new zealand electronic poetry centre


Tapa Notebooks


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Full text of Laura Mullen's Tapa Notebook [PDF: 8MB]

Laura Mullen is the author of eight books and the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She has enjoyed residencies at The Karolyi Foundation, MacDowell, and the Headlands Center for the Arts, among other honors. She published a translation of Véronique Pittolo's HERO (Black Square Editions) in 2019. She is the Kenan Chair in the Humanities at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, USA.

American poet Laura Mullen was a visiting lecturer at the University of Auckland in August 2017. She read and talked to creative writing classes and performed at LOUNGE 57.

Laura writes:

I recall my visit to New Zealand with great pleasure and the honor of being asked to fill the tapa notebook is a special memory. About the process—it comes to me that I took the lovely book to Paris, to the Trelex residency…I recall keeping it in a certain envelope, and being so afraid I would lose it (making sure, at one point, to get copies made of certain pages, ducking into a little printing and copying shop and increasing my vocabulary…). And I believe—it comes back to me—that I used the unusual pressure to produce a record of process that was also a product to tilt me a little more firmly toward an understanding of the value of presence and the significance of the actual. I came to art, I could say I ran to art, to get away from life…which seemed to me mostly (for it was not a good childhood in my violent foolish country) to be disordered and ugly. Your gift of a notebook was a happy invitation to see art in life, to see the beauty in the actual, and I am endlessly grateful.

Laura Mullen's cat 'Fish' takes a turn with the tapa notebook.
Laura Mullen's cat 'Fish' takes a turn with the tapa notebook. Photo credit: Laura Mullen

Last updated 1 July, 2021