The Geography of Absence by Gayle Lauradunn
The Geography of Absence is the third poetry collection from Gayle Lauradunn, winner of the 2022 North Street Book Prize for poetry for All the Wild and Holy. In Geography we journey through the absences in her life and the search for what those absences contain.
Poet Morgan Parker says "Absence implies a memory of what once took place." How true are those memories? Can we trust the memories? Ms. Lauradunn writes poetry to learn what the world is about, to learn who she is. The poetry she wrote as a child did not survive her family's many moves. That in itself is an absence.
Ms. Lauradunn has moved many times during her life, as well as travelling to over 40 countries exploring the ways in which both landscape and geography contain absence. But, above all, absence is present in the geography of relationships and the geography within one's self.
Lost love, lost children, lost life are all in this collection. Some absences may be filled, many are there to savor, to love, to hold onto, and respect as absences. And yet, those absences are not holes, and Lauradunn fills those absences with beauty and light.
A wonderful book, one to read and contemplate, to chew and savor as a rare meal of perfectly spiced foods, as often as wanted.
—Lenora Rain-Lee Good, author The Bride's Gate and Other Assorted Writings
A sample poem: