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The Philosopher's Daughter
February 2013

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Sometimes I Hear The Clock Speak
March 2016

Keeping Planes in the Air

Lori Desrosiers

ISBN:  978-1-912561-87-2

Page Count: 94

Publication Date: Thursday, March 05, 2020

Cover Artwork: Photograph by Jessie Lendennie

About this Book

In this thoughtful and nuanced collection, Lori Desrosiers maps that country sometimes called the past, sometimes called memory, into which loved ones have gone or soon will be disappearing. It’s a space limned by nostalgia, which can be beautiful for the trace of what used to be, in the way that an armless goddess is lovely. It’s a place inhabited by spectral presences who don’t seem to realize they are going or gone— Such is the thrall and pull that this world still exerts over all of us. And so, the ghosts of those who perished in the tsunami in Japan hail taxis and reserve private rooms at hotels. The poet’s grandmother at 70 shoplift[s] at the five and dime. The ghost of Emily Dickinson speaks through her washbowl, her inkwell, her quill. In the ordinary calamity of our days, we seek their guidance and benevolence. Among those still with us, we realize we miss each other even while we’re still here. Love is a longing thrown across a bridge where someone is waiting on the other side: we call to each other, we wait for the answer. The poems in Keeping Planes in the Air live in both the waiting and the calling—but the poet gently reminds us that it is the work of our breathing that keeps things aloft. 

Luisa A. Igloria

Poet Henrik Nordbrant speaks of “the glow which approaching death/ leaves on photographs of people who died young/ in the memory of those left behind.” Such is the aura of singular brilliance in the face of utter bereavement and forfeiture manifested in the verse found in Lori Desrosiers’ new volume of poems, Keeping Planes in the Air. The poetry tendered here widens from an insular grief toward “finding beauty in imperfection/ how skin stretches to accommodate/ bones their restless march towards death.” We glimpse the poet’s vision in a space where “the ghost of our intentions/ lingers in peripheral vision/ like the flash of light/ from a torn retina,” and in those glimmers of an afterlife “we are torn/ between staying put/ and taking flight.” Keeping Planes in the Air is for any of us who have witnessed the ambiguity of holding onto our lives and loves in the constant presence of an impending loss that leaves us (and the poet) with a wounded wonderment ‘which is/ more than [we] can fathom/ or just enough.”
Christina Lovin

Author Biography

Lori Desrosiers’ other poetry books are The Philosopher’s Daughter, Salmon Poetry, 2013, and Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak, Salmon Poetry, 2016. She has two chapbooks, Inner Sky (2015) and typing with e.e. cummings (2019), both from Glass Lyre Press. Her poems have appeared in New Millennium Review, Cutthroat, Peacock Journal, String Poet, Blue Fifth Review, Pirene's Fountain, New Verse News, Mom Egg Review, and many other journals and anthologies. She was a finalist for the Joy Harjo poetry contest and the New Millennium contest. Her poem “about the body” won the Liakoura poetry award from Glass Lyre Press. She holds an MFA in Poetry from New England College. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She founded and edits Naugatuck River Review, a journal of narrative poetry and, an online journal dedicated to social justice. She teaches Poetry in the Interdisciplinary Studies program for the Lesley University M.F.A. graduate program. Her website is

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