Intelligence and composure are the roots ...


These Pages Once Were Skin 
Laurie Price

ISBN ​​​978-1-963908-06-0      82 pages        $18.00

Propulsive yet indeterminate is the wondrous and suspenseful sense of these poems. Speaking the multilemma of living in these times where everything seems to be slipping away and at the same time converging in tsunamis of cataclysmic disaster, the poems are intimate and yet abstract, embodied but evanescent: a phenomenological study, perhaps, of our minds in the Anthropocene, scrambling for certainty but embracing our lack thereof. Acquiescent inner rebellion laced with biting humor astutely observes the calamities swirling around the globe. “What if I say I am a perfect violation/of what’s expected of me?” These pages that once were skin will be skin again, always singing like the drowned girl’s bone in the old ballad, turned into a flute that wails the story of her death. Dazzling word-dances lead us to intuit a way forward in accepting both a pessimism of the intellect and an optimism of language! You go, grrrl!                 
   Maria Damon        

Laurie Price’s These Pages Once Were Skin shows an intelligence that is beautiful in the writing of it. She reaches as far as she can grasp, images and thought-images as if tangent to an unmarked center. There is no map. Her inner life observes her sensorium and its own self. She examines uneasiness as if it were a process. And she knows when to cool down her rhetoric. Poems like these are events of learning.             
   John Godfrey        

A poet of her own dimension and originality—elegant, philosophical, wise—Laurie Price’s perceptions are heroically true to a language in poetry she crafts and adores. She is with the words. We ride inside a rippling sense of place (perhaps a veranda) with balanced yet complex feeling, admiring her precision and inspiring self-reliance, a composure in her poems and their “look,” not begging any obsession of self. A wonderful visual artist, as well, who works with the intricate tools that field demands, Price has crossed many borders. She knows how to skillfully recognize and organize the beauties and desires of her own existence. Clearly, an “old soul.” “What type of sentences did you have in mind” one poem asks. Pleasure, texture, memory, luminosity, construction, light, dream, lace, paper, a broken window, others and intimacy, conversation, skin. “The world in the word in the work is the work.” Just what we all need. “…. zero surprising all/ of me, evening, the tree.” I love her “salamander heart.”              
   Anne Waldman        

Reading Laurie Price one steps into a vibrant continuum. Inner and outer worlds, animate and inanimate objects, body, language, and landscape glow and flow, careening into each other. Price has an artist’s eye for texture, color, and pattern, “I mix the green and blue with another town which is memory./ Fire burns with dreamy intensity.” Her poems are scored to a fractal logic where meanings metamorphose and connotations gather and scatter. This work enables us to experience the anarchy of everyday life, both exhilarating and terrifying. “The journey is never on the map/ the journey is never the map,” but somewhere else. The journey is the poem. Hop on for the adventure!              
   Elaine Equi          

Laurie Price is a poet we poets should have been clamoring for these last three decades. Her work operates in the here and now with the tools of up there and way deep. She is a high-grade lyric philosopher, metallic and transcendent. The sound of her verse is barbed wire and angelic wind. If you know her art work you know what mysteries she uncovers in the public disorder, magical crafts, and guerilla graffiti of Mexico. I find those images alchemically refined in her poetry. Her work is like Mina Loy’s, a surprise to my word-jaded reading—and hopefully not just mine.              
   Andrei Codrescu

Laurie Price is a poet and visual artist who was in the first graduating class at Naropa’s (then Institute) Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in 1981 and has since published poetry and made and exhibited her visual art ( Courtesy of a generous year-long Gerbode Foundation Poetry grant received in 1993 she moved to Oaxaca, Mexico to begin her life as a citizen of the world. Since then she’s lived in Morocco, Spain, and now resides in Oaxaca, Mexico (since 2013). Two full-length collections (Except for Memory [Pantograph Press, Berkeley, CA, 1993] and Radio at Night: Recent and Selected Work [Lunar Chandelier Press, 2013] and four chapbooks have been published. Her work has appeared in Talisman, Eoagh, HOW2, Big Allis, Arshile, The East Village and Fence, among other magazines. A new ms., entitled Pages That Once Were Skin is in the works and you can view her photos and artworks here:

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