Laura Mullen

"From the internet, I learn that 'complicated grief' designates a bereavement disorder in which, instead of fading with time, the pain of loss remains as acute as it was in the beginning. But from Laura Mullen’s book I learn that complicated grief also names something else: not a sufferer’s excruciating condition, but a writer’s exhilarating achievement. Here, the incapacity to move on from “old” psychic scenarios has been itself complicated by a formidable prose that not only refuses to get over them but even works to revive them in all their undying (Mullen would say: undead) vigor. To these unstintingly reimagined ancient histories—ranging from fairy tale and yesteryear’s news item to childhood trauma and a broken relationship—Mullen gives all the hyperrealist precision of a dream: every turn and phrase starts at you. And not the least of this book’s disconcerting, but strangely salutary, powers is that, under its stimulus, you can’t help starting back." D. A. Miller
“Enduring Freedom [is] a galloping great read, a page-turner, and dazzles with linguistic mischief and wit... I am thrilled by it.” Hazel White
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...”

--Steve McCaffery
"Solid and brave and relentlessly inventive."
--Cal Bedient
"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."
--Publishers Weekly, August 1999
"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 proceeds from near void into a powerful reconstruction of self…After I Was Dead is wildly versatile formally, restlessly roving from verse to prose to epistle and back."—Boston Review

Enduring Freedom

Poetry. Taking—and twisting—the title of an Iraq operation for its own, Laura Mullen's seventh book might be summed up in the phrase André Breton famously applied to Frieda Kahlo: "a bomb with a ribbon around it." An extraordinarily comprehensive, sympathetic and scathing, catalog of brides, this collection of poems is also an examination of the emotional costs of a sustained attention to party planning in the face of an almost invisible war. Influenced equally by Italo Calvino and Martha Stewart, playing with conceptual poetry as well as Romance clichés, Mullen's poetic environment, and the language that sustains it, is as remarkable as it is disquieting.