Valerie Lawson, a veteran of the Boston poetry scene is known for her work both in the Slam and the more traditional Spoken Word genre. She is a dramatic reader and her writing speaks as well on the page as the stage. In her new collection Dog Watch Lawson covers pets, downtown Boston, the passage of time; with vivid and memorable language. Take her portrait of two lovers in the poem 1369 Coffeehouse , a well-known coffee haunt in Cambridge, Mass. In this poem Lawson appoints the stage with telling and evocative detail: You wore that brown sweater and plaid shirt. Throat clearing sounds of coffee machines. The counter man was funny, said, Get desert, he s buying. Food unnecessary, we sit at the tiny table in front, ignore cups of tea. You face the back, I the street. Above our head hangs a map of Cambridge. You show your first poem of the new year, Images in my mind an Escher print. I give you a turkey feather, it gleams as you twirl it, as you smooth the barbs. And in Time Addict Lawson captures the frenzied nature of the rat race a maddening, life-deadening pace: I can make it, I know I can, less than living wage just a point on the line, I need to run faster, work later do more, shave sleep fifteen minutes at a time, sleep is the drug for the weak, give me some sleep deprivation, heady buzz a counterpoint to the pounding in my temples, gotta go, got a thing, got to get somewhere, fast, where d the time go? Reccommended. --Doug Holder, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene
Valerie Lawson is an award-winning poet and photographer who is based in Buzzards Bay but who has taken her poetic vision to Britain and Europe. The poems of Dogwatch, 54 of them, are generally composed in free verse and take on a broad range of subjects, everything from taking down the Christmas tree to this brief gem: Fixing the Faucet The faucet dripped for months, overflowing the dishpan, staining the sink, every drop an annoyance struggling to find its level. Can t afford a plumber: can t afford a new well. Take the faucet apart fumble unfamiliar wrenches, replace rubber washers. Simple, praise harmony, control flow. I could carve my name in stone with tap water. --Melanie Lauwers, Cape Cod Times
About the Author
Valerie Lawson's poetry has been published in literary journals, anthologies and on websites. Lawson received awards for Narrative Poem, Female Spoken Word, and as a member of the poetry troupe, Doc Brown's Traveling Poetry Show. Lawson has traveled to Europe and the UK to perform poetry and participated in a multi-media cultural exchange between Massachusetts and Ireland, celebrating the UN's International Decade for the Culture of Peace. A member of the New England Poetry Club and PEN New England, Lawson edits an e-mail newsletter for poets in the Boston area.