FIRST PLACE WINNER, THE POETRY BOX CHAPBOOK PRIZE 2019
"Lauren Tivey embarks on a trip to Morocco, a foreign landscape of exciting people, smells, and destinations, with her alcoholic husband. She carries with her a dread of what she may face with her husband's disease in a Muslim country. In beautifully-executed and moving poetic forms, she takes the reader with her through the landscapes of Ramadan and his alcoholism, family histories with drunkenness and rehab, and her moments of stillness when she is alone with mint tea and her journal. We feel how hard it is to stuff love, fear, and compassion in a suitcase just to unpack again in a new port of call."
--Tricia Knoll, Contest Judge, 2019, author of How I Learned to Be White and Broadfork Farm
"Lauren Tivey is an uncanny poet, conjuring metaphor and image to convey the tale of a husband and wife at the edge of love's limit."
--Holly Iglesias, author of Sleeping Things
"These poems, gathered so astutely in Moroccan Holiday, have such exquisite and crisp detail that they will haunt you for a while."
--Virgil Suarez, author of 90 Miles: Selected and New Poems
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About the Author
Lauren Tivey's Moroccan Holiday is a gorgeous, heartrending blue tempest that charts the roughhousing of addiction in a dry land with rich diction, depth, intelligence, and awareness. Despite tumult, the center never wavers, clear among the significant lost boys, the poems' hope and generosity rising like Morocco's pink wild roses and, yes, they do make a "difference to the world."
Liz Robbins, author of Freaked
These poems, gathered so astutely in Moroccan Holiday, have such exquisite and crisp detail that they will haunt you for a while. "Circus," "The Nomad," and "Hunger" are a few perfect examples, among the many in this book, of poems that will take you by the throat and choke you with their undeniable power and brilliance. Rich images, lyrical lines that are relentless in their beauty. These poems resonate with a lush wickedness of the tongue "of two broken people craving delights of the orchard" and the bitterness of people who've had to battle alcoholism and marriage and love for a long while. "I've grown tired of the stale taste of beer, bars, men. There are better things to do." These are magnificent poems written against the backdrop of our crumbling world, Morocco, and beyond.
Virgil Suarez, author of 90 Miles: Selected and New Poems
In this stunning collection of finely wrought poems, Lauren Tivey writes of a holiday with deep pain and small joys. The speaker takes us on a journey of trauma as her husband relapses into alcoholism during the vacation, and tells of her difficult responses to his behavior. His disease of unrelenting suffering transforms the couple. He is, she says, "...a brute / swimmingly sloshed..." and she wonders if she can "...save him / somehow from chasm's edge." She writes "I keep talking to fill the silence / of his presence, in a blue city by the sea." The poems are, in fact, brilliantly alive with shades of blue, some bright and cheery, and others darker, more sinister. As this couple journeys, she is wracked with agony, though the speaker does find momentary happiness that her husband's "...eyes are clear in the luminosity / of negative ions--sea, sun, wind--an elemental / cleansing." These poems pull the reader in with their heartbreaking urgency, history, and quests. Deeply moving, always expressing complex ideas in radiant language and astonishing details, Moroccan Holiday is a must-read book that sings the duality of love and estrangement.
Virginia Chase Sutton, author of What Brings You to Del Amo