The Book of Stolen Images

In a fantastical neo-classical sense, The Book of Stolen Images speaks novelly toward culture, politics, and collective humanity. This poetry collection recognizes personal yet relatable ordinary and existential experiences, particularly in a timely contextual fashion regarding modern social issues--what makes us feel alive, imperfect, concerned, and inspired to do better. Unique imagery and diction flavor each poem and set this collection apart from other offspring of fairy tales and social commentaries.


Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. Harbor Review’s chapbook prize is named in her honor. Her degrees are from Old Dominion University and Arizona State University (MFA 1990). She edits The Coop: A Poetry Cooperative.

Praise for this book

This collection opens with the image of an inverted tree, roots in air. Throughout, Laura Lee Washburn upends the fairy stories that confine us, remakes old tropes to break through fear. She aims righteous anger at injustices historic and immediate. These poems probe many kinds of darkness, but ultimately turn us toward that “bright light shining from the mind to the soul.

Peggy Shumaker

Can a book be both charming and terrifying? Laura Lee Washburn’s The Book of Stolen Images manages that delicate tension between the beautiful and the scary in the stories we consider familiar. A joy in Washburn’s poems is her ability to see wonder where other poets might see terror. This is a collection where the voice gains strength as stories are told and fears are revealed. The book strikes me as being full of particular anthems for the Gen X generation, but really, any reader can connect with Washburn’s cogent observations, durable wit, and intriguing images.

Allison Joseph author of Confessions of a Barefaced Woman and Lexicon
Psychedelic image of fairies and a colorful garden
Date published
Meadowlark Books
College or unit