Poetry, paperback, 72 pages, from YesYes Books.
Part of being a good squatter is learning to inhabit any space, to find a home in anything. The poems of GUTTER, Lauren Brazeal's debut collection, do just this: inhabiting each form given, whether game card pieces, checklists, stolen police evidence, and letters, or redactions, sestinas and sonnets. The story, told from the perspective of a young girl surviving as a squatter on the streets of Los Angeles and based on the author's own experience with homelessness as a teenager, bounces in time and perspective from the not-yet-homeless child, to the panhandling sprite, to the mournful survivor. More than the narrative of a single person, GUTTER speaks to the struggles of those who have been cast aside as irrelevant or undesirable by mainstream society.
Lauren Brazeal teaches in Dallas and is the author of two chapbooks, Zoo for Well-Groomed Eaters (Dancing Girl Press, 2016), and exuviae (Horse Less Press, 2016). Her first full-length collection is GUTTER (YesYes Books, 2018). In her past, Brazeal has been a homeless gutter-punk, a resident of Ecuador's Amazon jungle, a maid, a surfer chick, and a custom aquarium designer. A graduate of Bennington's MFA program in writing and literature, her work has appeared in journals such as DIAGRAM, Smartish Pace, Barrelhouse, Forklift, Ohio, and Verse Daily.