Mermaids, sirens, lorelai--these are daughters of the sea foam, or a river god or bird, distracting the traditionally masculine "hero" from returning home. The legendarily beautiful if dangerous creatures bring about divergence and delay. They present a rupture to the order of things, and pose interludes for travelers of known byways, inaugurating difference and change. 

My site is called "Singing Sirens" after the plight these creatures pose Ulysses, luring him from his trajectory, what he believes is the easiest way home.  In such accounts, the mythologically transgressive, "feminized" figures are believed to stalk island sea cliffs and shores, the "meadow starred with flowers," as they make layered and plural sounds. Their songs are difficult to comprehend or interpret. But if the singing of the sirens is opaque and non-readable, their songs nevertheless offer a healthy logic of indirection, uncertainty, impasse.

I consider that the sirens song is a sign of the internal transitions, the movement and different, that inhabits challenging poetry and art. My own work are multi-media writings often including the visual and oral, which play within and amidst this siren-like zone of performativity and change.  

Believing that creativity bst follows these shapes of the sirens' auditory whirlpools, my work brings together many textual modes that may "not belong," but which resist stasis and generic definitions.  I draw upon multiple discursive as well as artistic-media modalitlies and structures. My work is feminist, in that it layers several planes, like transgressive genders, and always moves in several directions while questioning binary oppositional states.  To employ the method of the singing sirens is to be purposefully "Deranging by harmony," in the words of Sylvia Plath, whose "voices lay siege."                                           

 Laura Hinton



Laura Hinton is the author of the critical book The Perverse Gaze of Sympathy: Sadomasochistic Sentiments from Clarissa to Rescue 911 (SUNY Press), and co-editor of We Who Love to Be Astonished: Experimental Women’s Writing and Performance Poetics (with Cynthia Hogue -- University of Alabama Press).  Her newest edited collection isentitled Jayne Cortez, Adrienne Rich, and the Feminist Superhero (Lexington Books).  She has critical essays, poet interviews, reviews, and other academic pieces in multiple book collections and journals including Women's Studies, Textual Practice,  Jacket2, and Postmodern Culture (PMC).  Her most recent journal article, "Spatial Motion: On Leslie Scalapino's How Phenomena Appear to Unfold / the Hind," appeared in Jacket2 at the beginning of 2015.

Her single-author poetry book Sisyphus My Love (To Record a Dream in a Bathtub) is published by BlazeVox Books; and a new book emerges from the same publisher this spring 2016, entitled, Ubermutter's Death Dance.  Laura Hinton has poetry performance, prose and hybrid pieces also published in journals and collections, from Madhatter Review to Feminist Studies, Yew and How2.   She also has published a number of experimental poet’s-prose memoir essays, including “Caretaker,” an indictment of the American medical system toward stroke victims and their families, which was published in the Columbia University journal The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.  

Hinton is a respected editor who has headed several editorial projects, including a co-edited special issue (with Heidi Bean) on the topic of poet’s theater in PMC She has a new book in progress, a critical work investigating the subject of contemporary American women’s hybrid poetics from the perspective of visual theory. 

Laura Hinton is also a photographer.  Selections have most recently been featured in the on-line journalYew (including a cover image) and in the magazine Glassworks. A music major in her undergraduate study, she is a trained vocalist, classical pianist and guitarist. She continues to use her vocal training in poetry performances.

A native Californian, Laura Hinton received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Arizona, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University (1991).  She is currently a Professor of English at the City College of New York, where she teaches courses in feminist theory, textual studies and multi-media, as well as general world literature and film classes. She curates for CCNY the InterRUPTions Reading Series, and she also edits a chapbook series of performance poetry under the imprint of Mermaid Tenement Press.  Her blog since 2009 on the multi-media arts and poetry is calledChant de la Sirene

She works in New York City, but also spends a great deal of time at her house in Woodstock, NY, where she grows a one-acre garden in the spring and summer, and maintains a writing room.  She spends a few months a year in the South of France. She is married to Bernard Roy, a dual French-U.S. citizen, who works as an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ramapo College of New Jersey, and is the mother of the New York City multi-media artist Paul Daniel Lyon, a.k.a., Vickers Gringo (1978-2010).  

Laura Hinton can be contacted at: