Bone Sense

Room, vol 36.3, September 2013

Bone Sense is singularly concerned with agrarian life in rural Saskatchewan. The poems are straightforward: free verse, imagistic, often almost totally devoid of punctuation. Muirhead places herself into the wider tradition of pastoral poetry.

 Individual poems in the collection don't always stand out and the language is not always fresh, how ever, some images are vivid and Muirhead is adept at catching the rhythms of conversational speech and incorporating quotidian objects of the modern farm into her writing.

 — Jennifer Zilm

Saskatoon StarPhoenix. December 29, 2012

Bone Sense, by Laurie Lynn Muirhead ... joins a growing genre of women's views of the difficult but rewarding life on the farm, particularly with cattle — think Doris Bircham and Nora Gould, and, on the male side, Mitch Spray.
This book is one of intense contradictions. As Muirhead, her husband, and family make a living from the very essence of life and death — the calving, the slaughter, the selling of prize calves, the letting go of animals born too damaged to live, the coyotes who attack their herd, the hunting down of coyotes — she reflects in poems on the rarely ending work and the silences that grow when such work puts a strain on a marriage.

Muirhead holds nothing back as she talks of "secur(ing) a double knot on the hooves of hard labour," of "try(ing) to make sense of life and death," and of the "nothing short of impossible" that made her fall for a man from "your side of the fence."

And they work this hard in the shadow of the awesome responsibility that comes with owning a farm capable of feeding 5,000 people. No wonder they go to Vegas and don't gamble. These poems are about the gamble of their everyday lives. — Bill Robertson