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Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
Book Signing with Poet Laura Bandy

Book Signing with Poet Laura Bandy

Date & Time
Saturday, September 23, 2023
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
419 North Main Street, Bloomington, IL, 61701
Award-winning poet Laura Bandy is coming to Bobzbay on Saturday, September 23rd!

Author the author: Laura Bandy attended the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers PhD program from 2009 to 2013, where she received the Joan Johnson Poetry Award. In 2018, she won first prize in the ‘Trio of Triolets’ contest judged by Allison Joseph, and received third place in the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition that same year. She has had work published in Soft Skull’s Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry, Ninth Letter, River Styx, The Florida Review, and The Laurel Review among others, and her chapbook, Hack, was published by Dancing Girl Press in August 2021. Her first full-length poetry collection, Monster Movie, is out now from Gold Wake Press (2023) and available for purchase. She teaches at a community college near the Iowa border. Laura hails from Jacksonville, Illinois, home of the Ferris wheel.

Laura’s latest release is Monster Movie. Monster Movie consists of loosely linked poems that are offered cinematically, with one small section a set of odes to modern films, and the other poems presented in semi-chronological fashion as our speakers move from previews to the final feature. The lead characters in these poems often find themselves in circumstances strange, dangerous, unfathomable-how did they arrive in these places? They scan the sky for UFO’s… were they abandoned here? Will they ever find home? There is often a sense of needing to escape: the stultifying small towns in which they feel stranded, the rigid expectations of others, the consequences of their own complicated choices, and the vast and indifferent Midwest itself. What they learn is that real escape is harder than it seems. And so, the speakers escape into stories-those they watch and read, and those they create and mutate to tell about themselves. The title poem betrays a sneaking suspicion at the heart of the collection -perhaps this movie we are “starring” in is not the one with the happy ending. Altogether, the manuscript’s poems work as a collection of scenes combining to create the whole, a slice of life American movie reflecting the country itself; that slippery genre bender sliding between coming-of-age tale, rom-com, noir, sci-fi, and horror, all within the blink of history’s eye.