by Laura LeHew
Dear John— is a collection of poems that investigate explore the multi-facets of love by using diverse points of view to reveal romantic love, loving friendships, and love that is complicated. The namesake poem for which this book was conceived, the final poem, “Dear John—,” is an epistolary poem in multiple stanzas ultimately on which the theme of this book is derived. “what happens between the notes // is the living.”
About the Author
Former girl scout Laura LeHew is enthralled by negative spaces. Her collections include: Buyer’s Remorse (Tiger’s Eye Press—Infinities) poems on abuse; Let Widows be Widows (Unsolicited Press—forthcoming) themed around the elegiac; Becoming (Another New Calligraphy) a non-linear discourse on alcoholism & dementia; Willingly Would I Burn, (MoonPath Press) math & science; It’s Always Night, It Always Rains (Winterhawk Press) murder/noir; and Beauty (Tiger’s Eye Press) fairy tales.
In her alternate life Laura has been active in the high-tech industry for over thirty-five years. Her company Deer Run Associates provides Computer Forensic investigations & Information Security consulting services working with law enforcement & commercial organizations on some of the largest and most high-profile cybercrime cases in recent years.
Laura received her MFA from the California College of the Arts. She is on the steering committee for the Lane Literary Guild and facilitates the 1st & 3rd critique group. Laura held various positions for the Oregon Poetry Association. She co-hosted a reading series, Poetry for the People. Recent residencies include Hypatia-in-the-Wood & PLAYA. Laura owns/edits Uttered Chaos, a small press which publishes books of poetry.
The last time she played Call of Cthulhu, Vic Milan was the DM.
Early Praise for Dear John—:
Laura LeHew’s work addresses the sublimation of the human emotions and the trouble remembering them. The evocative language along with the monosyllabic words bring to life a collage of grief, desire, loss, sexuality, and repression. Line after line a new secret is revealed, just like peeling an onion down to the core revealing the enigma of how a human negotiates with the natural world, and how men and women define their conduct within, between them and society. I am mesmerized and surprised by the use of “personified punctuation” which become integral parts of the poem as well as the mystery of the black-out word. LeHew’s poetry is stunning, clear, and melodic. It makes me understand better women’s emotions.
—Raúl Sánchez, author of All Our Brown-Skinned Angels and 2019-2021 City of Redmond Poet Laureate
In Laura LeHew’s new collection, she tackles the living one does between the letters. Essentially, love in its numerous forms. Friendship to romantic love to complicated love in poems such as “First Love” and “If Divorce is the Zombie Apocalypse.” Dear John— explores connection between people, nature and thought. Offers both hushed human moments and passionate insight. This book will surprise you every time with what it means to love. As a veteran, who deployed to Iraq, I know what it’s like to place hope in a letter, not knowing what awaits me on the other side. LeHew addresses the unknowing with remarkable honesty, courage, and wisdom.
—Kristine Iredale, poet, veteran, kick-ass baker
In Dear John—, Laura LeHew pulls at her scabs with grace, wit and poetic honesty. Yes, it is intensely personal and revelatory as it explores the complexities of romance and love which most will identify and empathize with. You’ll find yourself deeply moved and inspired by its bold honesty. Keep this one close by because it is worth reading several times.
—Christopher J. Jarmick, writer, poet and owner of BookTree in Kirkland, Washington