October 26, 2014
Laura Mullen is judging the Bob Kaufman prize (current & former students fuggedaboutit):
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…)
February 3, 2014
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…)
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)
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…)
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.
March 5, 2013
After I Was Dead
University of Georgia Press, $15.95 (paper)
The Tales of Horror: A Flip-Book
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…)
February 25, 2012
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...
February 4, 2011