Giving Them All Away

Kristin  Laurel  has  a  ton  of  lived  experience  and  a  heart  sized  to match, which is the only way you can make poetry from some of the desperate and extreme  scenes  she has  encountered  in  her  other  lives  as an  ER  nurse  and mother.  She  has  witnessed  and  coped  with  situations that  would  make  the average middle-class poet faint dead away (the present writer included), and written  unflinching,  unforgettable  poems about  them.  Unfailingly  honest, brave, and life-affirming, Giving Them All Away announces the arrival of a wild, fearless, passionate, and generous talent. This book will burn itself on your  memory.Thomas  R.  Smith,  author  of  Waking  Before  Dawn  and  The Foot of the Rainbow

In Giving Them All Away, Kristin Laurel ‘grabs us  and squeezes our hearts.’ Her language is physical, fearless—intensely personal.  Her gaze, intelligent and direct, does not flinch, does not turn away, and in her poetry shows us the  ‘ordinary  bliss’  in  the  chaos  of  trauma  care,  single  motherhood,  and maze of family history and relationships.  In her compassion and advocacy for the ‘broken-winged angels’ in life, demands and inspires us not to turn away. Kristin  is  ‘out  practicing  love  for  all  to see,’  with  courage  and  humor.  Kristin’s is a voice I never tire of, I double-dare you to pick up this book, read it, savor every word.Leslie Matton-Flynn, editor and book designer, Cup and Spiral Books, Minneapolis, MN  

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Questions About The Ride

Kristin Laurel has written a great book. Lines from D.H. Lawrence hover over the collection as epigraph. Stock, a brilliant lyric, sets the vision and tone for each poem that follows. Horrendous loss, grief, angels present and absent, the death of two beautiful boys, the love inside a family—this book is complete. A real poet takes grief, sorrow, fury, the struggle for acceptance, and makes indelible poems. We readers are heartbroken, inspired. ~Deborah Keenan, author of Willow Room, Green Door: New and Selected Poems, and nine other collections.

“What do you do to survive?” asks Kristin Laurel in the opening poem of her new collection. The answer? Write poems that refuse to flinch in the face of almost unimaginable trauma and loss; poems rich with stunning images, with epiphanies and questions that find home in the marrow and travel with us. Here, in action, is the afterlife that poetry creates for the dead. Questions About The Ride is beautiful, harrowing, and necessary. ~Jude Nutter, author of I Wish I Had a Heart Like Yours, Walt Whitman and three other collections.

We all need this book! Why? Human suffering makes faith impossible, but only faith is big enough to hold human suffering. Smack in the middle of this paradox sits Laurel, wracked with grief, floored by beauty, and having a boat-load of fun. Joining her in that leaky boat, I’m convinced, is the only way forward. ~Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, author of Living Revision and Writing the Sacred Journey

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