new book

Shadow Notes

Clara Montague didn't even want to come home. Her mother, Constance Montague never liked her--or listened to her--but now they have to get along or they will both end up in jail or dead.

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Do You Expect Your Art To Answer?

FutureCycle Press

"Do You Expect Your Art to Answer?" is a collection of ekphrastic poems that explores the world of art and our relationship to it.

Shadow Notes

Barking Rain Press

Clara Montague didn't even want to come home. Her mother, Constance Montague never liked her--or listened to her--but now they have to get along or they will both end up in jail or dead.

That's The Way The Music Sounds

Finishing Line Press

“Laurel Peterson stands at the ‘edge of the world’ not far from a casually harsh God who enjoys ‘golf afternoons’ as all hell is breaking loose around Him. She puts up with it by writing rings around him, sledgehammer poems wrapped in velvet, poems of confession and affirmation. That’s the Way the Music Sounds is an eclectic array of poems that are fashioned from flesh and reach the ear in quite a new voice to contemporary poetry, a voice as true and lasting as bone.” –Dan Masterson

(Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women’s Experience

Cambridge Scholars Publishing

“Patriarchal institutions govern all aspects of women's lives: their minds, their bodies, and their souls. Additionally, they govern the ways in which women are perceived by others and the ways in which women perceive themselves. (Re) Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women's Experience, is a collection of essays on language, religion, war, sex trafficking, and medicine the patriarchal structures that form the basis of western society and, thus, are in many ways inherently unjust.”


by Laurel Peterson

Sun Flies

What We Are



"During her yearlong tenure as Norwalk’s first poet laureate, Laurel Peterson will work to disseminate poetry in Norwalk’s public sphere. Her first project, a selection of poems to be displayed on Norwalk busses, will go on display this month." –The Hour

"Laurel Peterson, an author and poet, is Norwalk’s first poet laureate — one of only a handful in the state. For the next year, she will work to foster a love and appreciation of poetry among the city's residents and visitors" –Westport News

About Me

Laurel S. Peterson is a community college English professor who has written a column for Gannett Suburban Newspapers on local history and served as editor of the literary journal Inkwell. Her poetry has been published in The Atlanta Review, The Distillery,, Poet Lore, The Rio Grande Review, The Texas Review, Thin Air, Verse-Virtual, Yankee and others. In 2006, she was a finalist for the John Ciardi Prize in Poetry for her manuscript Mud Never Forgets. She has two poetry chapbooks, That's the Way the Music Sounds (Finishing Line Press, 2009), and Talking to the Mirror from The Last Automat Press (2010). She is the co-editor of (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women's Experience (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009). Her mystery novel, Shadow Notes, will be released by Barking Rain Press in March 2016. One eighth grade afternoon, the bully on the bus was worse than usual. I came home and wrote a story of revenge in my journal. What satisfaction to leave her bleeding (on paper, of course!) on the playground. Thus was born my career as a mystery writer. In college, I majored in psychology, fascinated by what motivates us (or doesn’t). Why did that girl down the hall only write notes to her mother and rarely talk to her? Why did one kid in a family act like a goody two-shoes, while an older brother or sister did drugs and flunked out? Why was the rich girl with all the family connections bulimic? Why did people attend a religious school only to flout all its rules? After college, I tested the waters in advertising, catering, retail, and sales, salting away character details in my journals, and in lousy short stories. Then, I did an MFA and entered the world of academic politics, where I currently reside, writing poetry and mysteries, and grading papers.

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