Permanent Address   (May 2008)


By Lorna Knowles Blake

ISBN: 978-0-912592-61-9

Permanent Address is the winner of the 2006 Richard Snyder Publication Prize.

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"Oh, deliver me from the familiar,/from the old maps and their destinations/that are pre-destinations, nothing more." In this first collection, Blake has found her own way to answer her prayer: she confronts the ordinary in her life and changes its course, its importance, through keen consideration and well-chosen words. Blake's skills rest not only in her blend of colloquial and exacting diction with a sharp ear and enticing music but also in her delightful way of seeing the everyday: "Love will pitch a tent anywhere—…./Marriage vows to build a home." The new bride in her new Eden, shopping the aisles and naming the incidentals for house and family, is a lot like Eve, who "knew the word fruit/but not its implications." The answer to Blake's prayer is not as simple as it might appear, though. Daughter, wife, mother: this is a web in which it is difficult to move about. Ultimately, this collection celebrates the charm and grace that belong to domestic life, the world in which love has built its house. A smart and thoughtful collection; highly recommended."

- Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia, PA, Library Journal, August 15, 2008


"Daughter, wife, mother, bilingual cosmopolite, Lorna Knowles Blake understands from the inside “dulce de leche,” teenage girls, and closing a summer house. But there’s another kind of inwardness here, as Blake is drawn by memories and dreams into a private realm weighted with unsettling wisdom. “Ordinary?” asks one poem, “What does it mean?” The poems in Permanent Address encourage us to find answers to this deceptively mild question."

- Rachel Hadas


"Lorna Knowles Blake is a poet who writes with elegance, wit and formal invention. Her subjects are love, marriage, family, and the kinds of commitment needed to sustain them. Reading her work, one sees again and again the contingencies of domestic life transformed by those rituals that give them place and permanence. Permanent Address is a wise and joyful collection by a poet of impressive accomplishment."

- Charles Martin


"Our dense, intricate world constantly seeks new voices to express its vitality, and in Lorna Knowles Blake it has found a splendid one. The poems in Permanent Address – wistful, intimate, triumphant in their control of language yet always attuned to loss and longing – are the exhilarating exempla of a consciousness that is fully formed and astonishingly well-equipped to name, measure and celebrate the reality that surrounds it."

- Vijay Seshadri


About the Author

Lorna BlakeLorna Knowles Blake was born in Havana and lived in Cuba, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Puerto Rico before moving to the United States to attend college. She was educated at Trinity College (B.A.), New York University (M.B.A.) and Sarah Lawrence College (M.F.A.). Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, The Bell­ingham Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Hudson Review and other journals, as well as in several anthologies. In addition to her position as Executive Director of New York State’s Interest on Lawyer Account Fund, she has taught creative writing at the 92nd Street Y and served as Senior Poetry Editor at the journal Rattapallax. She and her family live in New York City and Cape Cod.

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