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Difficult Fruit Paperback – February 24, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

In a masterful and sure poetic voice, a stunning debut, Lauren Alleyne takes us through the milestones of a life--from the vulnerabilities of a woman facing the pressures of forming her own identity, to what it means to be a person of difference, to what it means to journey through a culture with racial profiling. At the same time, Alleyne shows us what it means to love, to become engaged in a life of passion­-- directed not only toward a single person but toward the world at large.
 
--Mary Swander, Poet Laureate of Iowa, author of The Girls on the Roof

To go back "is a verb conjugated in dreams," Lauren Alleyne writes in her debut volume Difficult Fruit, inscribing the governing mystery of this work, the secret knowledge of the dead. There is uncommon spiritual knowledge here as well as political discernment. There is much to learn while accompanying Alleyne on her "raft of language," through a troubled world and an imagined heaven, to the place "from which comes all singing." I have gone with her and would do so again and again.
                                                                        
--Carolyn Forché
 

"Readers will enjoy this body of work because of its unconventional approach and Alleyne’s personal touch is just enough for readers to understand that she's writing from the heart. Take the plunge and enjoy a piece of Difficult Fruit." —Leslie Haídez De Jesús, qbr.com

About the Author

Lauren K. Alleyne was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Cornell University, where she also completed a Graduate Certificate in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Alleyne's fiction, poetry and non-fiction has been widely published in journals and anthologies, and has been awarded several prizes, such as the Small Axe Literary Prize and a Lyrical Iowa Award, among others. Difficult Fruit is her first collection of poetry.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Peepal Tree Press Ltd. (February 24, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845232275
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845232276
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,359,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lauren K. Alleyne was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. In 1997, she left home to study Radiologic Science and Nuclear Medical Technology at St. Francis College, in NY. However, in her junior year, she became an English major, and went on to graduate with honors with a BA in English. She went on to earn an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Iowa State University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Cornell University, where she also completed a Graduate Certificate in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Alleyne's fiction, poetry and non-fiction has been widely published in journals and anthologies, and has been awarded several prizes, such as the Small Axe Literary Prize and a Lyrical Iowa Award, among others. Her first collection of poetry, Difficult Fruit, will be published in February 2014

Lauren is currently the Poet-in-Residence and an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, IA

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rita Chin on March 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
Filled with fire, with longing, with a fierce intelligence and a lyrical pulse, DIFFICULT FRUIT is, in many ways, a series of rights of passage. With several of the poems written to/from a particular age (such as the devastatingly gorgeous poem, "Eighteen," which I will carry with me for the rest of my life), this book moves compellingly between the worlds of the body and of the spirit and of the heart, and finds, on the roads between, both sorrow and salvation, beauty and loss, and ultimately a sure-footedness that claims its roots (and its freedom) in language. At times elegiac, at times thrumming with beginnings, these poems mark the powerful debut of an extraordinary voice.
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Format: Paperback
Open-hearted and vulnerable, DIFFICULT FRUIT is a journey of finding security and peace after trauma. Alleyne is a sure-footed poet; delicate with emotion, innovative with style, and poignant throughout, she takes violent or horrific subjects and helps us through them, helps us understand them. The standout poem in this collection is "Eighteen," a tightly woven series of sonnets about finding your way after trauma--in the poet's case, rape. Alleyne tells us that language can become a raft--and that we can use it to find our way. This is a supreme debut collection from a voice to watch--recommended to everyone who loves poetry and has an ear for a gorgeous voice.
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