Afterglow is a poetry of love born, lost and then regained. With meticulous and lyric detail, Laura Jan Shore examines her relationship with her husband from a myriad of angles like a painter contemplating the lifelines of her subject, conveying deeply felt emotion but without the shorthand of sentimentality. This is about love that endures beyond the confines of mortal time. By the author of Water Over Stone.
|ISBN 9781922332219 (PB, 78pp);
140mm x 216mm
|AUD $25||USD $18||NZD $28||GBP £12||EUR €14|
|ISBN 9781922332226 (eBook)||AUD $13||USD $9||NZD $15||GBP £6||EUR €7|
No one knows how many times we’re born / or why, life after life, this joy and devastation. This is the mystery explored again and again in Laura Jan Shore’s beautifully written and fully imagined poems that comprise Afterglow. She revisits her dead husband, and he revisits her in various guises, times, places and voices, each a facet of the many person-ed selves we are and have been to one another during this lifetime and into the next. The wisdom in these poems is startling and snaps us into and out of dream. Shore reminds us poem by poem: You know you’re here to be / broken. Nothing to fix.
– Dorianne Laux, author, Only As the Day is Long: New and Selected
My ears throb / with listening. / Your silence, / my uproar.
Afterglow is at once a reckoning with loss and a celebration of what has been lost and the richness that remains. It honours a love story with two endings, the second one final. You will find raw grief transmuted into startling poems. Intertwined with death and its seismic aftermath are sensual pleasures recalled, humour alongside sorrow and anger, and a poignant portrait of one much-loved.
– Tricia Dearborn, author, Autobiochemistry
Born in the UK, raised in the US, Laura Jan Shore immigrated to Australia in 1996 and has lived on the Far North Coast of New South Wales ever since. Her previous poetry collections include Breathworks (Dangerously Poetic Press, 2002) and Water over Stone, IP Picks Best Poetry 2011, Interactive Press. Her YA novel, The Sacred Moon Tree (Bradbury Press, 1986) was nominated for the Washington Irving Children’s Book Award. Her work has been published in anthologies and literary journals on four continents including in Aesthetica, Magma and The Best Australian Poems (2013).
Her readings have included Poetica on Radio National, The Brett Whitely reading series, the Hudson Valley Writer’s Center in NY, Perth Poetry Club, the Sydney Writers Festival, Byron Bay Writers Festival and Queensland Poetry Festival. She’s held residencies at New Pacific Studio, New Zealand, KSP Writers Centre in Perth, Varuna in the Blue Mts. and the Poets on Wheels tour, 2003.
President of Dangerously Poetic Press, she co-edited 13 books and has facilitated poetry readings since 2000. She has been teaching creative writing and poetry since 1980.
After her husband’s sudden death, she felt compelled to piece together the mosaic of contradictions—his enigmatic character and the love that saw them through: marriage, divorce, five years on separate continents and then re-marriage for an additional thirteen years. To write about this, she needed support. She enrolled in the MFA program at Pacific University, Portland, Oregon where she had the privilege to work with some of her favourite poets such as: Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar, Sandra Alcosser, Kwame Dawes and Ellen Bass. In June, 2019 she received her MFA in Creative Writing and completed the manuscript for Afterglow.
Poetry brings solace and renewal in a chaotic world. Laura will continue to encourage local community building through poetry. Her dream is to find fresh ways to connect poets and poetry lovers so they might nourish and sustain each other in a global community.
Laura's previous IP title Water Over Stone
Recent work in The Griffith Review
Ours is a fractured romance. We appear
to each other in so many disguises.
You stumble on the beach and presto,
we’re two French soldiers in a trench
touching fingers in a rain of mud and blood.
We might be making love when, in the pale light
of dusk, your ecstasy becomes
a killer’s mask. I wrestle back my scream.
When the weight of your need collapses me,
you are the infant, chewing on the sinews of my heart.
Like shadows, they’re an overlay
upon the day we’re living, a transfiguration.
No one knows how many times we’re born
or why, life after life, this joy and devastation.
Outside my window, the you-you-you
of mourning doves and I wake, bewildered.
The redwoods hold each other up
below the soil, intertwined.
On your side of the bed I’ve spread
a felled tree’s worth of poetry.
The mulch of memory.
Your stopped breath still
saturates my lungs.
In the night, the moans that startle me
are my own.
Each room where you are not,
your things imprinted with your touch,
I gather into piles to give away or toss.
I carry that spark
Where do our high-voltage fingers
find each other in the dark?
His belly was a dance floor
in a former life, feet pounding jigs
on worn, pine boards
stretched across his navel,
his eyes two bronze-tinted mirrors.
This Swami is a carpenter,
meditates on his lunch hour,
sprawls on the hood of an old blue Ford.
All day he hums
his I know nothing waltz,
summoning soft rains
for the parched plains of Africa,
for us, balmy winter nights.
You want Spring? I’ll give you, Spring.
Conjuror of cartoon crows, yellow
beaked and sassy, he bellows
their Walt Disney jive
from rafters as he hammers,
each Zen blow in perfect pitch.
Quitting time, he snaps maroon suspenders
dressed in blue jeans and saw dust.
You could always sense
when a movie was about to
go south, as you called it.
We’d set out with eager expectations:
a romantic dinner, then settle into plush chairs
a box of popcorn to share.
Sometimes it was just after the credits,
other times deeper in, popcorn finished,
squeezing hands, leaning forward,
when you’d excuse yourself,
to the toilet or for another bottle of water
and I knew you wouldn’t be back.
Remember Robert Redford in The Horse Whisperer,
how I stumbled into the foyer, into your waiting
arms, doubled over with sobs?
Don’t ever leave me alone in a movie like that.
But that’s a promise you refused to make.
Once the violins crescendo
and they bring in the cello,