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


Laura Mullen makes work which is alive to the shared space 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) Laura’s recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fence, Bomb,/i> and The Nation,, and 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, futurepoem, and Otis /​ Seismicity among other presses: her eighth collection is forthcoming from 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, Laura holds degrees from the University of Iowa and U.C. Berkeley. She has been a visiting poet at Naropa, Brown, and Columbia College, and she currently directs the Creative Writing program at Louisiana State University. Her collaboration with composer Nathan Davis, a Sound uttered, a Silence crossed, had its premiere in La Jolla in 2014 and will be performed at Notre Dame in 2015 and Williams College in 2016.

You can find her on Facebook, and you can follow her on Twitter at "afteriwasdead."



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