A poetic charting of Laura Walker's rural, southern hometown, Rimertown/an atlas delves into the startling landscapes created by the passage of time through people and through place; it is an atlas born of image and voice. Composed of four interwoven strands—a collection of "maps," a collection of "stories," a series of vernacular prose poems, and a fractured narrative—the volume explores various geographies: of the physical world, of the intersection of natural and peopled landscapes, of the passage of time, of leaving and returning, of human relationships, of soldiers and war. Walker asks: how is "home" carried in memory, in landscape, in story, in time? Her poems break and merge, stitching and fragmenting narrative, syntax, and image as they push toward their own geography, "a fever doll, tapered song/ engineered into dusk/ hold the watery stream, its buck and clanging."
Laura Walker teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley Extension. She is author of swarm lure.
"Laura Walker's atlas is sung and wrung out of a deep listening to every word, and this is rare. The poems are full of dirt, weeds and butternut squash, but even if the place from which (not of which) Walker writes were full of skyscrapers or stripmalls, her connection to her language and her materials would be as particular, as true. Such singularity of connection (actual!) opens the field of meaning and experience for the reader coming into it, to gather and move, to suffer in spells and flower 'in the greening and the sound.'"—Lisa Fishman, author of The Happiness Experiment
Praise for previous work:
"There is an intimate lilt, an indelible charm, a bygone narrator...in Laura Walker's elegant collection. Her tangibility of voice seems to know a listener. Conversation dares with an undone presence. In other words, you can put your feet up. You can find shade."—Laynie Browne, Poetry Project Newsletter