Today's poem is "January"
from Gardening in the Dark

Ausable Press

Laura Kasischke is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Dance and Disappear (Juniper Prize, 2002), What It Wasn't (also 2002), and three novels. Her work has received many honors, including the Alice Fay diCastagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Beatrice Hawley Award, the Pushcart Prize, and the Elmer Holmes Bobst Award for Emerging Writers. She teaches at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

About Gardening in the Dark:

"Laura Kasischke's poetry, like Sylvia Plath's, often begins in and circles domestic, everyday experience: going to the country fair, trying on a dress, being pulled over by the police for speeding, eating fast food. Yet those experiences constantly point elsewhere, to perils beyond. The movement between quotidian, even drab everydayness and the miraculous, magical, surreal associations brought about by musical imperative and the imagination's verve is from one form of incineration to another, always providing light because the light of burning cannot be separated from the light of realization.... Since Rimbaud, poets have known there was no choice but to become a stranger to the self, but the self in this book never finds a stable site of detachment from which to view the inevitable drift towards the end; it refuses that sort of complacency. 'The teacher was death. The blackboard was the sky.' Often the poems read like sequences, arias of dislocations, dis-belongings, literal and figurative mis-fittings, conveying a nearly cheerful richness even as their focus is on dread and decay, on isolation and grief. Stitched through is the dark humor of someone who knows she has a lot to lose, has already had a hell of a time losing half of it and soon enough will the rest. And somehow, Laura Kasischke makes it all seem nearly a celebration."
—Dean Young

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