cover of book

by Laton Carter
University of Chicago Press, 2004
Paper: 978-0-226-09519-6 | Cloth: 978-0-226-09518-9
Library of Congress Classification PS3603.A7775L43 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

Whether charting the moments before or after work, the unspoken emotions accompanying separation and reunion, or the necessity of a grocery store as a "last place" for people to engage publicly, Laton Carter's poems attend to the parts of our lives that are easiest to ignore, like solitary highway drivers passing in their cars and the unspoken link binding people together. In poem after poem, the speaker relentlessly pulls the reader to spaces, both physical and emotional—fearful of the inability to bridge the gap between ideas, places, and individuals, yet unable to avoid trying. Mining the territory of responsibility and longing, these poems remind us that the minutiae and variation in our private lives combine to serve up a larger public identity. An impressively mature first collection of poems, Leaving is a bold book that eschews the superfluous, leaving only that which is most essential and meaningful.

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