Late Night Library

Rookie Report

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After a Long Day

So much of what has happened
breaks at night, breaks

into a sky stretched like water
in the blacksmith’s still pail.

Day drops into darkness
and the sharp corners of all that was said

go down in hiss and steam.
Only the heart is a little fire by which to work.

How else might such love and error be forged
into something unseen,

how else to temper but not forget?
The blacksmith’s metal remembers itself in water.

But for this, I’d regret growing older.

–Excerpt from Iron String


Lighthart, Cover, Iron StringLate Night Library: Summarize your book in 10 words or fewer.

Annie Lighthart: Pieces of this dangerous and beautiful world made into words.

LNL: If this book were the lovechild of two others, who are its parents?

AL: Its surprised mothers would be The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson and New Collected Poems by Eavan Boland.

LNL: What ingredients go into the recipe of your writing style?

AL: Meanings boiled down to clear image, the insistent use of numerous commas, and occasionally very long lines that have a tendency to rise like warm bread.

LNL: Name one book you wish you could read again for the first time.

AL: Jane Eyre. Reader, what life will she choose?

LNL: Answer a question you wish people would ask you about writing.

AL: Do you need a quiet life to be a writer? I hope not. I tell myself that even in a noisy life there are silences we can enter, if we really want them. When one of my children took twenty-minute naps, I learned how to drop into a chair and write for just that long. It’s true I wasn’t writing epics, but you can go a long way a line at a time. Even the few minutes it takes to toast a piece of bread can seem long and productive if you stand there with a pen and piece of paper. And you might even start to crave burnt toast.

Get a copy of Iron String at IndieBound

Lighthart, photoAnnie Lighthart started writing poetry after her first visit to an Oregon old-growth forest. Since those first strange days, she earned an MFA in Poetry from Vermont College and has had poems appear in journals such as Hunger Mountain and Cimarron Review. Her poetry collection Iron String was published by Airlie Press in 2013. She has taught at Boston College and as a poet in the schools, and now lives in a small green corner of Portland, Oregon.


To Swim

Dear water, I loved you best
back then—my upside-down
house, kinder than sidewalks
or too-high branches, the bent red bike
that tipped me to the street.
Blue more blue and the quiet
more quiet, where I could be
the anhingas I’d seen, floating and diving,
there & gone & there,
swift as fists or Sunday school angels
parting the clouds of heaven.
I learned because my mother was afraid,
knew canals and pools, the eager sea
as so many places a child
could drown. I learned
because she loved me, and I fell
like Alice into somewhere else,
my feet leaving tiles or a motorboat’s side
to ride on almost nothing. Because she was
afraid I called myself
a bird, a fish, and because
she loved me I tried
to be a boat, and grew myself
to fear and love until they
became like children, mine, twins
who looked so much alike
I could hardly tell them apart
or ever hold them close enough.

–Excerpt from Keeper


Jueds KeeperLate Night Library: Summarize your book in 10 words or fewer.

Kasey Jueds: Birds, swimming, intimacy, longing, yarn, darkness, and a secondhand dress.

LNL: If this book were the lovechild of two others, who are its parents?

KJ: Jane Hirshfield and Gerard Manley Hopkins

LNL: What ingredients go into the recipe of your writing style?

KJ: Petals and leaves and grass blades pulled from the margins of a field. Pond water, sea water. Long slow cooking time. Frequent checking of the stove to make sure the pot’s not boiling over (sometimes it does anyway). Simmering in silence. Sometimes the flame goes out and the mixture gets cold. Sometimes it seems worth reheating.

LNL: Name one book you wish you could read again for the first time.

KJ: George Eliot’s Middlemarch

LNL: Answer a question you wish people would ask you about writing.

KJ: I am so honored to be asked questions and so far I’ve loved every single one anyone’s ever asked me. They are always a surprise and a deep pleasure. So, quite honestly, the question I want is every question—and for those questions to keep happening.

Get a copy of Keeper at IndieBound

K_Jueds_smaller_copyKasey Jueds’s first book of poems, Keeper, won the 2012 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including Beloit Poetry Journal, Prairie Schooner, Manhattan Review, Salamander, Crab Orchard Review, Women’s Review of Books, and 5AM; it has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A native of Coral Gables, Florida, she lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Posted on: February 21, 2014 · Blog, Homepage, Rookie Report ·Tags: , , , , , .

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