Laura Mullen recently joined the faculty at
Louisiana State University. She is the author of four
books: her first collection of poems, The Surface
(1991), was chosen as a National Poetry Series
selection; her second collection, After I Was Dead
(1999), was selected for the University of Georgia
Press Contemporary Poetry Series. She is also the
author of The Tales of Horror (Kelsey Street Press,
1999) and Subject, just out from the University of
California Press. She has been awarded a National
Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Prize
and several McDowell Colony Fellowships. Recent work
has appeared in the Iowa Review, New American Writing,
and The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries.
"To write today in English means using an idiom that
is hegemonic, 'globalized,' no longer national.
Vacated. A human, though, is necessarily sited, and
here we find Mullen's Subject. Its movement open to
both '(gone) and suture,' it grasps an anxiety in
American speech too often covered over by Americans,
though it's visible in the world. To cite Agamben:
'the ethical subject is a subject that bears witness
to a desubjectivization.' Mullen's 'subject' is not
one of triumphalism; it articulates the 'no-one,'
ninguen, the 'not-even-who' that generates being's
fibre, its viscosity, presence. In Mullen, 'Belonging
to a body/To itself unrecognizable' is followed by
'Open the doors. Here.' Her 'here' is poetry that
American English needs."
- Erin Moure