Second Thursday OPEN MIC featuring Laura Van Prooyen
Second Thursday Open Mic Poetry, hosted by Cindy Huyser
Poet Laura Van Prooyen will be our feature this month. Come join us!
Laura Van Prooyen is author of two collections of poetry, Our House Was on Fire (Ashland Poetry Press 2015) nominated by Philip Levine and winner of the McGovern Prize and Inkblot and Altar (Pecan Grove Press 2006). Her poems also have appeared in APR, Boston Review, Ploughshares and Prairie Schooner, among others. Van Prooyen teaches in the low-residency MFA Creative Writing program at Miami University, and she lives in San Antonio, TX.
A Round Robin Open Mic will follow the feature. Bring poems to share!
Our House Was on Fire is an arresting, beautiful, and deeply satisfying book of longing, yet longing for what can never be known. And that gives this collection its powerful complexity: what is wanted or contemplated is tempting, but impossible. True desire recognizes what one might lose and also what one must give. Much is given in this book, much of the poet's mind and honest heart. --Maurice Manning
"I think yes. I say no," Laura Van Prooyen declares in this book of assertions and questions where danger lives at every turn --a child threatened by disease, a love passing through uncertainty, all the what ifs and keep at it of our days on the planet. Like music, these meticulously paced poems play over and over unto dark trance their observation and grief, again and again the natural world furious and spare until all seems to stand still. "Understand, the plot doesn't matter," this highly lyric poet insists because her staring stops time. "I felt bad for looking," she tells us. "Still, I looked." --Marianne Boruch
Yes, these are poems of mothering and daughtering. Hair is braided, groceries are gathered, leaves are raked and at least one breakfast is conspicuously perfect. But domestic? Domesticated? Not on your life. These poems are exclusively foreign, strange as physical form in the realm of the spirit, indigenous in a she-beast way. "We've seen the falcon / ravage a bare hand, and from nowhere, the wolf / lunge to join." For in this book, this house, in this house on fire, everyone knows where the knives are kept. Careful. These poems cut. --Jill Alexander Essbaum