Lasky examines the dark undercurrents of what it means to exist with an uncertain expiration date, the very sadness and strangeness of humanity."
Kristen Evans, Rain Taxi (Read the entire )
Infused with dark, tumultuous, and urgent feeling--emotion recollected not in tranquility, but in intensity.
Poetry. In her brazen second collection, Dorothea Lasky cries out beyond prophecy and confession, through to an even more powerful empathy. On the verge of becoming pure substance and sensation, BLACK LIFE is emotion recollected not in tranquility, but in radically affirming intensity.
About the Author
Dorothea Lasky is the author of Thunderbird (Wave Books, 2012), Black Life (Wave Books, 2010), and AWE (Wave Books, 2007). She is also the author of six chapbooks: Matter: A Picturebook (Argos Books, 2012), The Blue Teratorn (Yes Yes Books, 2012), Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010), Tourmaline (Transmission Press, 2008), The Hatmaker’s Wife (2006), Art (H_NGM_N Press, 2005), and Alphabets and Portraits (Anchorite Press, 2004). Born in St. Louis in 1978, her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, The Laurel Review, MAKE magazine, Phoebe, Poets & Writers Magazine, The New Yorker, Tin House, The Paris Review, and 6x6, among other places. She is a graduate of the MFA program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and also has been educated at Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, and Washington University. She has taught poetry at New York University, Wesleyan University, Columbia University, Fashion Institute of Technology, Heath Elementary School, and Munroe Center for the Arts and has done educational research at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Philadelphia Zoo, and Project Zero.