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a daughter's aubade
(sailing out from Sognefjord)

by Mara Adamitz Scrupe


40 pages






a daughter’s aubade (sailing out from Sognfjord) is a sequence of poems that broadly addresses ideas of place and the passage of time, while reflecting on the intimate process of aging - most specifically in Scrupe's mother and herself.


The eponymous poem emerged from her travels with her mother in Norway, the country from which her family emigrated in the nineteenth century. Nordic stoicism radiates throughout this collection which investigates and addresses universal challenges and joys of the mother-daughter relationship, both through the lens of history and ethnography, and from a personal perspective. These poems are dedicated to exploring the many ways we broadly define love in the human narrative and our emotional responses to one another in the context of social mores and expectations. Thus, the poems are not merely based on a general explication of human ecology but are also grounded by the authors own experiential reference points and contexts for discernment.


Scrupe is an avocational historian but is also intrigued by the sciences - geology, biology and human ecology - alongside fugitive artifacts and remnants of material culture. Her writing straddles the global and the personal. These poems are infused with a sense of place and geography, including the Virginia piedmont where she lived for many years and the daunting weather and landscapes of Minnesota where she was born and raised. While specificity in language is crucial to this work, it also explores fluidity, pacing and rhythmic potential in word spacing and the placement of lines on the page, strategies which offer readers opportunities for deep visualization and compelling emotional intensity.

Mara Adamitz Scrupe is a poet and visual artist; she is the author of five poetry collections, BEAST, (winner, 2014 Stevens Manuscript Prize NFSPS Press, 2014), Sky Pilot (Finishing Line Press, 2012), Magnalia, (2018 Eyewear Press Chapbook Competition) and a daughter’s aubade/ sailing out from Sognefjord (winner, 2018 Fledge Poetry Chapbook Award, Middle Creek Press, 2019). Most recently she was named a winner in the Erbacce Prize in Poetry Competition (2019); a full collection of new poems will be published by Erbacce Press in 2020. She is also the winner of the 2018 Grindstone Literary International Poetry Competition, and the 2018 Brighthorse Press Poetry Book Prize for her manuscript in the bare bones house of was which will be published in 2019. Her poems have appeared in The London Magazine, Mid America Review, Maine Review, Comstock Review, Off the Coast, Narrative Magazine, The Cincinnati Review, Bare Fiction, Matador Review, Ruminate, Crosswinds Review, Crab Creek Review and Sentinel Quarterly Literary Review (UK), among others. She has won or been shortlisted for numerous literary awards including Fish Poetry Prize, BigCi Environmental Writing Fellowship (Australia), Aesthetica Creative Writing Award (UK), Erbacce Poetry Prize, The Plough Poetry Prize, Ron Pretty Poetry Prize (Australia), Periplum Book Award (Plymouth University, UK), Sentinel Quarterly Book Award (London), Stiwdio Maelor Poetry Prize (UK), Cornwall Poetry Festival Competition (UK), University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Award (Australia), and the National Poetry Society Competition (UK). Mara Adamitz Scrupe divides her time between her farm in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains piedmont, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she is Professor of Fine Arts and Creative Writing at The University of the Arts.

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