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ISBN: 978-1-62557-839-6
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Categories Poetry

Women and Other Hostages

Publication Date: June 2021


Laura McCullough reads from WOMEN & OTHER HOSTAGES for the Black Lawrence Press Virtual Reading Series



If you, like the speaker in Laura McCullough’s poem, “Almost Nothing Something [stars / plates / cells]” have grown “tired & suspicious of poetry” Women & Other Hostages will absolutely revitalize you. These are riveting, wholly moving narratives of a life lived. Out of sorrow McCullough invokes a stunning grace where “What is stripped from you” becomes a gift because “what’s left behind is all your own.” Women of all circumstances inhabit these poems. They shed their skin like snakes, “memory in flesh,” and consider the bones of what holds us together in these divisive times. This beautiful book will knock loose what is lodged in your heart. 
—Suzanne Frischkorn 

Early in this collection, McCullough offers this: Tilt back your neck; expose your throat. / You know you want to be devoured. Each of these poems contains universes that quiver with desire, in one form or another. With heat. Both the fear of it as well as the joy. Desire is the engine that got us here, yet these poems push even beyond that, beyond forgiveness even, beyond this cage we all inhabit, out and into the deeper mysteries—don’t I know what it is like / to walk in a cloud of my own making?
— Nick Flynn

About the Author

© Emory Broek

Laura McCullough

Laura McCullough’s newest book of poems is Women & Other Hostages (Black Lawrence Press, 2021). Her previous books from Black Lawrence Press are Jersey MercyRigger Death & Hoist Another, and Speech Acts. Her other books include The Wild Night Dress, selected by Billy Collins for the Miller Williams Poetry Series (University of Arkansas Press, 2017), Panic (winner of the Kinereth Kensler Award, Alice James Books, 2009), and What Men Want (XOXOX Press). She is the editor of two anthologies, A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race (University of Georgia Press) and The Room and the World: Essays on Stephen Dunn (Syracuse University Press). Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Georgia Review, American Poetry Review, The Writer’s Chronicle, Guernica, The Southern Review, Gulf Coast, Pank, Hotel America, Prairie Schooner, and many other journals and magazines. She has had scholarships or fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Nebraska Summer Writers Conference, Sewanee Writers Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Arts, and has been a Dodge Poetry Festival poet, a Florida Writers Circuit poet, and a Decatur Book Festival poet. She has had three NJ State Arts Council Fellowships, two in poetry and one in prose. She received her MFA from Goddard College and teaches full time at Brookdale Community College in NJ where she founded the Creative Writing Program and is on the faculty of the Sierra Nevada low-res MFA and has taught for Ramapo College and Stockton University. Visit her at www.lauramccullough.org

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