We had a great time!

Laura's classic bouquet

A game awaits


Laura's environment is as eclectic as her writing. Not only does she mix family treasures, modern and folk art, toys and found
objects, she divides her time between the high deserts of southern Arizona and the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts.

“I really appreciate the oral aspects of language."

Laura Chester: Writer, Editor, Poet

When it comes to advice for young writers, Laura emphasizes the importance of critique groups. She says that while writing programs and classes are worthwhile, nothing can beat the feedback and support of writers in a community.

Books
Rising Tides: 20th Century American Women Poets (w/Sharon Barba - Editors; Intro, Anais Nin) (1973)
Nightlatch (1974)
Primagravida (1975)
Chunk Off & Float (1978)
Watermark (1978)
Proud and Ashamed (1978)
My Pleasure (1980)
Free Rein, poetry (1988)
In the Zone: New and Selected Writing (1988)
Deep Down: New Sensual Writing by Women (Editor) (1988)
Cradle and All: Women Writers on Pregnancy and Birth (Editor) (1989)
The Stone Baby (1989)
Bitches Ride Alone (1991)
The Unmade Bed: Sensual Writing on Married Love (Editor) (1992)
The Story of the Lake (1995)
Lupus Novice: Toward Self Healing (1999)
Holy Personal: Looking for Small Private Places of Worship
(2000) photos by Donna DeMari
Kingdom Come
(2000)
Sparks
(2002) photos by Donna DeMari
Eros & Equus: A Passion for the Horse
(editor) (2006) photos by Donna DeMari
Heartbeat for Horses
(2007) photos by Donna DeMari
Rancho Weirdo (2008) drawings by Haeri Yoo
Riding Barranca (2013)

Children's
Hiding Glory
(2007) illustrated by Gary A. Lippincott
Marvel the Marvelous (2008) illustrated by Gary A. Lippincott

Location:

Patagonia, AZ

Run Time:

25:01

Genre:

Poetry, Fiction, Anthologies

Website:

Raised:

Wisconsin

Youthful Influence:

Her parents

Favorite Authors:

Eudora Welty, e.e. cummings

Literary Habit:

Morning writer, coffee and cigarettes – project oriented

Interview Movie
(Embedded version below)

MP3 Audio File
(Note: To download the podcast,
right click on the link if you are on a PC,
or
control click if you are on a Mac. )


Laura was a part of the American literary flowering in the 1970s and '80s. She and her first husband began a poetry magazine at the University of New Mexico, and this brought into her world such poets as Gary Snyder and Stan Rice (who was George’s first college writing professor). While there she also produced her first anthology, Rising Tides, and partnered in a small press, The Figures, in California which published Stan Rice's Some Lamb as its first book.

As an editor she suggests reading a first draft start to finish before tackling the real editing. She also reads her own work out loud, often taping herself so she can get at the sound and rhythm of the language in her edits.

While we hunkered down in southern Arizona, we began to learn of the many noted writers that make that area their home for the winter. Among them was Laura Chester, who we knew primarily as an editor. She had several very successful anthologies with well-known larger presses, and had also edited other writer's work. But we were surprised to learn once we got to know her that she is also a writer herself, and although she has written novels, she confesses she is better suited for the shorter 'sprinting' forms, particularly prose poetry and short stories. She has created a very satisfying writing life in the small press world, which is growing as the larger consolidated presses seem to teeter in the new world of publishing.


Looking out toward Laura's writing studio.

including this horse that some of you may recognize from an earlier interview.

A view from Laura's window.

Horses are a theme in much of Laura's writing, and she owns and loves several . . .

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