Laura Dolp performs Book of Hours

Breathing new life into the form of the devotional text, Book of Hours is a powerful meditation on the conditions of place, gaze, and being.

Book of Hours Book Cover

This pocket-sized collection of original drawings and poems in English animates visual and textual poetics around the mythology of place. Recalling the richly illustrated devotional texts of early modern Europe, Book of Hours draws widely on sources from Swedish, Italian, German, and Arabic literature as well as music, photographs, architectural blueprints, and geological maps from Europe, Australia, and the Americas.

With the startling clarity of a mathematical theorem and the lyrical familiarity of a dream, Dolp’s poetry provides metaphorical instructions for the delicate work of tracing and orientation. The collection’s visual miniatures are also invested in the project of seeing: objects of meditation are collaged on and against each other, urging the reader to reconsider what is and what is yet to be.

Colored by grief, nostalgia and ecstasy, Book of Hours honors the circumambulatory paths of our lives, asking: How did we get here? Where are the borders of day and night, gravity and weightlessness, inside and outside? What have we gained and what are we in danger of losing?

“Laura Dolp’s Book of Hours interrogates the spaces in between. …Aligned with the music of poetry, her images move with sound, with structure and logic akin to lines and stanzas. Her poems are deceptively simple, rich with history and experience in the places before, and in moments of desire.”

—EJ Colen, author of The Green Condition 
Headshot of Laura Dolp

Laura Dolp is a practitioner, writer, and researcher about music as a site of human transformation. Her work often includes themes of music and spirituality, the interrelation of music and social spaces, mapping and musical practices, and the poetics of the natural world. Current projects include illustrations and poems for a dream-atlas entitled Sophia and an essay collection that explores the historical relationship between cartography and the musical score, Maps and Music: Stories of the Cartographic Score. She is also the editor of Arvo Pärt’s White Light: Media, Culture, Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and co-author for The Cambridge Companion to Arvo Pärt (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Artistic Citizenship: Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis (Oxford University Press, 2016).

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