Black Umbrella



Black Umbrella

A tough and tender collection, Black Umbrella shares a compelling view of the contemporary family in transition.

In this poetic memoir, Katherine Lawrence rides the electric charge of childhood innocence to its moment of impact with adult manipulation and betrayal.

Black Umbrella offers a bold portrait of family breakdown through the lens of a child, a teenager, and later as an adult who approaches love with wariness and longing. These poems speak of long-held secrets, strained loyalties, love, loss, and the courage required to embrace happiness through the thickening underbrush of adulthood.

A tough and tender collection, Black Umbrella shares a compelling view of the contemporary family in transition.

Advanced Praise

These intimate and intertwined poems gleam with a tenderness that belies their tensile strength. Lawrence mines consequential moments with sharp insight, revealing fissures in her life and the lives of those closest to her. Here is a sure-footed poet whose inventive language wrests bittersweet wisdom and uncommon grace out of the ordinary. Black Umbrella is an extraordinary collection, rich and indelible.

—Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Following the River: Traces of Red River Women

The poems in Black Umbrella chart a lifetime’s emotional weather in deft, compelling strokes. With insight, compassion, and piercing wit, Katherine Lawrence retraces the winds that blew her from steel town to prairie, mourns her losses, and reminds us that what we need is not the answers to all our questions, but "the true names." Black Umbrella is a beautiful, resonant book.

—Susan Olding, Big Reader and Pathologies: A Life in Essays

Katherine Lawrence’s Black Umbrella delves into "the sub-rosa conspiracy of the psyche," unearthing memories like tiny fragments of bone. Deeply personal, this work is a fearless recounting of love and betrayal, arrivals and departures, childhood trauma, love again. "Sly as a butcher’s thumb," Lawrence plays with language and imagery like a child with a knife. A precocious child. A sharp knife. Ultimately revealing a "brave, surefooted, animal self."

—Mari-Lou Rowley, Unus Mundus

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