NEW POETRY COLLECTION
Love is ever mysterious. It begins in attraction or vocational passions held in common, or with a dream that seems it will come true if lived with the Other. There is a center, and all is well as long as it holds.
But what if the center alters? Can that love survive?
Laurie Klein's poems search for the answer through their sheer truthfulness of thought and feeling, after she and her journey mate lose their primary point of connection (a particular kind of faith and approach to faith that was embedded in everything they had and did).
One day the shared faith, and all that came with it, was there. And one day it was gone - the result of a combination of disillusionment with the promises of faith and thoughtfulness in a different direction (towards solitude and wilderness).
Anyone who has suffered loss, of romantic love or something else they held dear, will deeply appreciate the range of experience shared in this collection. Grief is mapped - and confusion. Anger sometimes quivers between the lines. Fear, protest, questions, and a possible key: tenacious exploration and a willingness to see the Other for who he really is and what he s truly found.
Through these poems, with their exquisite attention to detail, sound, and rich natural settings, Klein takes her own parallel journey into solitude and wilderness. And there, perhaps, hope for the future is born.
Laurie Brendemuehl Klein is the author of the prize-winning chapbook Bodies of Water, Bodies of Flesh and the classic praise chorus ''I Love You, Lord.'' Her poems and prose have appeared in many publications, including Ascent, The Southern Review, Atlanta Review, Terrain, and the Holman Personal Worship Bible. She is a recipient of the Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry of the Sacred.
"In Where the Sky Opens, Laurie Klein poses an implicit question of location. As it turns out, that sky opens in the reader's heart, crossed by flights of love and loss in poems that sing like red-winged blackbirds on the edge of a northern marsh. With a deftness of image and patience of faith, the poet reminds us to 'let grief be, with every breath, a readied womb.'"
—Paul J. Willis, author of Say This Prayer into the Past
"Klein's first collection of poems is a glorious hymn of praise, inviting us into intimacy with things both known and unknown, earthy and sublime. Her language lifts you from the page into a poetic reverie and deeper reverence for life."
—Christine Valters Paintner, author of The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom
"What sinewy, mature poems these are, dynamic and packed with color! Klein's lines zero in on her life's crucial details that then enlarge, resonate, and fill the frame of the reader's imagination. Dig in. Enjoy. This poet knows her way through words to things too vital to ignore."
—Luci Shaw, Writer in Residence, Regent College, Author of Scape and Adventure of Ascent
"I cannot remember the last time I read a poet with such burly, thrumming, love-addled music—dense and real and salty and singing, adamant and muscular and sharp. Read any three of these poems and you will be more awake, which is what the best poetry is for. This book is that kind of poetry."
—Brian Doyle, author of Mink River
"In her debut collection Where the Sky Opens, Klein invites us, her 'journey mates,' to encounter a world more beautiful, complex and fragile than we often expect at the beginning of our faith histories. From the natural wonder of toads and lichens and mountain trails to the "wild, savory, perilous, graced" marriage relationship, these poems illuminate a sensitivity to life's lights and shadows through some of the most lush and visually intricate language I've read in years. Klein does not only write about, but through the loss of faith--and the love that redeems it—in 'the kingdom emerging in guises we never knew.'"
—Tania Runyan, author of Second Sky