Event Details

widows_handbook_coverJacqueline Lapidus, co-editor of The Widows’ Handbook will be reading from her recent book (Kent State University Press, 2014).

The book is an anthology of poetry and other writings by widows, and is offered as a help to other women who have also recently lost their partners. The book is divided into sections echoing stages of bereavement: Part 1: Bereft, Mourning; Part 2: Memories, Ghosts, Dreams; Part 3: Coping (more or less); Part 4: A Different Life. The editors combed through almost 500 submissions to choose this selection.

The Widows’ Handbook is the first anthology of poems by contemporary widows. This stirring collection celebrates the strategies widows learn and the resources they muster to deal with people, living space, possessions, social life, and especially themselves, once shock has turned to the realization that nothing will ever be the same. As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says in her foreword, losing one’s partner is “a loss like no other,” and that this book provides “the words widows feel but often cannot speak.”

 The Widows’ Handbook includes the work of 87 American women of all ages, legally married or not, straight and gay, whose partners or spouses have died. Some are already published widely—including more than a dozen prizewinners, five Pushcart nominees, and two regional poets laureate. Others are not as well known, and some appear in print for the first time here.

Anyone who has lost a loved one or is involved in helping the bereaved will be able to relate to the experiences conveyed in The Widows’ Handbook.

Jacqueline Lapidus, a Boston-based editor, teacher, and translator, holds degrees from Swarthmore College and Harvard Divinity School. She has published poems in many periodicals and anthologies and in three collections: Ready to SurviveStarting Over, and Ultimate Conspiracy. Her Significant Other died suddenly in 2004.

 Lise Menn, professor emerita of linguistics at the University of Colorado (Boulder), has written, coauthored, or co-edited seven books and more than 50 peer-reviewed articles. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, and she is preparing a chapbook of recent work. Her second husband died of cancer in 2006.

Ms.Lapidus will be joined by at least two other contributors to the anthology. All will read from the collection.

For more information, call the Library at 508-548-8961.