All That Divides Us

All That Divides Us: Poems

Elinor Benedict
foreword by Maxine Kumin
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 67
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  • Book Info
    All That Divides Us
    Book Description:

    Although the poems in this collection are not narrative, they do present a narrative, gradually unspooling the tale of the poet's rebel aunt, who left the family "to marry a Chinaman" in the 1930s. It's an old story, full of poignancy, mystery, family pride, and doubt. When the aunt returns to die, the poet, now grown, discovers in herself the need to reclaim the connections that her family had severed. She travels to China several times-to learn. Gradually, through wide-eyed insightful poems, we see the poet rebuild with her Chinese cousins a sense of generation, family, and humanity-bridging over all that divides us. Elinor Benedict has also received the Mademoiselle Fiction Prize, a Michigan Council for the Arts Award, and an Editor's Grant from the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines (CLMP). She earned an M.F.A. in writing from Vermont College and her work has also appeared in various literary journals and in five chapbooks.

    eISBN: 978-0-87421-333-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Maxine Kumin

    When I undertook this brief introduction, I found myself in the refreshing position of not knowing the identity of the prize-winning poet, or where, or indeed whether, any of these poems had been previously published. Out of 728 manuscripts submitted, this one by Elinor Benedict surfaced as I read through the final completely anonymous twenty-five. On several subsequent rereadings, it rose again and again to the top.

    Here are the facts about the poet that I learned afterward. Elinor Benedict lives in Rapid River, Michigan. Many of these poems have been previously published in journals ranging from Helicon Nine to...

  4. ONE: Begin the Ceremony
  5. TWO: Strangers and Kin
  6. THREE: In the Company of Magpies
  7. FOUR: Searching for Grace
    (pp. 64-65)
    (pp. 66-66)
    (pp. 67-67)