Cover for Mullen: The Surface: Poems. Click for larger image

The Surface

Poems
Awards and Recognition:

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

"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


Laura Mullen was born in Los Angeles in 1958. She received Ironwood's Stanford Prize for her poetry in 1983, and she has published poems in numerous periodicals, including The Threepenny Review, Paris Review, Ploughshares, and Denver Quarterly. Her work appears in the anthology Best American Poetry 1990. She is currently living in New York City and working on a novel. This is her first collection.

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