After I Was Dead


Title Details

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 08/01/2008

ISBN: 9-780-8203-3278-9

List Price: $19.95

Related Subjects

POETRY / American / General

After I Was Dead


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  • Description
  • Reviews
This powerful collection of poems from Laura Mullen is the edgy, unashamedly experimental, and formally inventive book of a poet who has found her way to her own voice or style-or rather voices and styles, for there are several. The poems of After I Was Dead develop harmonically rather than melodically: they leap from one register, one voice, one tone to another in deft juxtapositions that carry narrative only incidentally, destabilizing traditional notions of development. These poems are honed by a fine intelligence into elegant, sometimes funny art, as in "Autumn": "Her hair, brown. / Her specialty, damage. / Her specialty, becoming / Something else. Her hair, falling / Leaves, leaf rot, and then soil." Through her rediscovery of the freedom Emily Dickinson located in being "dead" (in writing from over the border of an already recognized erasure), Mullen increases the territory of the contemporary poem.

Laura Mullen proceeds from near void into a powerful reconstruction of self. . . . After I Was Dead is wildly versatile formally, restlessly roving from verse to prose to epistle and back.

Boston Review

After I Was Dead possesses a quiet intertextuality that helps support the central concept of drifting between boundaries.


It may be possible to recover language in the space of poetry. Laura Mullen's second book of poems, After I Was Dead-bound to the mad and irreconcilable desire for honesty-strives for this recovery while relentlessly questioning its own motives at every turn.

Rain Taxi

Despite the reassurances of our good looks with which lesser poets woo us, we are not so dead that we do not respond with a kind of happiness to this unexpected demonstration that truth really is beauty.

The Journal

About the Author/Editor

LAURA MULLEN is a professor of creative writing at Louisiana State University. Her other books of poetry include Subject and The Surface, the latter of which was selected for publication in the prestigious National Poetry Series. Her poems have appeared in many major literary journals including the New Yorker, New American Writing, Boston Literary Review, and the Denver Quarterly.