Linked through her family history to Matilda Fletcher—suffragist, writer, lecturer, inventor (of an improved portable trunk), and the subject of the well-crafted work in Unclose the Door—Laura Madeline Wiseman’s book should interest all readers of poetry, not only those interested in historical poems. Politically aware, Wiseman’s writing in poems like “Judge Hilton and the Women’s Hotel: Matilda Lectures” illustrates the tribulations of an unescorted woman’s negotiation of public space in that period. Wiseman uses letters and other narrative forms within her chapbook to evoke a linear timeline in 19th century America and to evoke a personality vivid on the page. Images of Fletcher—her travels with Susan B. Anthony, the contexts of her lectures, her reaction to the proposal of her second husband—leap from the poems.
– Susana H. Case