Author: Laura Theobald
Publisher: Maudlin House (2021)
A portrait of the artist at the brink of self-actualization, Salad Days is a vulnerable and evocative study of identity. Its seven sections of thirteen poems each—"Waves of Confusion," "Moon Unit," "Art for the Afterlife," "Future Moods," "Double Fantasy," "Infinite Sadness," and "Sour Times"—describe its melodic and mood-based movements. This is a book that pops-that celebrates weirdness and leans into fantasy. If it were a movie, it would be a dark comedy; if it were a song, it would be New Wave. As a poetry collection, it transcends genre. It's meta, sardonic, messy, effortlessly joyful, and blithely relatable. Salad Days mines life's dry and youthful indiscretions and relates them in these sharp and cheeky poems.
“Swerving, honest, & exuberant, the poems in Salad Days document a continual knotting of simile & metaphor. The book’s self in each poem is compared to some new thing, revealing the incessant reinterpretations & positionings that the lyric mind demands of a life. Laura Theobald makes poetry look easy, how a sudden slice across the finger while chopping onions makes blood look easy."
“This is my favorite kind of poetry: dry, real, hilarious, sharp, surreal, poignant, unapologetically itself. Laura’s singular charmingly unmoored voice offers surprise after surprise in this collection. I started copying and pasting my favorite lines into an email draft, which quickly turned into copying and pasting entire poems, before I realized I'd soon have an email draft containing an exact copy of the book. Salad Days is ‘a planet nobody asked for’—like how the best gifts aren't requestable—a life-giving planet for self-conscious folks with thirsty imaginations, accessible only by reading. It’s a love letter to the future—not the kind of love letter that gushes with promises and pathos, the kind that arrives after truly knowing the faulted gritty humanity of another with whom you can be nothing but honest. If you lurk on social media and silently lament, ‘where did all the interesting stuff go, isn't anyone doing anything new anymore,’ this is the book for you.”