“Voices on Addiction: A Conversation with Emily Arnason Casey,” The Rumpus, September 17, 2019.
“The Converse-Station: Laurie Easter Interviews Alice Anderson,” The Manifest-Station, August 28, 2017.
“The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Jericho Parms,” The Rumpus, October 23, 2016.
“MTS 02: Writing about Grief and Shaving Your Head with Laurie Easter,” More To The Story podcast, February 19, 2016.
“Interview with Laurie Easter,” r.kv.r.y quarterly, February 9, 2015.
“Meet the Author: Laurie Easter,” Under the Gum Tree, March 6, 2014.
My friend has disappeared. The search poster says she was last seen on March 2, 2017. The font is a large block print in white on bright red. A warning. Her sweet face looks out from the page. This photo grips me like a fist squeezing my heart as soon as I see it for the first time. I am reminded of how she used to look—bright blue eyes; smooth, shiny, rosy skin; straight, white teeth, smiling. But this is not the sole cause of my reaction. Neither is the thought that that face could have come to harm. The squeezing heart-grip is because I know this photo. I took it. In my house.
“Searching for Gwen,” A Harp in the Stars: An Anthology of Lyric Essays, edited by Randon Billings Noble, University of Nebraska Press, forthcoming Fall 2021.
“If you die on me, I’m selling this place.’
I’d toss the words into the air freely and often—whenever my discontent with our ramshackle life on our rural homestead overflowed like saturated storm clouds spilling water.
“Refrain,” Pithead Chapel, Volume 8, Issue 6, June 2019.
The cat wakes me at 6:00 am by clawing the corner of the king-size bed. I turn off my cpap machine, pull off the mask, then stumble to the living room to let her out. She’s hiding when I get to the sliding glass door, and I’m irritated because first she woke me and now I can’t find her. She then jumps out at me from beside the woodstove. I shoo her out and return to my husband’s side of the bed, which I have taken to sleeping on since I returned home ten days ago after being in “town” for three months. Steve died of liver cancer eleven weeks ago today. Every morning, my first conscious thought is he is gone and another day without him. Today is no different, although the cat is competing for this space in my brain.
“What Happened on June 21, 2018,” Essay Daily, July 3, 2018.
“Mom, I have something to tell you. You might want to sit down.” When my daughter said this, my first thought was uh oh, who died? Not oh my god, she’s pregnant.
(Expect the __________)
“Solving My Way to Grandma,” The Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms, edited by Kim Adrian, University of Nebraska Press, 2018.
They all said it was to be a routine checkup, the doctor, the nurses, the receptionist. Lucia said there was nothing to worry about. She would be fine. She could get herself to the hospital and back again, no problem. She would meet me for dinner at La Bella Rosa.
“La Bella Rosa,” From the Heart of the Applegate: Essays, Poems, and Short Fiction by Applegate Writers, January 2016.
The eighth floor corridor of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at Oregon Health Sciences University is silent except for my hurried footsteps. It’s been several hours since I boarded the commercial flight from Medford to Portland then hired a taxi to get here. My twelve-year-old daughter, accompanied by her dad, has been transported by Mercy Flights for emergency exploratory abdominal surgery. With each footfall, I think, I hope I am not too late.
“Bad Blood,” Chautauqua, Privacy and Secrets issue, June 2015.
I nearly let my child die.
There it is—the stark truth, according to my mother’s-guilt brain. It’s been many years since it happened, but this fact has bored into my psyche the way carpenter bees bore into wood, settling there like an egg in a perfect hole inches below the surface. I don’t talk about it with anyone, not even my husband.
“Rebound Tenderness,” The Manifest-Station, May 12, 2015.
It’s when near the beginning of your day, your husband, who has had chronic Hepatitis C for forty-five years, comes home from the doctor’s and says he has been declared “virus free” after two weeks participating in a drug trial for a new medication that awaits FDA approval.
“The Polarity of Incongruities,” r.kv.r.y Quarterly, Winter 2015, vol. xii. no. 1.
My daughter, Akela, entered the world on the plywood living room floor between the woodstove and bathtub—naturally, like a bear cub born in a den.
“Her Body, a Wilderness,” Prime Number Magazine, Issue 61, October-December 2014.
