Artist's Statement and Poems


  • Laura E Passin Independent researcher



Laura Passin’s powerful artist’s statement offers signposts for our reading of her poetry in which clear-cut distinctions between health and illness dissolve and the speaker straddles the divides of Susan Sontag’s famous “kingdom of the sick and kingdom of the well” (3), as Passin locates herself “with one foot in both kingdoms, not certain in which one my center of gravity leans.” Her work is at once deeply subjective, personal and intimate, as well as political. It prompts us to reflect on the role of the poet as interpreter—of others unable to speak for themselves and of one’s own, at times fragile and utterly temporary, citizenship in Sontag’s kingdom of the well. In doing so, it raises pivotal questions of authority.

(Tanja Reiffenrath and Gesine Wegner “Dis-eased: Critical Approaches to Disability and Illness in American Studies”)

Author Biography

Laura E Passin, Independent researcher

Laura Passin (Ph.D. Northwestern; M.F.A. University of Oregon) is a writer and scholar specializing in contemporary American poetry and gender studies. She has taught a wide range of literary topics, from Renaissance poetry to 21st-century feminist writing. Laura has delivered lectures and poetry readings to audiences in the US and abroad.

Laura's poetry and essays have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Prairie Schooner“, Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women“, The Toast“, Rolling Stone“, and Best New Poets 2013“. “In 2013, Mark Doty awarded her poem "The Learn'd Astronomer on the Radio" the Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry from the Bellevue Literary Review“. Under the pseudonym "Sweet Machine," she has written for major feminist blogs such as Shapely Prose and Captain Awkward. She also writes an email newsletter about feminism, poetry, and pop culture called Postcards from a One-Woman Army. Laura lives in Denver, Colorado, USA.




How to Cite

Passin, Laura E. “Artist’s Statement and Poems”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 18, no. 2, Feb. 2018, doi:10.5283/copas.298.