Gutter

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Part of being a good squatter is learning to inhabit any space, to find a home in anything. The poems of Gutter, Lauren Brazeal’s debut collection, do just this: inhabiting each form given, whether game card pieces, checklists, stolen police evidence, and letters, or redactions, sestinas and sonnets. The story, told from the perspective of a young girl surviving as a squatter on the streets of Los Angeles and based on the author’s own experience with homelessness as a teenager, bounces in time and perspective from the not-yet-homeless child, to the panhandling sprite, to the mournful survivor. More than the narrative of a single person, Gutter speaks to the struggles of those who have been cast aside as irrelevant or undesirable by mainstream society.

gutter