Laura Chester: Free Rein


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A focus on language fuses with great rushes of energy, musical, sensual, a feeling of life connecting to more life. Everything is movement in Free Rein, even thematically: a writer moves from city to country, from struggling with disease to feeling a kind of cure in words, from isolation toward love. But love in the fresh air, with quick moving views, often from horseback at a full gallop, giving the impulse Free Rein.

Laura Chester was born 1949 in Wisconsin. With Geoffrey Young, she was founder and editor of “The Figures” Press. Her many books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction include In the Zone: New and Selected Writings (Black Sparrow) and Lupus Novice (Station Hill). She lives in Massachusetts.

“Though the reins are free, the ride is not random or out of control. The passion for high experience gives direction to the sensuous language…link us to the fear at the heart of true poetry.”

–Frank Stewart, The American Book Review

“Clarity is frustrated to produce dazzling surfaces, the way our lives would appear without filters, full of possibilities, before we fell into this rut.”

–Jerry Roscoe, Columbus Dispatch

“What stands out is the natural flowing sound and seamless coherence of the prose, an extraordinary quality these days, and the sure grasp of the experience…. A fine achievement. I’m delighted with it.”

–Carl Rakosi

“Powerful, heart-rocking poems with a drive in them that’s both a drum and a trumpet reaching out with high, hard notes.”

–Howard McCord

“The best writing about the Midwest since Cather. It moves in so many directions at once, and with such ease.”

–The Lamp in the Spine

“The best French novel written in Oconomowoc”

–Stephen Rodefer