University of Wisconsin Press (2022)
Winner of Texas Institute of Letters' John A. Robert Johnson Award for a First Book of Poetry
Tumbleweeds and wandering cacti litter the page, coyotes croon at the prose. In poems haunted by specters of intimate partner violence, Girl’s Guide to Leaving considers what it means to escape the love that trapped you and find a temporary home in the barely cooled ashes of a wildfire.
“A folklore troubadour, Villareal ably unfolds a path through memory. Running wild and running home, this guide isn’t just for leaving but rather for making space in sites where one can ‘witness local miracles’ or to tell a heroine’s story without remorse. This is a rangy and ambitious book I can’t wait to see in print.”
Nostrovia! Press (2018)
"Laura Villareal's The Cartography of Sleep is a sublime map of dreams and a guide to the heart's darkness. Finding your way in her poetry is no easy journey. Villareal offers her readers new mythologies and seasons. The turns are sometimes bloody, sometimes funny, sometimes wild, sometimes surreal, but all the time enlightening. Make no mistake, these poems bite back, sweetly, vengefully, and with grace. Or put simply, these poems are dangerous."
-Willie Perdomo, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon
"Villareal positions herself the cartographer in this short and poignant collection of poems. With each page she pushes her text to transform and so we encounter the map as text for guidance, map as data, map as myth. Each bit of movement expands the landscape Villareal’s poems define and, in doing so, charts wider territory for the reader to move into. I’m saying, with The Cartography of Sleep I stepped into a series of bound pages and stepped out into an expanse. How grateful I am for it."
- JR Mahung, Since When He Have Wings
[Limited press run. Both the first and second printings have sold out but you can still read it online using the link below.]