Winner of the 11th Annual Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Award for 2022.
“COME CLOSER, Laurie Blauner’s new collection of delicately wrought fables invites the reader into a delirium where unfamiliar and familiar realities combine. You can call these succinct yet lyrically sophisticated tales where it rains without raining, where birds open themselves like books, and your own heart can bite you meditations, auguries, revelations, or morality plays. Possessing an unrivaled imagination, Laurie Blauner transports us to cities that you recognize vaguely as if retrieved from that sinuous space between waking and sleeping. We are told in the opening lines There’s something wrong with the city: the streets I need for an appointment have changed; the florist shop leaps to the top of a tall building. The commonplace is altered to reveal its true nature; the apartment becomes not a place of refuge but the setting for speculative transformations. Blauner, the 21st century alchemist, takes the unpromising base metals of our everyday and spins them into literary gold. No one has expressed the unnatural so naturally as the poet in Come Closer, her vision is cerebral and visceral and somewhere on a continuum between pleasure and horror. Reptiles poured away, flowers were devastated, and the woman grew full and empty with her own painful truths. She is our storytelling Mary Shelley on Lake Geneva in the year of no summer.” —Stephanie Dickinson, author of Blue Swan, Black Swan: The Trakl Diaries
“In Laurie Blauner’s new and thoroughly engaging assemblage of interwoven prose poems, fresh patterns patiently emerge in varied and surprising forms. A master of irony, Blauner offers the reader a frequently appearing narrator who lives at once inside and out of her awakenings. Here is a master of irony and personification opening a new mythology. It can be found quickly, a beginning for ‘combing happiness’ in the middle of further mysteries. From a character’s momentary mustache (will you too speak to the borrowed man?) to a gently renewed feminine series of multiple possibilities, we are offered realities living in suggestion. Here the language is as captivating and necessary as its sources, and among the moments offered by containment, we find ourselves already renewed and extended.” —Rich Ives, author of Light from a Small Brown Bird
Laurie Blauner is the author of five novels, eight books of poetry, and a creative nonfiction book published in 2022. She won PANK's 2020 Creative Nonfiction Contest with her book I WAS ONE OF MY MEMORIES. Her essays have appeared in December, Sycamore Review, Superstition Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Connotation Review, and Your Impossible Voice, among other places. Laurie Blauner's fifth novel, Out of Which Came Nothing, was published in 2021 by Spuyten Duyvil Press. Her fourth novel, The Solace of Monsters, won the 2015 Leapfrog Fiction Contest, was listed in Book Riot's "A Great Big Guide to Wonderful Books of 2016 from Indie Presses," and was a 2017 Washington State Book Award finalist in Fiction. She is the author of three previous novels from Black Heron Press. Her latest book of poetry, A Theory for What Just Happened, is available from FutureCycle Press. She has received a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship as well as Seattle Arts Commission, King County Arts Commission, 4Culture, and Artist Trust grants and awards. She was a resident at Centrum in Washington State and was in the Jack Straw Writers Program in 2007. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, The Nation, The Georgia Review, American Poetry Review, Mississippi Review, Field, Caketrain, Denver Quarterly, The Colorado Review, The Collagist, The Best Small Fictions 2016, and many other magazines. She lives in Seattle, Washington.