In the Zone:

New and Selected Writing

In the Zone is Laura Chester’s own selection of poems, prose poems, and stories from 1970 to 1988, the first two decades of her career. Erotic, dreamlike, and unashamed, they constitute the personal history of a literary sensualist.

Laura Chester writes of this early work: “I’ve always understood that a poem, or any piece of writing, has something of its own life, its own force, but now I see that it can also become part of a greater upward or downward spiral. I do not want to limit myself to the perpendicular of intellectualism, nor the squiggles of siren stuff, but I do want to be receptive to the unpredictable curve, letting a wholeness come through me, thought, word, and feeling inseparable, inspiration firmly linked to the craft-work of shaping. Writing for me has got to be grand.”

A fine achievement. I am delighted.
Carl Rakosi

This is powerful stuff, often beautifully obscure, with undercurrents that constantly tug at the shoals of sanity.

Her stories and poems are vivid . . . moving . . . engrossing. As a matter of fact, her writing is addictive.
Small Press Review

Laura Chester has published many volumes of poetry, prose and non-fiction, most recently, her book of short stories, Rancho Weirdo, Bootstrap Press; Holy Personal, looking for small private places of worship, Indiana University Press, and a selection of prose-poems, Sparks, published by The Figures. Station Hill Press released an updated version of Lupus Novice, an account of Chester’s personal struggle and breakthrough with the auto-immune disease SLE, while Black Sparrow Press published three of Chester’s early books of fiction. Other novels include The Story of the Lake, Faber & Faber; and Kingdom Come, Creative Arts Book Company. Chester has edited five important literary anthologies, including Rising Tides, 20th Century American Women Poets, Simon & Schuster; Deep Down and Cradle & All, both from Faber, The Unmade Bed, HarperCollins; Eros & Equus andHeartbeat for Horses, Willow Creek Press. Riding Barranca, will be available from Trafalgar Square Books, spring 2013.  Having grown up in Wisconsin, lived in Albuquerque, Paris, and Berkeley, she now travels between Patagonia, Arizona and the Berkshires of Massachusetts.