22 5 / 2014
Brett Fletcher Lauer is the deputy director of the Poetry Society of America and the poetry editor at A Public Space. He is the co-editor of Isn’t It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets (Wave, 2004) and his poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Fence, Harper’s, Tin House, and elsewhere.
A Hotel in Belgium is available from Four Way Books.
A Hotel in Belgium explores the emotional space between loyalty and skepticism. Here is a psyche preoccupied with both doubt and dread, but also a desire to surrender itself to the risks of love and trust. These smart, beautiful poems—often complicating their lyricism with formal rigor and adaptations of found texts—investigate the delicacy of human relationships and the hopeful relentlessness with which we pursue them. The voice of these poems is tender, imaginative and sometimes wry, building an urgent narrative of melancholy, self-doubt and the ultimate resilience of the spirit.
Praise for A Hotel in Belgium
"Brett Fletcher Lauer’s A Hotel in Belgium is about estrangement and the distances created by our disparate experiences of the world (‘the machinery in you malfunctions in me’). In these poems, mood and moons are viewed as if via telescope and operate according to stage directions (‘a thousand gray stars prearranged / to shine so-so over the wonders of modern cities’). But just when you become accustomed to the sheen of these poems’ surfaces, sinkholes of precisely rendered beauty and vulnerability appear. The result is surprising and unsettling in the best way.”
- Matthea Harvey
"…These poems are serious, funny, confident, weird, sensitive, and generous. They achieve something close to Frank O’Hara’s dream of ‘true abstraction,’ a deeply personal and human tone that does not resort to the limiting confines of the specifics of autobiography. This book points forward to a new exciting direction in American poetry, and I am so glad we can finally take it with us into the future."
- Matthew Zapruder
An excerpt from a review by Timothy Liu for Coldfront of A Hotel in Belgium:
"As hemlines rise and fall, so do poetic fads and blockbuster meds, our homegrown strain of Symbolism and Deep Imagism having gone into hibernation (like God) along with the likes of Larry Levis, Mark Strand and Stephen Dobyns all amplifying a more plain-spoken spellbound tradition in lines and stanzas chiseled to last—this would be in keeping with the company BFL (Brett Fletcher Lauer) assiduously keeps…" Read the full review here.
An excerpt from a review by Publishers Weekly of A Hotel in Belgium:
"Lauer’s poems ripple like muscle, even as they circle around the notion that we may not possess tools strong enough to arrive at a singular definition of who and what we are….By laying bare superstitious patterns of mind that we routinely interpret as meaning, Lauer’s poems reveal the indeterminacy of what we’re able to know…without forgoing what beauty is to be found in the attempts we make to know it.” Read the full review here.
Read Brett Fletcher Lauer’s poem “Representative Character”, featured on Poets.org, here.
Visit our events page regularly to see if Brett Fletcher Lauer is reading near you.