Third Prize in Creative Nonfiction, 2014 Prime Number Magazine Awards, judged by Ned Stuckey-French.
This is not a feel-good story. I tell you this now because I am offering you an out. Shut your eyes. Close your ears. Walk away. Go ahead. It’s your choice. I would. My first instinct would be to run. But for some damn reason, I’ve committed to embracing this story as sacred. This is my attempt to set it upon the altar and regard it with reverence.
“Crack My Heart Wide Open,” The Rumpus, October 9, 2014.
Notable Essay, Best American Essays 2015
The rental property where we live is not that remote, but access is a challenge, so you have to want to get there.
“Sojourns with Big Cats in Triptych,” Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine, July 2014.
Nominated for Best of the Net Anthology 2015
Before you died, I never told you how I came to shave my head. We didn’t have the opportunity. At that point the how and the why of it seemed irrelevant. The only thing that mattered was that I was there with you, my friend. Your mother had just walked out the door. She huddled with a small group on the front porch, speaking in hushed, frantic whispers when I arrived, unrecognizable in my smooth, fuzzy baldness. Your partner thought I was a stranger until I got close. “Whoa,” he said. “I didn’t recognize you.” I told him I had heard what happened—that your brother was discovered mysteriously dead in his apartment—and I was there to help.
“Something to Do with Baldness,” Under the Gum Tree, January 2014.
Nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Under the Gum Tree, December 1, 2014.
Ten years old:
Standing behind the Green Gables Elementary School library with my best friend, Marnie. “There is something I have to tell you.” The small patch of grass, shorn, electric green from too much fertilizer, the blades sneaking up around and between my toes as my feet squish into the soil beneath, sopping wet from a timed sprinkler system set for too long. Heat radiates off the cement wall of the library, the cerulean sky in this Bay Area town always a bit too sunny. I’ve never done this before. I’m not sure how to begin. Marnie, saying “What? What happened?” in her high-pitched voice, words fast and pressing.
“I Have to Tell You,” Hippocampus Magazine, June 2013.
I lift the wooden box from where it rests atop a pine bedside cabinet,
between a six-foot-high bookcase and a second-hand dresser missing its bottom drawer. The box feels solid in my hands and warm as its chestnut color. A fire-breathing sea serpent threatens from the carving etched into the lid and the front face, amidst swirling Van Gogh-Starry Night clouds and waves: guardian of the box.
“Death Box,” Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, January 2013.
If Katherine Paterson’s heart were to be fashioned of an earthly
substance, it would most certainly not be flint. Hers would be a heart of rose
quartz, moonstone, or pearl. For Paterson, being a writer is more than putting words down on paper and getting them published. In her world, the act of writing contributes to a grander design: that of literary citizenship.
In considering writing this guest post on my favorite word, I found myself a bit stymied choosing a word, or even several, that deserved such accolades. What do I consider a favorite word? I wondered. (Now, as I write this, stymied comes to mind as a word I rather enjoy.) But on the morning of my deadline, I woke amidst a half-dream of words floating through my consciousness. One of which was SLEEP, a word I love, but whether it is for the sound of the word itself or the act, I cannot say. My snoozing brain whispered, Sleeeeeeeep, as if the extended long vowel sound could sequester me in my lulling subconscious.
“Loquacious: A Serendipitous Word Choice,” The Word Cellar blog, August 2012.
I write to create. I write because I love to read. I write because I love words, how they wrestle in my brain, tumble off my tongue, and blend into narrative. I write because I am a word junkie, a literature freak, an addict.
“Why I Write,” Bite My Manifesto, January 2011.
I am not a certified teacher. I am, however, a current MFA in Writing candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts and mother of two daughters, ages 16 and 21. Like most parents, I have experienced vast differences between my children’s abilities and preferences. Each of my girls has strengths and weaknesses amassed from a combination of factors: unique personality, genetic make-up, and social environment. Barring private school, my children have experienced the gamut of educational opportunities from home school to charter school to public school. While I consider both my children brilliant—as every parent should—the fact is one of my girls has publicly identified special needs and the other does not.
“An Open Letter to Current and Future Teachers,” Oregon English Journal, Fall 2010.