The Long Surprise

978-1-881515-35-7 Paperback
5.5 x 8.5. 80 pp.
Pub Date: 08/29/2001
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Winner of the 2000 X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize
Contest Judge X. J. Kennedy heralds Barbara Lau's The Long Surprise as "full of unexpectedness . . . feeling and verve" and "a confident step onto the main stage of American poetry."

Adds Eleanor Wilner, "Here is a poet of candor, vigor and daylight vision, who loves without illusion. . . whose ear is unerring, and whose startlingly fresh images push up like 'wild mint . . . through sidewalks.'"

Posing questions about the making of art ("Is chaos / counterpoint to art, or instead, / its tuning fork?"), marriage ("How little is enough?"), faith, family, and selfhood ("Where does she begin / and I end?"), Lau explores "how life announces itself" at our uneasy turn of the century.

Her poems witness both the horrific the loss of a child, the greed of the impoverished, the motives behind child prostitution and common pleasures "so dense they sedate you."

Published by Texas Review Press