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𝔓𝔯𝔢-𝔒𝔯𝔡𝔢𝔯 • Opening Ceremony

Laura Marie Marciano
POETRY

64 pages
Perfect-bound
Cover art: Carly Jean Andrews
ISBN 978-1-988355-60-3
Fall 2024

I think of your nephew
who said he had flowers
in his yard,
but they belonged to the landlord

Opening Ceremony is the second collection of poetry from author Laura Marie Marciano. The book follows the speaker of her first book, Mall Brat, from the 2008 recession to the current hellscape of downward mobility for many aging millennials. Finding absurdity in the Fourth of July, backyard pools, surveillance mirrors, and Sol De Janeiro, the poems navigate the pain and promise of letting go of expectations as one seeks motherhood. Wet landscapes, missed fertile windows, Botox routines, quiet quitting rituals, political centrists, and text message banter are navigated by the author’s perfect balance of tenderness, pastiche, camp, and wit. Ultimately, the poems in this book reveal the glimmer that still exists in leaning from a collective state of drowning, into the birth of a child, breaking open our hearts to a soft landing and a queer future.

 

Advance Praise

“From the very first quips, these seemingly breezy, sensual, in media res, clear-eyed poems of celebration and critique of capitalism and tired poetic structures, revel in fresh takes and joyous irony. Marciano’s intimate, secret language, saturated in digital media-savvy doublespeak is elusive, yet consistently wry and alive to startling imagery: “A performance in class-passing is / exhausting” & (from another poem) “As if we are still playing that childhood game fuck/marry/ kill.” By turns surreal, kinetic, (check out the inventive titles and forms) then achingly tender—the work is full of delicious excitements. What complicated thrills await the readers.”
Peter Covino, author of What Sex Is Death, Selected Poems of Dario Bellezza

Opening Ceremony is an abundant invitation to make new things and new people with the people you hold dear, or is secret-telling on a hot sticky summer night. A beautiful, complete, and generous collection that believes rightfully and righteously in true love.”
Sophia Giovannitti, author of Working Girl: On Selling Art and Selling Sex (Verso Books)

“In Opening Ceremony, Marciano gives us sweetness, shimmering streams of thought, details recalled like the many flowers blossoming over the varying landscapes where these poems take place. Wetness, glimmering memories, scenes of living, and webs combining personal lineage and deep love. All types of love: how an aunt loves her niece, how a wife loves her husband, how a daughter loves her mother. A pilgrimage to motherhood, to marriage, and friendship. The route is lined with capitalism, oceans, family histories. The past years are positioned in these poems as an altar, decorated with sweetness, scents, girlhood, scenes of summer, longing, courtship, sorrow. I felt the oozing heat of these poems immediately. Marciano’s writing is both honest and beautiful. Leaving this collection craving melted ice cream by a pool, and sweat on my body, thinking of how love is everywhere.”
Maya Martinez, author of Hell or Mercy (Other Weapons Press) and Hole Play (Wonder Press)

Laura Marie Marciano

Laura Marie Marciano is an author, educator, and media artist. She received her MFA from Brooklyn College in Performance and Interactive Media Arts, and her PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of Rhode Island. Laura’s first book of poetry, Mall Brat, was released in 2016, from Civil Coping Mechanism Press. Excerpts from this book appear in the Poetry Foundation’s archive, along with poems that appear in Opening Ceremony.
Marciano is a multimodal artist, whose writing and performance have been featured with NPR and Poetry’s podcast Poetry Now! She has curated works of poetry and performance at MoMA PS1, Brooklyn Museum, and RISD Museum, and has given readings at many venues across the nation, including Brown University. Laura is also a production artist who has worked on films that have been celebrated by the TriBeca Film Festival, and Sundance Film Festival. In 2014, Laura started gemstone readings, a poetry and video art collective. Her most recent production under this label is an experimental meditation on trans parenthood, which will premiere in January at Out-FRONT Fest in NYC.
Laura has served as an assistant editor for Barrow Street Press, and the Ocean State Review, while receiving her PhD under Dr. Peter Covino. She has studied with poets CA Conrad and Fred Moten, and is an active member of the poetry community. She served as a visiting assistant professor in writing at Lehigh University, and is currently a full-time lecturer in writing at SUNY’s premiere campus, Stony Brook University.
She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Carmelo.