Laura Hansen is a poet, writer and workshop leader. She has a passion for words that have won her many accolades in the literary world. Laura’s stellar resume includes other chapbooks: Diving the Drop-off, Why I Keep Rabbits, and Writing from the Milkhouse and A Week on Madeline Island; she has also written magazine articles and been published in regional literary journals, participated in poetry exhibitions and been interviewed on TV.
“Déjà Vu” made its first appearance in the form of a poem written by Laura. She felt it would be the perfect title for her new book as it sums up the feel and direction of the poetry collection. Placing the poem first in the book sets the tone. Right away the reader learns the poet has been writing for a long time and represents the flow and feel of the subsequent lyrical prose. The reference to the night sky in “Déjà Vu” harks back to the poem “Midnight River” in her previous poetry book Midnight River.
Each poem in Déjà Vu is carefully crafted with rich imagery and use of profound metaphors. There is a certain amount of quietness that pervades many of the poems. The poet’s inner reflections reveal keen observations of the world around her and relationships with others. She is skilled at combining ideas in unexpected ways as evidenced in the poem “Cup of Sky” with lines
A cup of sky before bed-
The scent of stars-a bowl of sleep
Heavy in her hands
The blackberries, wild, their leaves
misty green, were rushing over
the dried-up spillway, dashing
from stump to block to stone.
We pushed back our sleeves
And picked and picked.
The cover of Déjà Vu features Laura’s original oil painting titled “Prairie Storm.” Laura felt this was a good choice as the art work is somewhat impressionistic making it open to interpretation. A touch of purple found in the painting was expounded on by the layout team for the final cover design.
Laura’s final poem in her chapbook, “Desire, At Sixty,” brims with a snap, crackle and determination with its use of language letting the reader know this is where the writer is at this point in her life. It also reverts the reader back to the river and the water images that are so often used as focal points in Laura’s writing.
Laura hopes her poems propel readers into that aha moment-a realization that they are not alone in their feelings and may have had similar experiences. There is a calmness that comes from knowing that even though we dwell in solitude we are not alone.
Déjà Vu can be ordered from www.FinishingLinePress.com or by contacting Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org. It can be purchased locally at Great River Arts in Little Falls, The Shoppes of Little Falls, The Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd or Beagle Wolf Books in Park Rapids, MN. It is also available online at www.indiebound.org and www.amazon.com.
Book Launch and Reading
Great River Arts Center, 122 First ST SE, Little Falls, MN
Free and open to the public. Refreshments.