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Dark Archive

Laura Mullen (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 152 pages
ISBN: 9780520268869
March 2011
$24.95, £16.95
Other Formats Available:
Dark archive: The purpose of a dark archive is to function as a repository for information that can be used as a failsafe during disaster recovery.

Laura Mullen’s fourth collection is a sequence of beautifully interrelated poems that explores how to accurately represent the reality of change and loss. Mullen pinpoints what is at stake: the possibility of communication and connection—and the hope of intimacy. Invoking Wordsworth’s “I wandered lonely as a cloud,” she pushes experiments in consciousness against their boundaries in an array of poetic forms. Poetic tropes are measured against natural phenomena as Mullen examines what “witness” might mean in the context of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the failures of capitalism to effect social justice, the murder of James Byrd in Texas, the personal loss of a mother figure, and a disintegrating love affair.
System

Acknowledgments

Cloud Cover

window/ candle

No Voice

In the Space between Words Begin

Remediation Attempt

I Wandered Networks like a Cloud

The Author Is Not

I Wandered (Phony) As

By and By

Little Landscape

I Wandered Her Voice

The Proofs Arrive

As

Stratocumulus

Prose Poem

White Box

Original Material

Studying Clouds (A Trick of the Light)

Parts of Speech

Sound Barrier

Cloud as Lonely

Images, Similes, Some Alliteration

Collide and Coalesce

Code

The White Box of Mirror Dissolved Is Not Singular

Passages

Turn
If
TURN

OWN STRING

A POOL POOLS

IN YOU INSIDE

WREST WORD CLOUD

NO ON COINAGE

EX SELF

EXPANSION EXPANSION

WILDERNESS HERE MATTER

EAST LAST

TRUTH HOUSE MATERIALS PUBLICITY

TRUTH END

POLIS IS SPACE

SAME SAME

NAME CRIME

EXAMPLE AMERICA

INTERPRETING TURNING THINGS

UTTER UTTERLY

Troposphere

Pass

Cloud Seeding: From a Journal

The Visual World behind My Head

Virga

Orographic

(Stratus) Endlessness

Cloud Money

Message

Daisies

On a Clear Day

Love (Stratus)

Love (Stratus Opacus)

Love (Opacus)

Love (Scud)

Edge of There

Love (Altocumulus Translucidus & Altostratus Opacus)

Desire

(Pieces from the Broken Roof of an Abandoned Passage)

After-Image (Louisiana Company)

Spoke of a Blueprint

Should Have Ended

The Motif Modifies Space

Even in My Dreams the Knowledge

Ghost Mist

Evaporation / Condensation
Laura Mullen’s first collection of poems, The Surface, was chosen as a National Poetry Series selection; her second collection, After I Was Dead, was selected for the University of Georgia Press Contemporary Poetry Series. She is also the author of Subject (UC Press), and two hybrid texts: The Tales of Horror and Murmur.
“A strong collection of poetry. . . . Mullen’s poetry is not for the faint-hearted. You need to be committed to reading poetry, not afraid of the challenge. But if you do the work, the return on your effort is huge.”—Greg Langley Baton Rouge Advocate
“You know you can’t right the disaster, or even write the disaster, but now you know, in reading Dark Archive, that you can ride the evanescence that comes before and after. Mullen’s shapes shift, disappear like the living but remain like lives, as sharp curved traces, jarred angles of incidence/vantage/glance. See how veer, wander, being dragged, suffering restructuring, turn into new solids, solidarities of moving, hard-edged lyric social work in solitude, for the crowd, against loneliness, which is really, really cool.”

—Fred Moten, author of Hughson’s Tavern

Praise for Subject:

“Compelling.”

Julie Reid, Poetry Project Newsletter

“Subject limns the rough and ragged borders of identity. It needles though traditional ideas of what occurs within self and outside of (without) self.”

Geoffrey Goodwin, Spider Words Magazine



Praise for After I Was Dead:

“A powerful reconstruction of self…. Wildly versatile formally, restlessly roving from verse to prose to epistle and back. Taken collectively it reads as resistance of structures.”

Sam White, Boston Review

The poems in After I Was Dead expose language where it is most vulnerable, most likely to fail: in the abstract diction of human speech. The voice feels actual, audible.”

Kim Fortier, 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.”

Christopher Davis, The Journal

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