Laurie Easter is a writer and editor from Southern Oregon, where she lives on twenty-eight forested acres in a funky, little cabin “off the grid” and on the edge of wilderness with some chickens, too many cats, and occasionally her daughter Lily and grandson Tristan.
She holds a bachelor’s in English with a writing emphasis from Southern Oregon University and an MFA in writing with a Creative Nonfiction emphasis from Vermont College of Fine Arts. A former creative nonfiction editor at Hunger Mountain: The VCFA Journal of the Arts, she helped curate two annual issues of the magazine that were recognized as “Notable Special Issues” in Best American Essays.
Her essays have been honored with a grant and a fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center, a residency at Playa, nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Award, and named a prizewinner in Prime Number Magazine’s Award for Creative Nonfiction, judged by Ned Stuckey-French in 2014. Her essay “Crack My Heart Wide Open,” published by The Rumpus, was listed as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2015. Other work appears in The Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms, published by University of Nebraska Press, and the literary journals Chautauqua, Under the Gum Tree, and Hippocampus Magazine, among others.
Laurie writes about what matters to her most—family, nature, relationships, the trials and tribulations of life. For her, honesty is not a virtue, but a bit of a curse, one that she finds herself compelled towards again and again as she writes about topics many people are hesitant to explore. Her essay collection, ALL THE LEAVINGS, was a finalist for the 2018 Autumn House Press Nonfiction Prize and is currently under consideration by publishers.
At times heartbreaking, at times harrowing, ALL THE LEAVINGS navigates the rugged terrain not just of the rural Oregon land where Laurie Easter has forged an off-the-grid life, but of the ragtag terrain of the human heart. At once quiet and searching, ALL THE LEAVINGS is a personal narrative that lays bare the human experience between mother and child, between living and dying, between the human world and nature. In essence, these essays are about love—for the child who faces a health crisis, for the friend dying of AIDS, for the one entangled by addiction who disappears—while also examining the tenacity of the human condition. From one woman’s perspective as a mother, wife, and friend, ALL THE LEAVINGS will take readers inside a rural Oregon rich with natural beauty and tales of at-once relatable people while capturing an interior life and the cinematic beauty of the West in prose that is, ultimately, a redemption song.