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Poetry. Heart music, soul song. There is something about this particular arrangement of words that digs a deeper meaning out of a word, a phrase. While I don’t know how April was chosen as National Poetry Month, it seems fitting, as Virginia sheds her winter coat and bursts into bloom, that we celebrate Virginia’s poets. We will visit our 2020 Library of Virginia Literary Award-honored poets and encourage you to accept the invitation into their worlds. 

Week 2

For reminders on how best to consume a poem, visit PBS Newshour’s Guide.

Lauren K. Alleyne

Biography from her website: “Lauren K. Alleyne currently resides in Virginia, USA, where she is an Associate Professor of English at James Madison University, Assistant Director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center and Editor-in-Chief of The Fight & The Fiddle. She hails from the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Her fiction, poetry and non-fiction have been widely published in journals and anthologies, including The Atlantic, Ms. Muse, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Interviewing the Caribbean, Crab Orchard Review, among many others. She is author of Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree Press, 2014) and Honeyfish (New Issues (US) & Peepal Tree (UK), 2019).”

The author writes: “Honeyfish examines the boundaries between flesh and earth, life and death, shoreline and sea,” which exemplifies this entire collection in its exploration of the relationship between self and place, with its shifting sands in cultural, social, political, historical and personal landscapes.


  1. Is there a food that reminds you of a place? The very scent of which transports you there?
  2. Is there a food that represents emotion for you? What emotion does Alleyne evoke in “Honeyfish”?
  3. What is the implication of the line, “Now you know better— / that nothing consumed lives on as before”?

Want to talk about it? Join our Literary Virginia Book Discussion. More information found here.

Craving more? Purchase featured poets’ books at the Virginia Shop, supporting not only the poets and their publishers, but the Library of Virginia through the Library of Virginia Foundation.

Nan Carmack

Director, Library Development & Networking

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