Laury A Egan
Photo by Vicki DeVico

Laury A. Egan has traveled to four continents yet always returns to the New Jersey hills overlooking the Atlantic Ocean where she composed her first poem at age seven. Her poems have been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, Best of the Web, and Best of the Net and have also appeared in The Emily Dickinson Awards Anthology, The Ledge Magazine, Sea Stories, Atlanta Review, Icarus International, The Centrifugal Eye, Willows Wept Review, Bosphorous Art Project Quarterly, Leaf Garden, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Ginosko Literary Journal, Foliate Oak, Boston Literary Magazine, Lowestoft Chronicle, Welter, Halfway Down the Stairs, and Caper Literary Journal, as well as in anthologies by Sephyrus Press, Static Movement Press (Don't Tread on Me), and Vagabondage Press (Love Notes, 2012). Her two full-length poetry books, Snow, Shadow, a Stranger (2009) and Beneath the Lion’s Paw (2011), were issued by FootHills Publishing in limited edition, as were two chapbooks, Presence & Absence and The Sea & Beyond (the long poem "Beyond" was named an Inernational Merit winner by Atlanta Review and "The Sea" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize). She lives on the northern coast of New Jersey

Presence & Absence Book Cover Beneath the Lion's Paw Book Cover Snow, Shadows, a Stranger Book Cover Snow, Shadows, a Stranger Book Cover
38 pages, 5½ x 8½ inches
$10.00 plus $2.75 S&H
Available directly from
FootHills Publishing

Presence & Absence
Poems by Laury A. Egan

“Wind plays rough, knowing it will eventually decide what remains up-right.” In the poem, “Oak,” Laury A. Egan implies that she has experienced a great deal of “wind” in recent years. The book depicts her struggle with disability, the loss of her spouse, and the insidious effects of aging—the progression from presence to, ultimately, absence. Some of the poems are observational and some are more personal, yet her approach throughout is honest, unsentimental, and sometimes wry, invoking her characteristic lyric naturalism.

“Grief is grief. Laury Egan confronts grief unabashedly—hers and ours, for grief is a universal inevitability. With her distinctive lyricism: “The sun shakes through/ the white shoulders of clouds, “she buoys us through the oceanic turbulence of loss and gives of herself to bring beauty into our hurting human hearts.”—Karla Linn Merrifield, Psyche’s Scroll

“I am the only witness,” Laury Egan writes of a last vigil, and we enter the bedroom of a person dying. In this most private, intimate of spaces, a garish light shines overhead. On this dark night, in feverish eyes, “embers smoldering with cancer’s fiery heat…You look at me, helpless.” Ocean, wind, walks on the beach are backdrops to this trial moving inevitably towards its end: the life-bond of two who have loved one another stretches to its breaking point. Facing death and the terrible solitude that follows in its wake, Egan writes the slow, incremental work of learning to live with grief. She is the faithful companion and tender presence each of us needs. Her poems are somber, honest and brave. By the last one, readers will feel grateful for her unblinking witness.”—Bartlett White, The Faces We Had as Children


significant is left
only a house full of things
crowded walls of paintings
glass cases
of Venetian masks
a turquoise vase
we once filled
with lilac-colored roses

I want the nothing
that remains to become
something again
for the lost
to be found
transformed from empty air
into the real
the tangible
to no longer feel the vacancy
the pervasive despair

At any cost
I want you here

[from Presence & Absence]

70 pages, 5½ x 8½ inches
$16.00 plus $3.00 S&H
Available directly from
FootHills Publishing

Beneath the Lion’s Paw
Poems by Laury A. Egan

Or, perhaps, despite knowing
where we wish to go,

we see no path; sometimes we see a path but no destination.

Dichotomies spring up frequently in Beneath the Lion’s Paw. The poet exalts in nature’s beauty and risks the solitary journey yet also warns of the treachery of the natural world, the dangers that lie ahead for the solo traveler. With a lyric sensibility, she explores the experience of connection and disconnection, mines fading memories for glimmers of truth, and imagines what waits beyond the horizon.

