Litany of Flights
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Winner of the 2020 Paraclete Poetry Prize, Litany of Flights is a luminous examination of the journey of the soul, from moments of loss to moments of incandescent transformation. These poems remind us to behold the extraordinary in the ordinary, and that the secret workings of the divine occur even through the difficult: "the painful paring of your hollow bones has made you light."
Drawing on the beauty of the natural world, the devastating effects of drought and wildfires, tender moments of daily experience, and lessons of the saints, the poet creates a landscape of light and darkness, with unexpected turns into divine presence and absence. Through a spiral of red-tailed hawks, the nest of a mourning dove, the parting of waters, and the ripeness of a persimmon, this shimmering collection invites the reader to singular and transfiguring flight.
"Litany of Flights turns its gaze to the natural world and to the heightened sacramental reality with which, as Hopkins puts it, all the created order is charged. At every turn, these mysteries are grounded in the sensory details of the world we apprehend, tree, sun, and star, squirrel and deer, fruit and flower, hawk and dove." --Sally Thomas, author of Motherland
"Hogan's collection is lush with rivers, moonlight, and flowers. It is also sharp with scrub brush, lightning, and flame. Like the Scripture she draws from, her poems both comfort and unsettle with fierce imagery: 'You wait for me to discover your love among the leaves and thorns...I join/your written roses in swaying dance, in blood-red bloom of belonging.' Her poems are an invitation directly into the heart of this swaying dance. This is a debut that will draw you into wonder without letting go." -Tania Runyan, author of What Will Soon Take Place
"Combines the rich language of Gerard Manley Hopkins with the fierce passion of Elizabeth Barrett Browning to become a twenty-first-century singer of the ancient Song of Songs. A new, loving, musical voice that you will want to hear and incorporate into your prayers." -Paul J. Willis, author of Deer at Twilight: Poems from the North Cascades
"Some poets say their poems are borne in them; some believe poems come through: that the writer is merely the vessel. Such poets often take less credit for that voice of which they are the vehicle. These are the poets who give thanks and who praise. They come straight out of the mystical tradition, locked in a dance with the music and lyricism of St. Francis, Hopkins, St. John of the Cross, Herbert, Rumi, and Kabir. Laura Reece Hogan adds her name to this tradition in Litany of Flights. She is a true poet, and this is a sensational debut." -David Keplinger, author of The Long Answer: New and Selected Poems
"Hogan never yearns to escape this world, or the hurt and pain of living in it-rather her poems yearn to enter the world ever more deeply. What links them is their posture of prayer: the work of paring away what is nonessential in the speaker until, hollowed, like the bones of birds, she is light enough for flight." -Robert Cording, author of Walking with Ruskin, and Professor Emeritus at College of the Holy Cross