Biography of Valerie Laws
Poet, performer, crime novelist, playwright and sci-art installation specialist. Her new poetry book 'All That Lives' arises from funded Residencies at a London Pathology Museum, at Newcastle University's Institute for Ageing and Health working with neuroscientists creating poetry about the brain’s bizarre beauty and life cycle, and Evolving Words for Darwin 200. Her 11 books include poetry (including 3 full collections) , crime & comedy fiction, and drama. Many prizes, including Wellcome Trust Arts Award, twice prizewinner in National Poetry competition, two Northern Writers' Awards. Devises new forms of poetry, science-themed poetry installations and commissions including the infamous Quantum Sheep, an Arts Council-funded project spray-painting random haiku onto live sheep. She featured in BBC2 TV's Why Poetry Matters, with Griff Rhys Jones, and live at Royal Festival Hall, London. Poetry AV installations (eg Slicing the Brain) feature in public exhibitions in London, Berlin, Newcastle et al. She performs worldwide. Many residencies, including in Egypt.She has written 12 commissioned plays for stage and BBC radio.
Valerie Laws's Works:
All That Lives (poetry collection, Red Squirrel Press)
Quantum Sheep (poetry collection, Peterloo Poets)
Moonbathing (poetry collection, Peterloo Poets)
The Rotting Spot (crime, Red Squirrel Press & amazon kindle)
Lydia Bennet's Blog (comedy ebook, Kindle & Smashwords)
Changing Age, Changing Minds (prose/poetry, University of Newcastle)
Star Trek - the Poems (anthology I edited, Iron Press)
Hadaway (drama, Iron Press)
For Crying Out Loud (joint collection, Iron Press)
Au Secours (language course co-authored for MGP)
Valerie Laws Poems
My Mother's Twin Lovers
‘I must get back to the men, ' my mother announces, Then slyly meets my eye, as I choose, this time, To avoid my usual reply. ‘I know what you're thinking! ' She's triumphant. ‘That there's only one of them! But
The Heart Does Not Break When Bones Do
My heart used to beat in the swift, sharp tap of my high heels, pecking out the rhythm of my blood. Now heart and feet are out of step,
'Your Great-Grandma Would Have Been Good...
Slice after slice, she has dished up her sleep to them, keeping only the smallest piece for herself. Now, tiredness keeps her warm, like fur. She's up before dawn, alone,
The Incredible Shrinking Brain
Excited, she tugs me up to her bedroom of thirty years. ‘Look! There's all this here! ' A sweep of her arm presents Melamine wardrobes with fancy handles, the swagged Pink curtains she sewed herself. Back downstairs,
Bones From A Medic's Dustbin
I hold this human spine like a rosary of bone, fingering the winged vertebrae. I stack them to nest snugly in totem poles of little trolls;
After he dumped me, I felt a little flat. My life Needed perking up, So in search of something
Thin Air - A Love Story Of Two Air Guita...
I bought myself an air ticket To the air guitar championships In Finland. There I met him, And love was in the air.
‘Promise me I'll never have to go out there again, ' says Carrie Fisher to her new-found, late-found fiance in ‘When Harry met Sally'. Meaning
Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition
The rainbow arch hangs in space at Lindisfarne, a cannonball's leap frozen in stone. Hail and rain rattle the walls like shot, the sea keeps up
Inside, all our brains are black. I've seen it, fossil traces Of how we all looked, when melanin shaded us From the burn and blight of African sun. Those born Pale sickened, became nobody's ancestors. We children
Walking Back To Africa
The desert, seen from high above, is scrawled With the wind's mysterious graffiti. I try to read These hieroglyphs: wavy lines, claw marks, a group Of neat horseshoes like sheepfolds. Even a cluster
Slices Of Brain
Third anniversary of my mother's death from dementia, And I'm looking at slices of brain, stained pretty pink, The neurones purplish, their nuclei clear as strawberry pips.
A Litter Of Moons
Brown dwarfs, like Jupiter, we are stars that didn't make it, too slight to shine. ‘Malformed Foetuses': our landfall broke hearts, though we barely tasted air.
Lifting The Lid
Full fathom five in A&E, my father Lies white as a cuttlefish blade, suddenly granted The sailor's death war denied him. Water runs Clear from his mouth and the puncture wounds
Slices Of Brain
Third anniversary of my mother's death from dementia,
And I'm looking at slices of brain, stained pretty pink,
The neurones purplish, their nuclei clear as strawberry pips.
Like a magician in his many-coloured coat of patches, motley
Bow tie, hair like wild dendrites in a frenzy of thinking,
The pathologist initiates me into what death has revealed.
The donor's name is on the slides, their memorial, evidence