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Square Feet

Lori A. May

Square Feet, Lori A. May's latest book of poetry, features intimate, courageous poems that invite the reader to witness moments in a couple's journey through joys and challenges. These unassuming poems succeed in depicting serious and complex issues through the details of day-to-day life.

What Others Say About Square Feet:

Within the square footage of ordinary domestic space, Lori A. May reveals a world of wonder where "wedding dishes gather dust" and a couple speaks "of kindle,/matches, seeds." As she takes her reader beyond the closed doors of a starter home, May reveals the shifting seasons of married life, creating an empathetic portrait of a young couple buoyed by ambition, shattered by loss, yet determined to start anew. With wit and wisdom, Square Feet pays incisive tribute to those unsung "reminders of lips/and fingers and tongues/busy with the ceremony/of feasting."

—Jane Satterfield

The resilient poems in Lori A. May's Square Feet understand that we should never denigrate the everyday since our lives are made up of it. Dish-washing, furnishing a first home, late suppers and dinner parties, building balance into a relationship, cats on the sill, the parental visit, the possibility of childlessness, gardening, and shopping, the day-to-day exists here in the fullness of its metaphoric potential. These poems are cautious about optimism (for "Gravity/ has been known to be cruel") but persist in desire. Often leavened with wry humor, May's poems aim to look at the world square on, and yet still have the courage to hope.

—Christine Gelineau

Each of Lori A. May's vivid aphoristic poems in Square Feet raises a miniature window into a moment of marriage or domestic life. Unadorned and unafraid, May's lines recreate these scenes of love and angst in dioramas of plain words and short lines. Square Feet gives us sex and despair, yes, but also quizzical whimsy. The truths of wry surprises make these poems the work of a mature heart and a trenchant tongue.

—Molly Peacock


Place Settings

She likes to play house with paper
plates and fine china; shelved
wedding gifts gather dust
saved for a special occasion—
the celebrations she envisions
but rarely cares to entertain.
Her saucers and cups sit pretty,
symbolic of civilities she imagines
will come around some day when
she meets the right quintet of people
who will appreciate refined qualities
in quantity. She amasses white bone
and silver lines, silks softening
the stack of potential cocktail company
she stores for a future time, place,
her calling. Still a work in progress,
she gathers arrangements on sale,
wagering today's canned beans
on tomorrow's fresh caviar. She waits
for the moment when chargers will ignite
a reaction and reflection of something real.

Details and Ordering

Publication Date: January 6, 2014
Format: Softcover, 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-936628-22-3
Price: $12.00

Ships on or before January 6th, 2014

About the Author

Lori A. May writes across the genres, road-trips half the year, and drinks copious amounts of coffee. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, Writer's Digest, Brevity, Midwestern Gothic, and The Writer. Her editorial roles have included working with Kaylie Jones Books (an imprint of Akashic Books), Creative Nonfiction, and other independent presses. She is also the founding editor of Poets' Quarterly. Lori is a graduate of the Wilkes University MFA program, where she was awarded the Norris Church Mailer Fellowship. She teaches in the University of King's College creative nonfiction MFA program and is a frequent guest speaker at writing conferences and residencies across North America. Visit her website at www.loriamay.com.

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