Poetry | $14 ($12 direct from UDP)
Perfect-bound. 88 pp, 6 x 7.5 in.
Publication Date: 2011
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What is the hermit? A crab? A card drawn from a tarot deck? Sage, lunatic, scholar, mad scientist, philosopher or monk? A rebel or recluse, a wandering samurai, a stranger in an even stranger land, an immigrant, an exile, a tourist, a hero or anti-hero? Do hermits live apart from others or alone among others like them? Do they abide in the remote landscapes of legends or in our modern-day cities? Can a woman be a hermit? Who is not a hermit?
In this third collection of poems by Laura Solomon, the Hermit embodies the complicated search for simplicity and shared solitude both at home and abroad. These poems explore the struggle to articulate a precision in language, people, places, and emotions by placing the poet at the heart of a monomyth. This is a gut-wrenching collection that meditates on truth, the unconscious, and the sacrifices of love.
"Laura Solomon's The Hermit steps through the mirror to give us poetry from the dream world—the rent refracted into a fairy tale, the morning spun into lyric communion, signs emptied of and filled with meaning at every break. A Romantic consciousness submerged in the Information Age, The Hermit pledges allegiance to no school or style. What was she, raised by wolves?" —Travis Nichols
“The reader who says, ‘This meaning above all others,’ is like the lover who says, ‘This person above all others.’ Laura Solomon’s poetry rescues love and language from the tendency to reduce either to single, knowable facts by finding missing dimensions of our awareness, how ‘words need meanings but meanings don’t need words,’ how we are perpetually ‘becoming elselike or else / adding elses.’ These are poems of unmappable change and the startling implications of actually being alive." —Paul Killebrew
“When I first read poems by Laura Solomon, I could hardly digest all of the emotional force combined with work always elegantly constructivist. She still, for me, is one of the few poets who is more open than any mere confessional but is also suddenly capable, or always capable, of giving a dream streaming of thoughts within the suffering, happy narrator, usually masterful, vulnerable, and therefore marvelously multiple. Would negatives help? Her poems are full of anaphora but not weighted down by empty repetitions. She has not bought into the dogma of our time, which is either to write ironic little poses and proses, or to take arms with a sea of surrealisms. She surprises. She is writing in extremis, meditations of a woman who is pushing, like a cosmological constant, against the usual gravity. She is bare but always capable. The poems are heart-breaking, as one says of James Schuyler or Randall Jarrell. Laura Solomon is part of a new visionary company that makes a photograph of exile, rhythm, and exaltation.” —David Shapiro
"Is Laura Solomon Gertrude Stein? Yes and no. She's an anti-Gertrude Stein. Both. Slim, elegant, light, passionate and compassionate. The tigress. A singing knitting device, crucial to the American line, spurting freedom and disegno. Her Hermit is fresh air." —Tomaz Salamun
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Laura Solomon was born in 1976 in Birmingham, Alabama. Her books include Bivouac (Slope Editions, 2002), Blue and Red Things (UDP, 2007), and The Hermit (UDP, 2011). Other publications include a chapbook, Letters by which Sisters Will Know Brothers (Katalanché Press 2005) and Haiku des Pierres / Haiku of Stones by Jacques Poullaoueq, a translation from the French with Sika Fakambi (Editions Apogée, 2006). Her poetry was recently included in the anthology Poets on Painters (Witchita State Press 2007), has appeared in magazines across North America and Europe and has been translated into ten languages. Most recently she has lived in Paris, Philadelphia, and Verona, Italy.