"In her eighth poetry collection, which nudges the edge of memoir, Mullen excavates the past in the context of exploring the intricate relationships among experience, memory, and expression. For Mullen, “memory makes us each our own guest/(g)host,” and, in focusing on narratives that resist psychological resolution, she deploys an array of literary techniques to reveal the myriad troubled ways we inhabit our selves."
“Murmur collects an astonishing array of stories into language as a terra incognita occasioning the uncanny and always troubled confluence of the subject, the bodies it inhabits and the linguistic remainder. Mullen animates narrative at the level of its basic semantic pulse. Never since Beckett has the unnamed been so chilling...”
"A brilliant, utterly original, fully realized work that wickedly out-tropes horror's cliches and devices.... wonderfully immediate, making an exaggerated, rollicking introduction to many of the pre-occupations, rhetorics and methods of experimental poetry."
"There's a rigor and intensity in Mullen's search for truth that often take her to breathtaking lengths." --C.K. Williams // "Accuracy of spirit and ferocity of intelligence prevail...This is thrilling and exacting work." --Jorie Graham
Laura Mullen's writing is alive to the shared work of meaning-making and attentive to the unsaid. “Mullen’s shapes shift, disappear like the living but remain like lives...turn into new solids, solidarities of moving, hard-edged lyric social work...against loneliness…” (Fred Moten) “Mullen sets up a site of fluid exchange between text and reader, an inter-subjective process that inflects affective communication with a subversive sense of contingency...” (Amy Moorman Robbins) Mullen's recent work has appeared in Lana Turner, Jubilat, and Conjections, and her poetry has been anthologized in collections from Norton, Wesleyan, and Omnidawn. Her first book, The Surface, was a National Poetry Series selection, and her subsequent poetry collections and hybrid-genre works have been published by the University of California Press, Future Poem, and Otis / Seismicity among other presses: her eighth collection, Complicated Grief, was published by Solid Objects in 2015. A CD of Jason Eckardt’s setting of her poem “The Distance (This)” is available from Mode records. A MacDowell and Karolyi Foundation Fellow, a featured poet at the International Poetry Festival in Taipei, a Rona Jaffe Award recipient and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, Mullen holds degrees from the University of Iowa and U.C. Berkeley. She is the McElveen Professor of English at Louisiana State University, Affiliate Faculty at Stetson University, and she has been a visiting poet at Columbia College and Brown. Her collaboration with composer Nathan Davis—"a Sound uttered, a Silence crossed"—had its premiere in La Jolla, and has been performed at Notre Dame and Williams College. A collaboration (Verge) with the artist John David O'Brien is available, and her translation of Veronique Pittolo's Hero is forthcoming from Black Square.
You can find her on Facebook, and you can follow her on Twitter @afteriwasdead.