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Everyone and Her Resemblances
Laynie Browne

//////168 Pages
15.6 x 23.4 cm
ISBN: 978-1-915341-21-1



Everyone and her Resemblances is a poetic sequence in the form of a conversation with an oracular presence—a text to walk a reader through blindness. "Her" is at once: other and icon. These poems are entities you can talk to. Escorts beyond the edges of the permissible, the knowable. This text is a written companion, an excursion into the realm of the ethereal, dream, loss and an exploration of human and inexplicable consciousness.

Laynie Browne has made me catch my breath for many years with poems that glide the occult borders of scorpions as spirit animals and other lifted veils of parallel worlds. Deep inside these pages, you will see a photo of the specter she was conversing with to write this poetry: "Leaves were falling, not outside the window / but in my veins." Consider this book a location where we meet to listen to ourselves through the ink and ears of the Listener, Laynie Browne.

- CA Conrad, author of Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return



Laynie Browne’s Everyone and Her Resemblances guides us across a threshold into the “Wakeways” haunt of conversations among apparitions in multiple tones and guises. We move fluidly through chiseled lyric and narrative written by “non-material scribes / as many handed as wind” --as many-faced and -voiced as a discussion between italics and roman, between a you and others who may or may not reply, or exist. A speaker dispenses instructions, another interrupts -- one wishes, another reveals the whiplash in the wish --cruel critics intrude, welcome guests set a new course. Garments, sequins and shoes register impediment disguised as desire for given scripts for girls. She quests to discover “another way we could proceed besides sharpening disquiet.” Don a “candle crown” to see by the revelatory light of this book, by which Browne wraps us in a resplendent “cloak of imagined voices” – because “to imagine is to not grow cold.”

- Susan Gevirtz author of Burns (Pamenar Press, 2022)


"How to cultivate filial relations to one’s dreams, one’s poetry mothers? Everyone and Her Resemblances explores the art of mothering and unmothering through its dedication to Alice Notley, beyond singular being or relation. Opening with the intimate epigraph of Notley’s counsel: ‘“Only your first “mother knows”’, the book takes flight from the premise of this ‘only’ to ask — to whom does a poem, a dream, a girl belong? How many mothers may find us? If poetry teaches love as this iterative, asking thing, Laynie Browne offers more than just a little ‘Narrative medicine’. We are in the realm of lyric as portable dream stems — vocable fragments of heart file plugged into language. That feeling of mixing sources is sociable. It wants to sing, it wants to talk. I feel the speaker mother-and-sistering me as I choose what to wear, when ‘Certain cloth approximates sadness’ and I can’t find the dress or address that fits. The poems want to know what it means to assume or dissemble in somebody else’s woven skin. Reading as home-making, day-sleeping, self-cascade. How much of fantasy leaves us in a dishevelled epistolary, wondering what personal substance it was that so touched us before? To read this book is to risk skimming the seams of time so much that your being here now might already belong to tomorrow, unstitching itself. What does seeing the future in the quotidian really feel like: metamorphopsia, distortion of mortal objects, impossible tresses the length of this book. A voice is ‘centuries of mended silk’. I want to ask my mother everything; I want telepathy to make that unnecessary. The deep, reading love that I find here is in debt to being parented by a ‘crushed apparatus’. And I adore the gaps in the fabric, the page porosity turning gossamer in a mirror where objects are closer than they appear — much like the ‘other’ in ‘mother’. What of her ‘flagrant plasma’? What of her ghosts? Breathtaking. I want to live with this book for the rest of my life."

-  Maria Sledmere, author of Cinders (Krupskaya, 2024)





Laynie Browne is the author of seventeen collections of poems, three novels, and a book of short fiction. Her recent books of poetry include: Intaglio Daughters (Ornithopter), Practice Has No Sequel (Pamenar), Letters Inscribed in Snow (Tinderbox), and Translation of the Lilies Back into Lists (Wave Books). Her work has appeared in journals such as Conjunctions, A Public Space, New American Writing, The Brooklyn Rail, and in anthologies including: The Ecopoetry Anthology (Trinity University Press), The Reality Street Book of Sonnets (Reality Street, UK), and Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (W.W. Norton). Her writing has been translated into French, Spanish, Chinese and Catalan. She co-edited the anthology I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women (Les Figues Press) and edited the anthology A Forest on Many Stems: Essays on The Poet’s Novel (Nightboat). Honors include a Pew Fellowship, the National Poetry Series Award for her collection The Scented Fox, and the Contemporary Poetry Series Award for her collection Drawing of a Swan Before Memory. She teaches Creative Writing, and coordinates the MOOC Modern Poetry at the University of Pennsylvania.


Everyone and Her Resemblances | Laynie Browne

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