When All Else Fails
by Lana Hechtman Ayers
Scheduled Release Date: May 15, 2023
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Lana Hechtman Ayers’ unflinchingly honest and sensual poetry traces her journey from a difficult childhood in Queens spent in the dark house of my mother’s anger where the poet grew scrupulous as an owl, to a wildly luxuriant maturity in the Pacific Northwest where she revels in intimacy with sky and water, trees, birds, and a loving partner. The shadows of New York give way to a wide open spaciousness and a vibrant appreciation of simple gifts: eggs from the Farmer’s Market, the sound of rain, a beloved dog, and the window in the poet’s study where One windy day I became a kite. Ayers generously takes us along on her journey from violence and decay to a hard-earned rebirth into nature, love, and art. In the end, we too are redeemed.
—Alison Luterman, author of In the Time of the Great Fires
When All Else Fails reminds us that poetry can arise from even the most difficult circumstances. Lana Hechtman Ayers takes the raw material of extreme childhood poverty and abuse and turns it into one arresting poem after another. Even more remarkable is that the poet emerges from this crucible not just alive but fully alive, willing to embrace everything, knowing that she’s here to touch/ the blank page with reverent ink. Ayers’ good humor and generosity of spirit are hard-won and all the more authentic for that. When All Else Fails is a powerful book about the redemptive power of poetry.
—John Brehm, author of No Day at the Beach and The Dharma of Poetry