Laps is the winner of the 1984 Juniper Prize, the annual poetry award sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Press. The book is a sequence of poems in 32 sections written in the voice of a swimmer engaged in a half-mile swim. Blumenthal sees swimming as an act of rhythm and purification, of immersion and transformation, of exile, initiation, and return. His poems have an extraordinary combination of brightness and depth. They record a complex pattern of rhythms, a motion somewhere between incantation and prayers, between sport and ritual, between wakefulness and sleep, between our terrestrial life and the aquatic species we evolve from.
For his first book of poems, Sympathetic Magic, Michael Blumenthal won the 1980 Water Mark Poets of North America First Book Award. He has also published a second volume, Days We Would Rather Know, and holds a Briggs-Copeland Lectureship in Poetry at Harvard University. Blumenthal has held a creative fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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- ID: 9780870234606
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