Laura Cronk is Associate Director of the Writing Program at The New School University and co-curator of the Monday Night Poetry Series at KGB Bar in the East Village. Her poems have been published in many journals, as well as in several editions of Best American Poetry. Originally from New Castle, Indiana, she lives with her family in Jersey City. (Author photo by Ken Lager)
Winner of the 2011 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry
"Having Been an Accomplice is a marvelous two-pronged event. Laura Cronk explores the vicissitudes and pleasures of the relational and often domestic beloved ('built on the frenzy of / male and female effort'), and then proceeds to invent a fascinating persona in the figure of the child-like Citizen Queen, a disarmed goddess sitting in her apartment, questioning her power and efficacy. This is indeed the 'new American forest,' a feminist cautionary tale for our time."
"'Look! I'm ensnared again with life,' Laura Cronk writes in one of the seductive poems in this delicious debut. Oh, there's humor, too, and the joys of wordplay, but I am particularly taken with the rare sensuality of Cronk's poetry—rare because the longing meets the having, here where "my beloved marries me / everyday." I'm reminded of some of D.H. Lawrence's wonderful (and under-valued) poems when the poet presents herself standing still, refusing to flinch as a horse charges past, though she knows that 'even in thought, in quiet, / long after the horse had gone / shrinking up over the hill, / I wouldn't know you, / you, coming close / enough to graze me.'"
"The clear, human voice in these poems is haunted, sure, and shattered. It speaks, mystically, from a whole self, of a fragmented self—a split and doubled self. Dreamy yet certain, lovelorn and love-buoyed, the sadness in the poems has joy-rounded edges, the delight scooped out of melancholy and offered, shining. It's as if the poet whispers beautiful new truths into the reader's ear, saying: 'Listen to this. Perhaps you already know it, but you've never heard it this way before.'"