Laura Mullen

“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

the booklog

Bob Kaufman Prize

October 26, 2014

Tags: Trembling Pillow Press, Poetry, Contests

Laura Mullen is judging the Bob Kaufman prize (current & former students fuggedaboutit):
http://www.tremblingpillowpress.com/bob-kaufman-book-prize/

"What are you working on?"

July 18, 2014

The marvelous poet Min Kang wrote and asked if she could “tag” me as part of this "blog tour" project (she’d been tagged by the splendid Metta Sama) and I said yes—in part because I was interested in the relay aspect: I was interested in the chance to then tag two (extraordinary) (more…)

performance--questions

February 3, 2014

Tags: performance, poetry, "Beauty, " Yoko Ono, Film, Anne Waldman, "Him"

These interview questions were sent to me by Lola Gerber. Lola Gerber earned an MA in Poetry from Southern Illinois University, and is currently an MFA student at Naropa University, where she is currently exploring the notion of the body as bridge and as barrier. Lola has had her poetry published in various journals, both print and online, includingPoemsMemoiresStories magazine, Monkey Puzzle Press, Dead Snakes, and Mixed Fruit Magazine, and have self-published a novel titled Serrated Soul.

Lola Gerber: I really enjoy both your performances and your writing. What is the relationship for you between performance art and writing? Do they work independently of each other for you, or is there an intersection?

Laura Mullen: I came to writing via performance (if “via” can describe the long and wildly twisted path!). Growing up I had a passion for theater as well as a passion for poetry, and while poetry “won” (as it were) when I committed to that genre I wrote works I wanted to read out loud and music guided composition in important ways. I wrote the songs I wanted to hear—I might say. And the hybrid texts only expanded (more…)

both and in endless reversal

November 27, 2013

"This is an important book, the critic assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing room."

Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)

Faithless

August 12, 2013

“With,” the opening poem of my recent book (Enduring Freedom), haunted me—in pieces: notes, drafts, scrawled repetitions—longer than I knew. Though I recalled that the central image had been given to me (more…)

Notebook scatter 2009 (May Dec) (mostly Dark Archive notes)

April 14, 2013

This is a book without imagination in it. Or, the only imagination in it involves a certain inventiveness with structures—a gesture toward the failure of other systems of containment (memory, etc): what is invented here marks an absence, functions as an acknowledgement of loss.

Admit failure, I wrote, start from that place…

Dedication: “ to those who, in their time of need, have been renamed” or “have been given nothing—except a sweeter name.”

Is there ANYONE here who hasn’t declared their “commitment to excellence”?! Do it now, get it over with…

The split between the page you read (this page) and my writing (2009) then typing (2013) it—the intervention of time. The secrecy of the process (I think it’s secret). These notebooks, all that time… Days of silence. Lines scrawled on a page. Avoidance and shame and pleasure repeated to dullness and the increasing pressure to “write” which is to produce some evidence of “writing.”

The method is not the subject or is it / it is shaped by

Ways we frame the world determine how we respond to it. Keep breaking the frame in search of the most fluid most present response.

Learning to listen to the quality of the mind itself—to listen for capacities and the resistance of limitations.

To learn to speak—to trust the exposed mind. To trust, and then to worry or fret about what is thrown off scattered given away—oh why not? You must… And yet and yet—what’s given away seems worthless.

(more…)

From a long ago Boston Review

March 5, 2013

After I Was Dead
Laura Mullen
University of Georgia Press, $15.95 (paper)

The Tales of Horror: A Flip-Book
Laura Mullen
Kelsey Street Press, $12 (paper)

In After I Was Dead, Laura Mullen proceeds from near void ("These layers / Are great: this white, off white and off off white in a dense / Application") into a powerful reconstruction (more…)

Cloud Apparatus

March 16, 2011

Definition: some invisible force moving the edges around.
Definition: to justify, to intercede.
Translation: there is no such thing as translation.
Arriving out of the glowing infinite,
Hands raised in horror or benediction.
"An unreadable look." Definition: reading.
Translation: the complete withdrawal of belief.
Some invisible force shivers the edges of the broken.
Definition: chord change drum rumble chorus"...need."
Hopelessness, failure. Some invisible force
Going back over it again the wrong way. Moving:
Meaning something shifted in me. Some form
Of transport necessary: edges glowing. Definitely.
Division of the enclosed. Attention: to intervene...

"A haunted society is full of ghosts,

February 4, 2011

and the ghost always carries the message...that the gap between personal and social, public and private, objective and subjective is misleading in the first place. That is to say it is leading you elsewhere, it is making you see things you did not see before...your relation to things that seemed separate or invisible is changing." Avery Gordon, Ghostly Matters p 98