The poetry in this volume is somewhat difficult, but I don't say its difficulty in itself is a gift; that’s the experience of reading someone who has departed from the usual fare to arrive at a unique voice and a consequently unfamiliar world view. Such poetry can be for some a kind of revelation while for others an exasperation—which is also a gift. Larry Laurence's poetry in this volume is in line with Gertrude Stein; in one poem, he nods to her by quoting from her work. His own poetry stands well above the popular notion of experimentation. … The poem “Despair/Experiments” captures the theme of this collection. In fact, the combined meaning of those two terms portrays the alienation within the heart of our cities while playing within the waves and the roll of language where we are soaked by every instance of human contact. He brings in endearing memories stirred up by homely simple experience and imbues it all with what he refers to as the Ironic/ Post-Ironic wisdom of the poet”. — Michael Daley, Editor at Dos Madres Press
Poem comes from the Greek Poíēma, a “thing made.” A thing. Like the made up word “despairiments.” Like Larry Laurence’s experiments with language, form, and memory that invoke the despair of lost love and remembered tragedy, then make it into soulful, witty, self-deprecating, literary, romantic, musical, base, and ultimately celebratory things. Laurence’s poems bear more than their burdens. Their words dance, parade, hide, follow procedures. They connect as they catalog and together lift far above their weight. Thought Despairiments is an experience, a triumph over despair, a gem.” —Kathleen Flenniken
”In these pages the poet Larry Laurence lays bare a profound interiority, in essence a workshop for the coming to terms with the quality of mercy in our times. Both barometric and predictive in their empathic accuracy, these writings achieve nothing less than to be a model for the material they are made of. Laurence＊s interior colloquies—in his search for meaning and in his articulations—evince the transformation of this existence-bane, this despair, into literature.” —Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino
Larry Laurence's books include a full-length volume of poems, Life Of The Bones To Come (Black Heron Press, 2010) which was chosen as a National Poetry Month selection by NACS (the National Association Of College Stores); a chapbook, Scenes Beginning With The Footbridge At The Lake (Brooding Heron Press, 1991) and an e-chapbook, Successions Of Words Are So (E-Ratio Editions). His poems have appeared in the anthologies How Much Earth: The Fresno Poets (Roundhouse Press, 2001) and Jack Straw Writers (Jack Straw Productions, 2006 & 1999) and in journals including CutBank, E�ratio Postmodern Poetry, Floating Bridge Review, Poetry Northwest, POOL, Raven Chronicles, Southern Poetry Review. Awards include grants from The Seattle Arts Commission (WA) and Artist Trust (WA), plus a Jack Straw Fellowship (WA) and residencies at Community Of Writers (CA) and Cummington Center For The Arts (MA). Larry Laurence earned an M.A, English, California State University, Fresno, studying poetry under Philip Levine.