A Lesson in Smallness is an invitation that builds--word by shiveringly, perfectly placed word, cadence by subtle, breath-catching cadence-into shifting vignettes, vistas, vision. There's nothing small at all here, it turns out. Vastly imponderable, and also close, and cherished: nature and human nature and the nature of art, all at once in these moving poems. A book to read and read again. - Robin Behn Early in her new poetry collection, Lauren Goodwin Slaughter speaks of "the necessary oomph." Which is also an excellent way of describing the pizazz of this wonderful book. Though titled A Lesson in Smallness, Slaughter's language is large, attentive, loving, and dynamic, even while acknowledging that our connections to others-in this case, as wife, mother, daughter-sometimes require a steep mortgage on a woman's most intimate and individual desires. I love this book's truthfulness and clarity of vision, and I'm betting you will, too. - Erin Belieu A Lesson in Smallness is a book seized by hunger and the umbilical. It is at once a travelogue, a junk drawer, a menu, a romance, an anti-romance, a cultural inquiry, and a mystery, which is to say it is fascinating and not at all aimless but deft, meticulous, and at the same time lavish. It proceeds by pleasurable and painful tension and release to a Rilkean abundance. The sensational third section of the book is an eruption into Slaughter's full powers of language in the service of transport. The "smallness" is a modest way to say her acts of attention expand our sense of what is possible. It's a beautiful and dangerous] debut. - Bruce Smith Lauren Goodwin Slaughter a lesson in smallness The National Poetry Review Press Lauren Goodwin Slaughter is the recipient of a 2012 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. Her poetry has appeared in venues such as Blackbird, Blue Mesa Review, Hayden's Ferry, Hunger Mountain, Kenyon Review Online, and Verse Daily, among others. She is co-fiction editor at DIAGRAM and an assistant professor of English at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Originally from Philadelphia, she now lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband and two young children.