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New Hunger, A
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
$16.00 paperback
978-1-931337-32-8
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New Hunger, A  (paperback)
Laure-Anne Bosselaar

"Laure-Anne Bosselaar divides her latest collection, A New Hunger, into three sections: a long poem, 'Against Again'; a series of linked sonnets called 'The River's Mouth, The Boat, The Undertow'; and a miscellany of short lyrics collectively entitled A New Hunger… In all three sections, the poet deals poignantly with themes of loss and longing. Especially moving is 'Against Again,' a delicate elliptical memoir poem in which the speaker recalls being abandoned by an unloving mother to life in a convent among equally unloving nuns. Bosselaar is particularly good at the telling detail, as when she recalls the lonely, cloistered environment… As the woman recalls her various experiences—being harshly reprimanded by the her mother for spilling ink on the rug, being severely beaten by the nuns—the reader may think of Dickens or Charlotte Brontë, since the childhood experiences recalled here seem Victorian in their severity and remoteness… Bosselaar's moments of white heat come when her speakers understand again and again that true connection is impossible for them."—The Georgia Review

 


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Poems available from this book:
Elegy
Garage Sale
March Chimes
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For New Hunger, A, Laure-Anne Bosselaar

 

"Bosselaar collects many New York moments in this book because the moods of this collection are, like New York, always in transit, always fleeting. Chance encounters (an overheard cell phone conversation, a familiar name called out on the subway platform, a respite on a public bench overlooking the Hudson) become serendipitous opportunities for reflection and for holding on to the value of the ephemeral… This book is a treasure."—Roberto Gonzalez, Poetry magazine

"It is no unkindness to say that irony is the compliment poetry pays to history. When the impulse to sincerity is pickled in experience, it becomes ripe for equivocations, puns, rhymes: all devices of ambivalence… Yet [Bosselaar's] intelligence is such that she is in fact ambivalent about ambivalence, conflicted about multivalence, and hesitant about repetition, so often outed as mere sameness. After all, love makes us rethink the drag of duplications, for the acts of love are, more often than not, acts of repetition. To step away from love's rituals is to become, in a sense, a willing participant in time, which, like a mighty river, swirls into history. Yet, just as the impulse to tame the clock doesn't stop, neither does the act of making poems. Considering that painstaking craft invites the very pain it seeks to control, Bosselaar registers the distance between her abandonment and the present with consistency and patience. Hers is a wound that figures in the gap between Europe and the United States. At the same time, way more time passes than does space, but since neither is finite, this passing is like a great treasury expenditure, not something petty, not easily dispensed."—The Cortland Review

"Jacques Maritain says that he’d like poetry 'to turn self-awareness into a superior sort of simplicity,' and this is what, page after page, Bosselaar does. From the long poem that begins the collection and the ambitious sonnet sequence that follows it, to almost any of the shorter lyrics, she shows a masterful control of pacing and tone. And all of the poems feel necessary, embodied. She’s written a book of urgent meditations, which places her already good work on a new level. I love what she's done."—Stephen Dunn

"… In all, the poems of A New Hunger are exquisite gems and the collection a treasure."—Salem Press

"Laure-Anne Bosselaar divides her latest collection, A New Hunger, into three sections: a long poem, 'Against Again'; a series of linked sonnets called 'The River's Mouth, The Boat, The Undertow'; and a miscellany of short lyrics collectively entitled A New Hunger … In all three sections, the poet deals poignantly with themes of loss and longing. Especially moving is 'Against Again,' a delicate elliptical memoir poem in which the speaker recalls being abandoned by an unloving mother to life in a convent among equally unloving nuns. Bosselaar is particularly good at the telling detail, as when she recalls the lonely, cloistered environment… As the woman recalls her various experiences—being harshly reprimanded by the her mother for spilling ink on the rug, being severely beaten by the nuns—the reader may think of Dickens or Charlotte Brontë, since the childhood experiences recalled here seem Victorian in their severity and remoteness… Bosselaar’s moments of white heat come when her speakers understand again and again that true connection is impossible for them."—The Georgia Review

"Memory, that great distiller of significance, is no less important for Laure-Anne Bosselaar, whose third book recalls self-centered parents and nightmarish experiences at a convent school in her native Belgium. Whereas Harrington writes to preserve, Bosselaar writes, as she variously puts it, 'to let go' to be 'done with it'; but both deal with family, loss, and the threat of oblivion… Bosselaar's best situations provoke awareness and often have Proustian triggers. She is brilliant at transitions, film-like cuts from present to past… "—The Hudson Review

"Bosselaar… has tuned her poetry to the perfect pitch. There's not a word out of place, and the work retains a dreamy beauty to it, somewhat removed from the strum und drang of ordinary life, while still remaining a part of it." —Small Press Review

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