BlazeVOX [books], 2016
Laura Madeline Wiseman has created a strange and wondrous world in this ambitious new collection. In deft turns, Wiseman travels multiple geographies – the world of myth and true fairy tales, the underworld of sketchy hotel rooms and desire, the natural landscape that enchants and confounds, the worlds of want and need and love and loss. Her voice by turns gritty and warm, edgy and elegiac, Wiseman expertly weaves a tale of obsession with the girlish femininity of fairies within the larger story of how women must become shape shifters to navigate the terrain of relationship to the self and to the world. We see what it means to possess and to be possessed. “I think of love/land, vegetables, fruits, fat and round and free//how some can be spared. There is care, other stories/we can cultivate here, other worlds to see.” Her fairies are by turn gritty and fluffy: they “sit on crates on corners with cardboard signs… Some even keep very small dogs.” By the book’s end, we have emerged from the underworld, the threads of relationship rewoven, restored but deeply changed by the journey.
– Kate Lynn Hibbard, author of Sweet Weight
Laura Madeline Wiseman’s prose is razor-sharp, cutting through all the falsities we cling to, exposing us all hiding beneath the masks we wear, exposing our wounds, our wandering frailties, all that we sidestep, and most deeply, exposing the ‘mists that divide.’ An Apparently Impossible Adventure is a stunning read.
– Karen Stefano, author of The Secret Games of Words
Fairies are sinister creatures, seductive and cruel, as is Laura Madeline Wiseman’s newest collection, An Apparently Impossible Adventure. With her sharp wit and insightful eye, Wiseman takes us on a journey through American consumerism and its numbing dollar store obsessions, across landscapes both lost and rediscovered, into the heart of a marriage tested and torn. In this fine and finely-wrought collection, Wiseman lifts the veils that divide us and incants the magics that bring us together again.
– Liz Kay, author of Monsters: A Love Story
In this book Laura Madeline Wiseman fashions a complex weaving of the inner world and modern relationship difficulties presented in an archetypal retelling of classical hero myth. Are the fairies real? Clearly they represent ego manifestations and the interplay of jinn plane and earthly travail. Whether lost in the fairy forest (illusion or reality?), arguing with lover or caring for motherless nieces the reader will travel along a deep journey of the self and other in today’s America.
– Barbara Schmitz, author of Always the Detail
The art of the narrative is alive and thriving in Laura Madeline Wiseman’s An Apparently Impossible Adventure. Here in this world, fantasy juxtaposes reality: fairies and illness, American Gothic and married life, pirates and popcorn. Yet throughout these poems, Wiseman charms us with the specific and the real—whether a mandrake seed unfurls the first white tongue or our heroes that drove without seatbelts, we travel through her world of relationships—both natural and mystical. In grief and beauty, Wiseman’s well-crafted, engaging poems consider the deeper tales we’ve been given—“a promise of packaged life, Just enough magic to cup in your hands”—in a book you will return to again and again.
– Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Hourglass Museum