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This Business of Wisdom


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The poems in This Business of Wisdom suggest a syllabus of the lessons each human faces “as you grow, persistent but clumsy, into your bones.” With sometimes playful, often painted language, the author draws upon nature, music, dreams and current events to illustrate how to gain one’s place in the world. Chaos can be met with patience and perseverance. Despite obstacles, dangers and painful losses, the poet shows us how what we see can be trusted. With this first volume of poetry, Lauren Camp focuses a prismatic lens on the ragged aesthetic of society, and by doing so, constructs an educated view of life.

In “Wisconsin,” the poet runs a finger over a map on an imagined road trip. We are guided and we believe we have been there because the language is so full of signposts. Lauren Camp’s poems work in this way. She takes us on wisdom’s precise road trip, where the emotional and daily news collide, and the personal and political cohabit and provide counterpoint. And we are willing travelers.

Joan Logghe, author of Rice and Twenty Years in Bed with the Same Man

This is a beautiful collection of wide-ranging poems that skillfully and lovingly evoke “the wisdom of the messy world.” Sad, sweet, celebratory, bent with loss – these poems remind us of what poetry tries, does, and should.

Valerie Martínez, author of Absence, World to World and Each & Her