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Veil and Burn (National Poetry Series) Paperback – March 4, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: National Poetry Series
  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 025207503X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252075032
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,842,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"In a poem that celebrates ease of movement, Lambeth writes 'who wouldn't want to/embrace that bird like air, feel its bones shift to leave you?' Poem after poem calls up this desire to rise above her symptoms of multiple sclerosis, above 'the feeling of true slowness' that assails her. She is both lyrical and pragmatic, nostalgic and tough-minded. As she says, 'Praise to all flinging bodies'--and to this brave book."--Maxine Kumin, author of Jack and Other New Poems

"Laurie Clements Lambeth understands that the crisis facing the speaker in this indelible book--the dawning struggles of MS, which troubles the nerves and veils and burns the vision--is an intensification of what it is to be any body, the edge-of-crisis on which we all dwell. But her title also suggests the way photographers enhance images in the darkroom, making them more defined and beautiful. With courage and formal acuity, humor and tenderness, Lambeth 'veils and burns' a moving debut, a suite of poems that are forthright, adult, and entirely humane."--Mark Doty, author of School of the Arts

Book Description

Concerned with physical experience, pain, and disability, Veil and Burn illuminates an intense desire to feel through the Other, embrace it, become it, and in the transformation, to understand the suffering body. In poems about animals, artifacts, and monsters, Lambeth displays a fascination for all bodies while exploring their pain, common fate, alienation, and abilities. Hovering between poem and prose fragment, between the self and fellow creatures, Laurie Clements Lambeth celebrates physical sensation, imbuing it with lyric shape, however broken, however imprisoned the shape may be.

More About the Author

Laurie Clements Lambeth grew up in Southern California, moving north from Laguna Beach to Santa Ynez. She was educated at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and received her MFA and doctoral degrees from the University of Houston's creative writing program, where she was awarded a Michener fellowship and a Inprint fellowship in memory of Donald Barthelme. An avid horsewoman, she trained and showed horses for many years. She has lived with multiple sclerosis, a subject of much of her work, for her entire adult life. Her first book, "Veil and Burn," won the National Poetry Series and was a top finalist for "Shenandoah's" Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers. Her poetry and essays have appeared in "The Paris Review," "Mid-American Review," "The Iowa Review," and elsewhere. She is currently at work on her second collection, "Bright Pane," and a book of creative nonfiction.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
The debut poetry collection by Laurie Clements Lambeth (who has been previously published in such magazines as the "Paris Review" and "Mid-American Review"), Veil and Burn is a selection of poems chosen by Maxine Kumin to form a worthy addition to the National Poetry Series. In particular, Veil and Burn uses free-verse poetic narration to explore issues of bodily human suffering, physical pain, and the common fate that binds people together despite forces that conspire to alienate them. "Onion": This morning, when your hand traced / the skin on my collarbone and throat / I could smell the onion you had chopped / last night in the pores of your fingers. // With each pass of your hand the repeated / scent, warm, delicious, grew as familiar / as the sensation of your particular touch, / as the windows' wide shafts slanting to wake us.
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