All Blue So Late
All Blue So Late
The skeleton of this fine collection is a series of direct addresses to the author’s fourteen-year-old self, caught at the moment between girlhood and womanhood, when her perspective on everything suddenly changes. Swearingen-Steadwell’s poetic adventures through worlds within and without reveal the restlessness of the seeker. They offer unabashed tenderness to anyone who reckons with solitude, and chases joy.
"This beautiful collection could very well have been written to save lives—the speaker’s, yes, and mine (a black woman poet). Perhaps, even yours. I’d slide this volume into the hands of any black girl or woman on a cusp—the coming-of-age 9th grader, the 18-year-old striking out on her own, the woman exiting a relationship, pairs of female friends... Swearingen-Steadwell is a true logophile, as seen in the way her careful diction and well-wrought images offer the reader glimpses into her worldly travels. One of the book’s many pleasures is the way she’s seeded these lyric-narrative hybrids with place details and subject-specific lexicon, a testimony to the superb wordsmith she is. For the curious and attentive reader, this book opens like a flower, one poem at a time." —Maya Marshall, RHINO Reviews
"All Blue So Late is a collection of libretti for agitated souls. Each poem has deeply inventive and disturbing candor. Laura Swearingen-Steadwell is narratively fearless. Her ghosts and demons rise from a deeper place than I could have previously imagined. If there is a template for the autobiographical/ mystical dimensions of this book, it perhaps is 'The Woman Pouring Handfuls of Ash.' The fabrics of this poet's experience may at first seem torn to pieces and then, to a careful reader, finally reveal themselves as whole-cloth and entirely beautiful. An immensely talented poet." —Howard Norman, author of Next Life Might Be Kinder