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From new chapbook, The Long Arc of Grief

I Said Yes

She asked me
if I thought she would be dead
this time next week.
I said yes.

I knew this,
but did not know this.

How else could I have answered
as if she had asked whether I thought
it was going to rain?

I said yes, and yes again,
lengthening that moment between us.
One last blunt truth-telling.
One last intimacy.

What Readers Are Saying:

Laura Schulkind‘s work radiates intelligence, compassion and a nuanced understanding of what it means to be a daughter, a mother and a friend. She’s a fearless truth-teller, shining the light of her poetic language on details we well might have missed otherwise–the small, miraculous moments of discovery, heartbreak and redemption.
–Barbara Quick, Author of Vivaldi’s Virgins

Laura Schulkind’s new book, The Long Arc of Grief addresses the sorrow of loss and even the anxiety and sorrow of impending loss.  But also present in these well-crafted and touching poems is great affection and devotion, and a wonderful generosity of spirit which lift the poems and the reader up.  “Searching for Geronimo” ends with a line “my heart both broken and healed,” and that’s how I felt when I finished this beautiful collection, broken by the references to illness and death which reminded me of the deaths of my own parents, but also moved, buoyed up and healed by the poet’s resilience, and by her warm and courageous embrace of life, of connection, and of love.
–Rafaella Del Bourgo, Author of I Am Not Kissing You, and Inexplicable Business: Poems Domestic and Wild.

Laura Schulkind’s newest collection of poems The Long Arc of Grief dazzles in the scope of life experiences she shares. In the telling of these stories she uses seemingly inconsequential details to capture the moments when our hearts are pierced by misfortune.  In “Dirty Money”, it’s the soda vending machine that keeps spitting out the dollar bill as she waits to hear what she already knows–that she’s losing the baby.  In “The Pedicure”, it’s the bottles of polish, “spread out like little pots of sherbet,” that instantly transported me to the room where her mother is painting her toes as a child. Through these poems, she creates windows into the losses we all face. Yet, ultimately, Laura’s poems reassure, showing us that no matter what comes our way, we find the strength, fortitude, and grace to face these difficult moments.
–Irma Herrera, Playwright/Solo Performer, Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name?, (Best of Festival, 2017 San Francisco Fringe Festival)

 

 

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TO ORDER ONLINE: Visit the Finishing Line Press website

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Works in Lost in Tall Grass include:

Snake and Toad*

Braided into the scrub brush,
I saw them,
snake and toad,
black garter slender as my beckoning finger,
except for its bulging jaw
stretched madly around half the toad,
head already gone,
belly the blue-white of fern tendrils still curled underground,
motionless except for the ripple of skin
stretched thin across its still-beating heart.

*First appeared in Forge Journal (Fall 2012)

What Readers Are Saying:

Your work is amazing!!!
Ben Gibbard, Death Cab for Cutie

Laura Schulkind writes with such a tender touch, her words collectively live among one another like a garden, so natural is the flow and musicality of this beautifully paced, heartfelt prose. The stories Schulkind pens are about everyday people living in an everyday world and once engaged, their narratives come alive and sweep you up. You’ll bask in the humanity—prose so passionate, yet not contrived, so elegant, surely not forced. It all flows—the words, the characters’ stories—coming back to you days after you’ve taken these enriching stories in. 
—Jim Sampas, producer and founder, Reimagine Studios

Laura Schulkind has not only the gift of teasing character from incidentals of appearance and intuition, but a passionate social awareness that allows her characters to live in the real circumstances of a vast variety of American surroundings—from the barrio to the corner office.
—Dan Zegart, author of Civil Warriors: The Legal Siege on the Tobacco Industry and Your Father’s Voice: Letters for Emmy About Life with Jeremy—and Without Him After 9/11

Laura Schulkind is a versatile, fiercely talented writer. I’ve read her poetry, short stories, and chapters from her novel-in-progress, and I truly enjoy her eloquent prose.
—Corina Vacco, author of My Chemical Mountain (Delacorte, June 2013)

Laura Schulkind is a writer of remarkable talent. From her lyric poetry that often seems to grow directly from nature to the epic sweep of her fiction, she exhibits a superb attention to detail and an ability to create complex yet easy-to-identify characters who weave their way through intricate plot twists to a stunning climax. Her new novel, The Justice Center, a murder mystery set in Washington, DC, is sure to thrill and excite every reader.
—John Putnam, author of Into the Face of the Devi