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Laura Passin ’01

Alumnae Poet

Laura Passin

Laura Passin is the author of Borrowing Your Body (Riot in Your Throat, 2021) and All Sex and No Story (Rabbit Catastrophe Press). She earned her PhD in English Literature at Northwestern and her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Oregon. Her writing has appeared in a wide range of publications, including Prairie Schooner, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Toast, Rolling Stone, Electric Literature, and Best New Poets.  Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart prize and Best of the Net anthology. Laura lives in Denver with too many pets.

Select Poems

And what if the world isn’t ending?


I know about the others

who were certain they lived in the twilight:


they made ceremonies, shaved

their bodies, killed themselves


before they could be crushed

by time. Holy fools who


mistook their feelings for history.

They knew what the earth deserves


from us: our absence.

What if it just goes on this way,


ugly, terrifying, so that I forget

the texture of crumbling flyleaf


in the rotting book from my library,

so that no one is old enough to remember


what it felt like to solve a problem,

to really fix it—no more smallpox,


not anywhere, we did that, we

the destroyers did that.


In the version where I am wrong,

we keep going. We ruin everything


and salt the wounds and still

something green and bloody comes back.


We are not the hard, unforgiving seeds

but the fire that cleaves them open.

About Laura

Poetry Center Reading Dates: August 2021