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Long After Lauds

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Long After Lauds: Poems by Jeanine Hathaway

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