Dorianne Laux

Literary Birthday – 10 January – Dorianne Laux


Happy Birthday, Dorianne Laux, born 10 January 1952

Five Quotes

  1. Good writing works from a simple premise: your experience is not yours alone, but in some sense a metaphor for everyone’s.
  2. When I wrote the poems that would become my first book, I didn’t think of it as a book, but rather as a need to understand the basic questions that all human beings ask: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? What is beauty? Why is there suffering? Where is truth?
  3. Writing and reading are the only ways to find your voice. It won’t magically burst forth in your poems the next time you sit down to write, or the next; but little by little, as you become aware of more choices and begin to make them — consciously and unconsciously — your style will develop.
  4. I write to add my voice to the sum of voices, to be part of the choir. I write to be one sequin among the shimmering others, hanging by a thread from the evening gown of the world. I write to remember. I write to forget myself, to be so completely immersed in the will of the poem that when I look up from the page I can still smell the smoke from the house burning in my brain. I write to destroy the blank page, unravel the ink, use up what I’ve been given and give it away. I write to make the trees shiver at the sliver of sun slipping down the axe blade’s silver lip. I write to hurt myself again, to dip my fingertip into the encrusted pool of the wound. I write to become someone else, that better, smarter self that lives inside my dumbstruck twin. I write to invite the voices in, to watch the angel wrestle, to feel the devil gather on its haunches and rise. I write to hear myself breathing. I write to be doing something while I wait to be called to my appointment with death. I write to be done writing. I write because writing is fun.
  5. A poem is like a child; at some point we have to let it go and trust that it will make its own way in the world.

Dorianne Laux is an award-winning American poet. Her most recent collection is The Book of Men, which won the Paterson Prize for Poetry. Red Dragonfly Press released The Book of Women in 2012. A finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, Laux is also author of three collections of poetry from BOA Editions, Awake, What We Carry and Smoke. Co-author of The Poet’s Companion, she’s the recipient of three Best American Poetry Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, two fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Source for Image

by Amanda Patterson

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