Poetry. "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 grownup broken heart—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
In a way (the way I'm taking it) Laura Mullen's COMPLICATED GRIEF follows (with giant dropouts) everything she knows about being a monster. Her aegis covers women (young ones and aging), un-natural disasters and literature. If something packed could wander like Julianne Moore's mind, to the benefit of everyone, but more like a whole department store or a library feeling snarky, shuffled itself and somehow it was wise.—Eileen Myles
One of the deep pleasures of this book is to be in the presence of a mind fully alive to the contradictions of what it is to be a sentient being, thinking and feeling while simultaneously thinking of feeling. I found myself marveling word-by-word, page after page. One thought: How often are we offered the opportunity to watch a mind form the mental construct we call "a thought," and why is it so rare? The world is here, seeping brilliantly through the seams, made utterly new.—Nick Flynn
Laura Mullen is the author of eight books: Dark Archive, Subject, After I Was Dead, The Surface, which was a National Poetry Series selection, COMPLICATED GRIEF (Solid Objects, 2015), ENDURING FREEDOM (Otis Books/Seismicity Editions, 2012), MURMUR (Futurepoem Books, 2007) and THE TALES OF HORROR: [A FLIP- BOOK] (Kelsey Street Press, 1999). Her poems are included in Postmodern American Poetry, American Hybrid, and I'LL DROWN MY BOOK: CONCEPTUAL WRITING BY WOMEN (Les Figues Press, 2012), among other anthologies. The composer Jason Eckardt's setting of her poem "The Distance (This)" was released as Undersong by Mode Records in 2011, and a collaboration with the composer Nathan Davis was premiered by the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus in 2014. Mullen's honors and awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony. She is the McElveen Professor in English and Director of Creative Writing at Louisiana State University.
Author City: NEW ORLEANS, LA USA