The Surface

Author: Laura Mullen
The now-classic National Poetry Series volume
Paper – $19
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/1991
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About the Book

Selected by C. K. Williams as one of the five volumes published in 1991 in the National Poetry Series, The Surface was the first collection in Laura Mullen's acclaimed career.

About the Author

Laura Mullen is McElveen Professor in English at Louisiana State University. Her books include Enduring Freedom and Dark Archive.



"There's a rigor and intensity in Mullen's quest for truth that often take her to breathtaking lengths. What she is after are new hierarchies, new systems of self-confrontation, which will be grounded in purity and open-mindedness. The diction in Mullen's poems can seem jagged, the movement of her voice and intellect through reality quirky, but her poems work hard, their moral struggles are very real, and they always resolve toward generosity, toward conscious attempts as selflessness and love."--C.K. Williams

"Over and over this book makes me marvel: the syntax is so remarkably controlled, the tonal shifts so subtle and fierce, the ideas so deeply and inevitably born out of their situations and enacted in gesture. Accuracy of spirit and ferocity of intelligence prevail. Icy music and glittering emotional undertows. This is thrilling and exacting work."--Jorie Graham


Selected by C.K. Williams for the National Poetry Series, 1991.