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Secrets of Sheets

Pamela L. Laskin

Whether her poems remain close to home among her loved ones, venture out into the urban streetscape, or explore the world's terrains of trauma, Pamela L. Laskin's concerns are united by her forthright gaze at the human body ­- frail, endangered, but consistently resilient. She offers us a deep and serious engagement with our moments of change, of vulnerability and her natural sympathy allows her to embrace, with respect and care, our most elemental and challenging experiences. Best of all, her vision evinces the optimism that arises out of close and conscientious attention; for Laskin, the poet must "refuse to believe/in permanent stains." We can all be grateful for her bold, delicate and affirming poems.

David Groff, Theory of Devolution

Yes, in a collection called Secrets of Sheets, you might expect mention of laundry, as well as everything else that haunts our days, and true to poet/wife/mother Pam Laskin's expansive heart, that laundry includes the metaphoric and the actual - from the son's and daughter's, which transforms into "Dry Cleaners" upon the daughter's graduation, to "Other People's Laundry," to "no laundry" in "Darfur." Laskin refuses to believe in "permanent stains." Yet, at her tough best, she can also write in the found poem "Away":

"She was learning disabled
so I shot her
through her heart....

I didn't want her to die,
I just wanted to stop
being her mother...."

Pam Laskin will make you wince in recognition, and laugh in recognition, but don't worry; she'll protect you, too.

Estha Weiner, Editor, Blues for Bills

ISBN: 978-0-911051-6-67

80 pages., $14.95

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