brettfletcherlauer

Meet the Spring Authors: Brett Fletcher Lauer, Author of "A Hotel in Belgium"

Brett Fletcher Lauer is the deputy director of the Poetry Society of America and the poetry editor at A Public Space. He is the co-editor of Isn’t It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets (Wave, 2004) and his poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Fence, Harper’s, Tin House, and elsewhere.

A Hotel in Belgium is available from Four Way Books.

A Hotel in Belgium explores the emotional space between loyalty and skepticism. Here is a psyche preoccupied with both doubt and dread, but also a desire to surrender itself to the risks of love and trust. These smart, beautiful poems—often complicating their lyricism with formal rigor and adaptations of found texts—investigate the delicacy of human relationships and the hopeful relentlessness with which we pursue them. The voice of these poems is tender, imaginative and sometimes wry, building an urgent narrative of melancholy, self-doubt and the ultimate resilience of the spirit.

Praise for A Hotel in Belgium

“Brett Fletcher Lauer's A Hotel in Belgium is about estrangement and the distances created by our disparate experiences of the world (‘the machinery in you malfunctions in me’). In these poems, mood and moons are viewed as if via telescope and operate according to stage directions ('a thousand gray stars prearranged / to shine so-so over the wonders of modern cities’). But just when you become accustomed to the sheen of these poems’ surfaces, sinkholes of precisely rendered beauty and vulnerability appear. The result is surprising and unsettling in the best way.”

- Matthea Harvey

“…These poems are serious, funny, confident, weird, sensitive, and generous. They achieve something close to Frank O'Hara’s dream of 'true abstraction,’ a deeply personal and human tone that does not resort to the limiting confines of the specifics of autobiography. This book points forward to a new exciting direction in American poetry, and I am so glad we can finally take it with us into the future.”

- Matthew Zapruder

An excerpt from a review by Timothy Liu for Coldfront of A Hotel in Belgium:

“As hemlines rise and fall, so do poetic fads and blockbuster meds, our homegrown strain of Symbolism and Deep Imagism having gone into hibernation (like God) along with the likes of Larry Levis, Mark Strand and Stephen Dobyns all amplifying a more plain-spoken spellbound tradition in lines and stanzas chiseled to last—this would be in keeping with the company BFL (Brett Fletcher Lauer) assiduously keeps…" Read the full review here.

An excerpt from a review by Publishers Weekly of A Hotel in Belgium:

"Lauer’s poems ripple like muscle, even as they circle around the notion that we may not possess tools strong enough to arrive at a singular definition of who and what we are….By laying bare superstitious patterns of mind that we routinely interpret as meaning, Lauer’s poems reveal the indeterminacy of what we’re able to know…without forgoing what beauty is to be found in the attempts we make to know it.” Read the full review here

Read Brett Fletcher Lauer’s poem "Representative Character”, featured on Poets.org, here.

Visit our events page regularly to see if Brett Fletcher Lauer is reading near you. 

Review of "A Hotel in Belgium" by Brett Fletcher Lauer in SCOUT

“The excellent ‘Work Product’ begins, 'I am here breathing / heavy into one end / of the receiver // in order to reassure you / I am here / on one end breathing.’ Although the speaker, a telemarketer type, is physically remote, the poem ends with a ringing phone: 'Line two, it is your mother / and you are crying again. / Don’t cry. I am touching // your shoulder.’ This impetus to touch, set against technology’s limits, is galvanizing; in the face of 'no signal,’ a 'perfect absence’ and 'a shovel un- / powered by imagination,’ Lauer’s speakers nonetheless gesture toward intimacy, toward the imaginative. These attempts, his poems suggest, may be as good as we can do. Indeed, they may have to be enough.” Read the full review in SCOUT.

A Hotel in Belgium is available from Four Way Books

Interview with Brett Fletcher Lauer in "Boston Review"

“Brett Fletcher Lauer’s debut collection, A Hotel in Belgium (Four Way Books, 2014), is one of those fabled first books that teem with such skill, confidence, and maturity that it doesn’t really seem like a first book at all.” Read the full interview by William Brewer in the Boston Review

A Hotel in Belgium is available from Four Way Books. 

"Coldfront" Reviews "A Hotel in Belgium" by Brett Fletcher Lauer

“As hemlines rise and fall, so do poetic fads and blockbuster meds, our homegrown strain of Symbolism and Deep Imagism having gone into hibernation (like God) along with the likes of Larry Levis, Mark Strand and Stephen Dobyns all amplifying a more plain-spoken spellbound tradition in lines and stanzas chiseled to last—this would be in keeping with the company BFL (Brett Fletcher Lauer) assiduously keeps…” Read the full review by Timothy Liu here

A Hotel in Belgium is available from Four Way Books

"A Hotel in Belgium" by Brett Fletcher Lauer on "Top 40 Poetry Books or 2014" List by "Coldfront"

“Writing poems today, even the 20th Century feels like a throwback to a future already past, or as Brett Fletcher Lauer might put it in his long-awaited debut: ‘the heart / has previously gone in and out of fashion and in this / news cycle is experiencing great heights.’” Read more about A Hotel in Belgium here

A Hotel in Belgium is available from Four Way Books

Review of "A Hotel in Belgium" in HTML GIANT

“These are fresh, resistant, intelligent poems, as full of hope as they are despair. In terms of rhetoric, of ideas, of language and of technique, these poems repay the reader each time you decide to return to them. And I think that’s an easy decision to make.” Read more of what Patrick Whitfill has to say about Brett Fletcher Lauer’s poetry collection A Hotel in Belgium for HTML GIANT. 

A Hotel in Belgium is available from Four Way Books

"Publishers Weekly" Reviews "A Hotel in Belgium" by Brett Fletcher Lauer

“Lauer’s poems ripple like muscle, even as they circle around the notion that we may not possess tools strong enough to arrive at a singular definition of who and what we are….By laying bare superstitious patterns of mind that we routinely interpret as meaning, Lauer’s poems reveal the indeterminacy of what we’re able to know…without forgoing what beauty is to be found in the attempts we make to know it.” Read the full review by Publishers Weekly here

A Hotel in Belgium is available from Four Way Books

Four Way Books & Friends Reading This Wednesday April 30

Join Four Way Books and friends for a reading this Wednesday, April 30, at 6 pm at the NYU Main Bookstore (726 Broadway (near Waverly)) in NYC. There will be readings by Brett Fletcher Lauer (A Hotel in Belgium), Maudelle Driskell (Talismans), Benjamin Miller (Without Compass) and Cathy Linh Che (Split). This is a free event. 

A Hotel in Belgium and Without Compass are available from Four Way Books