In monastic life, the first hour of daily prayers, Matins, roused the community to wake up. Wisely, the second hour was Lauds, which means praise—praise with that freshly-awakened consciousness. In this way, such an attitude toward the world, seen and unseen, could be absorbed before breakfast. The poems in Long After Lauds continue that tradition, though outside a community, of waking up, reflecting, and discerning what there is to praise. And how. And whom.
Long After Lauds is a sojourn that takes the reader to unexpected places. In a voice that is funny, smart, and compassionate, sometimes all at once, the book constructs an introspective retrospective of a woman charged with insatiable curiosity and accommodating doubt looking over a life marked by significant changes: ex-nun, ex-wife, grandmother, professor emerita, traveler. Over decades, she acknowledges with gratitude her own daily shaping by students, grandchildren, rhinos, a public and private history full of saints and ain’ts. Beyond her earlier community chanting Lauds, she explores its resonance with wit and wistfulness and arrives at this truth: praise over time alters the one who gives it.
Jeanine Hathaway currently enjoys Professor emerita status from Wichita State University, having taught creative writing and literature there. She was a poetry mentor in Seattle Pacific University’s MFA Program. Hathaway is the author of the autobiographical novel Motherhouse (1992), the 2001 Vassar Miller Poetry Prize-winning The Self as Constellation (2002), and a chapbook, The Ex-Nun Poems (2011).
From Slant Books | Hardcover: 9781532689284 | Paperback: 9781532689291 | eBook: 9781532689307 | 84 pp. | $ | June 2019