Finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry
“Clear, compelling and insightful.” —Washington Post
Earthy and lyrical, Only as the Day Is Long draws from Dorianne Laux’s five expansive, award-winning volumes and includes twenty new odes that pay homage to the poet’s mother. Exploring experiences of survival and healing, of sexual love and celebration, Only as the Day Is Long represents a bold and brilliant body of work from a “poet of immense insight and masterful craft” (Kwame Dawes).
About the Author
Dorianne Laux teaches poetry in the Program in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University and is a founding faculty member of Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program. A National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and a recipient of the Paterson Prize, she lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
One of our most daring contemporary poets.… Only as the Day Is Long gives us Laux’s lyric powers evolving over the course of her career.
— Diana Whitney
Beyond her admirable tenacity and spirit, Laux is just plain wise—and refreshingly unpretentious in her wisdom.… Laux’s new poems arrive at the end of the collection as a perfect finale.
— Jonathan Russell Clark
Laux is majestic.… Her selected poems are gorgeous to revisit, but these new pieces are symphonic—and they become a perfect coda of grief.
— Nick Ripatrazone
[I’ve] been savoring Dorianne Laux’s Only as the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems.… [I]was blown away by the newer poems about her mother in particular. You may want this book on your bedside table this summer, too. I know it will stay on mine—with a pen close by.
— Maggie Smith
The ability to write accessible poetry is proof that Laux is an expert. She captures human sentiment and weaves emotions into multisensory landscapes with accurate details. Rich with detailed, layered poems, Only As the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems is a collection of Laux’s finest.… A necessary addition to a home library.
— Andrew Jarvis
When Laux welcomes readers into a personal moment, she speaks for humankind.… This is a catalogue of honest work, from beginning to end.
Dorianne Laux is one of those poets I turn to again and again for cradling beauty and darkness so close together in a poem.
— Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of Oceanic
Another splendid new one by one of our best, who never stops paying attention, and is never unwilling, and summons from her readers unwavering trust.
— Mark Doty, author of Deep Lane
Throughout the years and throughout her five books Dorianne Laux has not faltered. She has wrestled with the angels and with the serpents; Eros and Thanatos are wrestling still, and the sound they make is the sound of this woman singing.
— Marie Howe, author of Magdalene
Dorianne Laux’s Only as the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems gifts the reader with a foundation that bears the true weight of life and death. Each trope rises out of lived feeling?everyday rituals bend toward the sacred as beauty peers through a pure, honest language. Here, at the heart of mastery, is an American voice paying dues through tribute. These poems dare to sing and cross borders, in step with the natural and universal.
— Yusef Komunyakaa, author of The Emperor of Water Clocks