At Last a Valley
by Lara Dolphin
Format: 5 x 8 ~ Perfect Bound
34 poems ~ 41 pages
Price: $15.00
Publisher: Blue Jade Press
ISBN #: 978-1-961043-02-2
To Order: Amazon


At Last a Valley is an accessible and imaginative gathering of poems from the mind of Lara Dolphin. In this, her third chapbook, the poetry is surprisingly vibrant and insightful for having been written on lunch breaks and late at night. Born out of a desire to transcend the mundane confines of work and home life, the collection stands as a steadfast testament to the principle that anything is possible. Through her signature voice, Dolphin illuminates the human experience in all its jaggedness and beauty while keenly aware that her kids are not the least bit impressed.


In Lara Dolphin’s At Last a Valley there is a sense of a grand journey across continents and time where we “head out of town and / get on an interstate” / only to return where we started, inside ourselves, where “you planted your placenta ten years ago.” We travel from an elementary school “Die-in” where “students traced outlines / in white chalk,” to a grandfather and granddaughter on a boat crossing the Straits of Messina, to a motorcycle repair shop with Borges, to a meadow of bees and “Corn lilies and columbine, fireweed and yampah.” And even though we are “born in this hostile place,” through Dolphin’s words, and after gulping down “184 mouthfuls” of life, we find ourselves again “at the beginning of time.” This is a sweeping triumph of a book.
–Scott Ferry, author of Sapphires on the Graves


A native of Pennsylvania, Lara Dolphin is an attorney, nurse, wife, and mom of four amazing kids. Her debut chapbook, In Search Of The Wonderous Whole, was published by Alien Buddha Press, 2022. Her second chapbook, Chronicle Of Lost Moments, is available from Dancing Girl Press. Most nights you can find her trying to answer the question, “What’s for Dinner?”


Secret Song

by Lara Dolphin

When Dolly started out
There was Bill Earl Owens
With his signature Gretsch
Standing beside her
While she sang
A voice small as a country cabin
Grand as the Smoky Mountains

When she started writing
Nashville took notice
And made her a star
Both astral and human
A sequined jewel among
Staid country crooners

But there is a deeper truth
Kept from the public
Locked in a box
In the heart of Appalachia
A box made from chestnut

Uncle Bill’s favorite
That at its finest
Offered shade
Strong lumber
And bounteous food

How fitting that now it stores
Year after year
The unsung lyrics
The unstrummed melody

That will be the Queen of Country’s
Parting gift to future generations
What music lies within?
We can only imagine

Perhaps it will speak of a world
Where we fall in a heap
At the feet of majestic trees
Worshiping God’s sacred creation
Perhaps it will sing the music of Paradise
A hymn to second chances


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