FALLEN, released 2017, Shannon P. Laws,

Shannon Law’s poetry entices the reader along a windy path of shared emotion, at times tiptoeing gently toward the topic, at others racing headlong toward it, and at times inviting humor in. The mix is wonderful. From that girl in school who builds forts, to the new owner of a used mattress who sleeps in the body-shaped dip left by its prior occupant, to a three-timing lover, to the loss of a child, these poems circumscribe a relatable life and invite introspection. It is nearly impossible to pick just one favorite from this gem of a book.

—Laurel Leigh, author of the blog Dear Writers


In “ Fallen”, Shannon Laws has written polished and evocative poetry that intrigues the reader page after page, often demanding one  backs-up and re-reads. Her metaphorical language is usually of common words that she newly loads with much information as her opening poem tells “ I am a girl who builds forts.” – ones of self-protection from expecting assault. In first section, she  defines herself as a teen with Catholic guilt over lust that marks her indecisions until this memorable line. “Pain oozes //  weeps down the bark of me  //  black like sap”.

By section two, she distills first jobs with “Leave the job to muscle memory // exit the body to float “ as deftly  as Haiku. She praises her brother with positive words, yet soon can state in another poem: “I sleep with Death”.

Then in 3rd section, Shannon Laws proceeds with mature years, but still low esteem, “better not to know” by diverting the mind from both adorable lover and  fork in the path as the narrator feels disconnected:  “strangers, we all are.” and “each to their own compass.”

In the final, “How it Falls”, she she sometimes distances her voice to 3rd person narrator, and includes some fine poems about writing, about poetry and a favourite poet. In “Pearl”, she tells of such a difficult loss to accept, that one is left with a reminder in one’s shoe, so you limp forever!  Your head { and maybe your heart }can be “a plot of vines,” yet “my breath’s bank of days// still holds cash” is a positive summation.

Yes, there is so much to discover and enjoy in this third collection of Shannon Law’s  poems, so I challenge you to find our own favourite poems with lines that you will remember in admiration and repeat to others. She is a master of bringing significant life changes alive with pain  or passion in a few well chosen words!

Bernice Lever, “Small Acts”, Black Moss Press, Windsor, ON, Canada, 2016, 


This poetry is not camera-shy. Full of imagery and emotion, it ranges across the days with bursts of action and reflection. Laws writes of quiet eroticism, as well as memory and humor from the north Pacific region, where she has lived most of her life. Shannon P. Laws has gifts of observation, humanity, and powerful expression. A valuable choice for poetry lovers, who will find it natural to read and understand.

——Denise DuMaurier, author of Follow Me Down


Shannon Laws’ poems are ventures, many journeys of the mind and imagination and others literal walks, day and night, to and from home, work, and school; they render fresh observations of the routine and familiar: interactions in kitchen and living quarters, fields of local plants and critters, the hum of machinery.  They also probe the mysteries of the human condition, posing elemental issues: love and death and loss, the aching solitariness of human experience, the straining for meaning, clarity and confirmation, the yearning for contact and connection, and the guises humans adopt in the consequent interchange.

—Ron Leatherbarrow, Professor of Literature, Whatcom Community College


 Shannon Laws has been, in many ways, an asset to her community. This book demonstrates that “there’s a revelation flowing…along the ridges of her galaxy.” She employs “footholds of green” to “take our minds to another place.” Shannon Laws is top-niche.

–James Bertolino, author of Ravenous Bliss: New & Selected Love Poems


“With Fallen, Shannon Laws has evolved into someone that readers in the northwest should pay attention to. Like a complex pantomime, Laws’ charming, conversational lyric style hides poems that are personal yet complex, dark, intense, deep,  heartbreaking, and at times hilarious. Each of them also have a subtle grit and seriousness to them.  Like all poets worth their salt, she doesn’t the dichotomy of being particular and speaking to many audiences. Highly, highly recommended.”

–Robert Lashley, author of The Homeboy Songs


Picture 380
Editing with a cup of peppermint

“Shannon Laws is not only a fine poet, but truly a professional in every way. But the best part is – she is a terrific person.
If you are a lover of poetry, you cannot find better than, Madrona Grove by Shannon P. Laws.”

          —Jared McVay, novelist, speaker, screenwriter


Madrona Grove instills a love of nature in all its glory. Grab a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa because once you curl up with this book, you won’t be leaving any time soon.”

          —Cheryl Ford, poet


“I have had the pleasure to work with Shannon and after reading her poetry, it is my firm belief that right here in Bellingham we have someone who will become known for her ability to meld the connections we all have to the earth and emotions we have as we live our lives. Simply put, this little book of poems is a winner.

These poems, “Written under the Canopy” are magic…… they connect us to each other and to the beauty around us. The words are chosen well, but flow from Shannon’s pen with ease.

Shannon gave me a copy of Madrona Grove when first published, and after reading it, I bought three more copies and sent them to my poet friends. As a side note, each responded with interest and asked to be kept abreast of her work.

Thank you, Shannon, for sharing your words and thoughts with us.”

—Jonathan Winter, Co-Owner SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention, Bellingham


“Shannon’s poems come from deep within. Her observations are refreshing muse for the spirit, and her passion twinkles throughout.”

          —John S. Green, poet


“Shannon P. Laws’ 2012 volume of poems, Madrona Grove, from Chickadee Productions, is a book all poetry lovers should own.  Reading it is like “swimming in sunlight thick with sounds.”  The poems repeatedly connect the physical world around us with the inner world: “I dip a stick into the stream like a pen into ink to write my name.” She follows this with: “The sun grabs my letters … throws them in the air.” You’ll want to leap after her words.”

          -James Bertolino, poetry professor, Ret.


“A down to earth collection of poetry that captures the unique flavor of Pacific Northwest coastal wonders.”

          —Tom Ensign, artist, musician

Closeup of papery bark on Madrona Tree, the only broadleaved evengreen tree found in the Pacific Northwest. Discovery Island Provincial Marine Park, British Columbia, Canada

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