“Laury Egan’s Beneath the Lion’s Paw first uncurls gradually, the soft flex of its pads treading a meditative and introspective ground. The natural scenery coasts by in rock-steady narratives. But this calm delivery is just foreshadowing for the progression of hard, striking images, ‘logs lodged like crowbars in the cove,’ that will emerge in this collection. Egan’s wry irony bleeds through her taut constructions, surprises with both warm and bitter moments. Yet unlike ‘Rex,’ a dog who might fancy himself a lion, but gets sidetracked by treats, Egan’s ‘attention to small rewards’ for readers gives them constant reassurance that she’s never really forgotten her truest self, even when lethargy or inertia sets in and the birdfeeder remains empty.” 
—Eve Anthony Hanninen, Poet, Illustrator, and Editor of The Centrifugal Eye

“In Laury Egan's newest book of poetry, the common becomes profound, the specific becomes universal, and the details of her surroundings provide deep insight into the nature of life. Celebrations, tragedies, and moments of tranquility all have their place here, and her poetry illuminates readers just as the experiences she describes have illuminated her.”
—Gregory Miller, author of Scaring the Crows and Four Autumns

Beneath the Lion’s Paw

Despite the heat,
the trick of switchbacks,
the vertiginous cliffs so close,
the waterfalls that sweep
even less foolish souls away,
the waving grass that erases
my path, I press on, knowing
the lion waits...

…he waits
with a golden nugget
beneath his tawny paw,
the treasure for those
weary solo travelers
who dare his den, risking
its unknown dangers.

[from Beneath the Lion’s Paw]

80 pages, 5½ x 8½ inches
$16.00 plus $3.00 S&H
Available directly from
FootHills Publishing

Snow, Shadows, a Stranger
Poems by Laury A. Egan

I devote this book to loves lost,
to those leaving or who will leave,
to my own final exit.

With these lines from the opening poem, Laury Egan draws the reader into a stranger’s world where she considers childhood hopes and shadowy lovers, the loss and loneliness of middle age, and the awareness of the approaching last stage of life, whispering ominously in the wings. Written with lyric intensity, Snow, Shadows, a Stranger celebrates the forest, field, and sea as the poet weaves her experience of the natural with the emotional and philosophical.

“‘Hardness fits my hand / carves the contours of my dark hope,’ writes Laury Egan. Snow, Shadows, a Stranger is indeed often dark. We endure with her ‘white spikes of lightning’ and ‘tick of sleet.’ We learn how to survive longing and loss as she has. Her ‘affinity for shadows’ helps us cope with our own. But this is also a book of hope. Her lush imagery of the natural world propels us beyond the shadows; she engages all our senses and we emerge from the book renewed, as if we too were ‘wild onions greener than new grass.’ Egan is a woman of courage, hers is a poetic voice unafraid.”
—Karla Linn Merrifield, Midst, Godwit: Poems of Canada, and Dawn of Migration and Other Audubon Dreams

Either/Or: Sky

The sky may be the absence of thing or, when trapped inside a window,
it may become everything,
a celebration of blue all-ness,
of color, shape, and place.

[from Snow, Shadows, a Stranger]

24 pages, 5½ x 8½ inches
$10.00 plus $2.75 S&H
Available directly from
FootHills Publishing

The Sea & Beyond
Poems by Laury A. Egan

“Imagine the powers of a poet who can pour the oceans of the Earth into a thimble and not spill a drop. Such are Laury Egan’s talents in The Sea & Beyond: to evoke the sea in all its incarnations. Thus we discover that ‘Tsunamis are its crowning achievement./ Its greatest amusement: the rogue wave’ and that the sea has ‘designs on Earth and is stealth/ itself in its slow conquering.’ From primordial soup to the contemporary ‘perfidious intent’ of global warming, Egan’s words swim and surf through the brine, bringing to life its natural history, its impacts on human history. But brace yourself. If the first half of the book subsumes our planet’s vast oceans, the second goes further. From comets to clouds, from ‘the silent spaces between notes,’ to the ‘quiet places where we never look,’ Egan’s master poem ‘Beyond’ takes us deep into the ephemeral, the ineffable—that time-place of ‘beyond’ which ‘cannot be conjugated by time.’ Here is the dithyrambic and the mythic exquisitely melded; here is simply, profoundly ‘the world’s infinity.’ Be prepared to be swept away.”
—Karla Linn Merrifield, author of The Ice Decides: Poems of Antarctica (Finishing Line Press, 2012) and Attaining Canopy: Amazon Poems (FootHills Publishing, spring 2013)

The Sea & Beyond is composed of two long poems: “The Sea” and “Beyond” and a short interface poem that serves as a link, a kind of poetic ampersand. The tone throughout is wry, sometimes ominous and dark, sometimes metaphysical and cosmic. Though ecological concerns are expressed, the sea and beyond are portrayed as personalities, possessing quirks, moods, attitudes, and beliefs, especially in their own omnipotence.


In symphonies, the silent spaces
between notes, the rests
and pauses,sing its song,
as do the tides, who croon
lullabies about beyond.
We might find beyond in air,
weaving through waving stalks
of bamboo; the absence
that is a presence,
lurking in quiet places
where we never look.

[from The Sea & Beyond]

Colleen Powderly Review of
The Sea & Beyond

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