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Susanna Childress

Susanna Childress

Susanna Childress holds a Master’s from The University of Texas at Austin and a PhD from Florida State University. Her first book, Jagged with Love, was awarded the Brittingham Prize in Poetry from the University of Wisconsin and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from the University of Southern Illinois-Carbondale. She has received an AWP Intro Journals Award, the National Career Award in Poetry from the National Society of Arts and Letters, and a Lilly post-doctoral fellowship. She lives in Holland, Michigan.

Also by Susanna Childress

  • Jagged with Love

 

 

 

Entering the House of Awe

Entering the House of AweEntering the House of Awe

$15.00 paper | 85 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-936970-00-1
Publication Date: October 2011
Buy: Amazon.com | spdbooks.org

A Green Rose Book

Two teachers during my junior year in college were the best I’ve ever had, a man who’d pause for minutes till the right word came to him and a woman who ran pell-mell after the word she wanted, piling synonym on synonym till she’d caught her prey. Susanna Childress is both these people at the same time, and out of that tension comes the best poetry I’ve read in years. It’s impossible to pick a favorite poem, but one that represents her voice at its warmest and most compelling is the one in which the poet is being courted by a man who can’t dance yet dances for her. It works! Just as these poems do, every one of them.                                  —David Kirby

Readers familiar with Susanna Childress’s Jagged with Love will recognize her distinctive voice in these poems: her nerve, her honest, quirky, irreverent, immediate and embodied yearning that rushes, wordy, right up to the ragged margins! In this second collection, new formal approaches bring breath and space to the lines, even delicacy sometimes, but these fine poems move with no less urgency because they are compelled by her signature quest for truthfulness. This search refuses perfectionism and mere aestheticism, yet admits beauty enroute, as Childress claims, “There needs to be no right word There needs to be a wide hole a whole mouth where the right word isn’t."
            —Julia Spicher Kasdorf

There are rough truths and beauty buried in Entering the House of Awe, and Susanna Childress fearlessly delves that dark terrain inside her sometimes difficult subjects, re-emerging with new vision both surprising and luminescent.
            —Dorianne Laux

Praise for Jagged with Love:

Susanna Childress writes at the cutting edge of the long tradition of love poetry. Her poems often involve tense negotiations between a sharp cultural intelligence and a body that craves its fulfillment. She writes with grace about love and lust, and she unfailingly delivers rhythmic and linguistic pleasures to her lucky readers as they follow the course of these inquisitive, unpredictable poems.
            —Billy Collins

Poem

Man as Walnut


Head thrown back, he cries, is not ashamed,

though his people are farmers and lawyers. He hollows

out the nadir for sounds: the spine’s delicate

nuggets, the tiny pear of green gall, a miserable wonder

locked in his body and sent to the throat, that petty thief

of the spirit hawking its calamities. He works

at making what noises he must, stays at it, drooping

like the sunflower heavy with kernels. Here

with the sheets pulled taut I have thought to gather

what falls, antediluvian as a psalm, but all that will emerge

true as the translucent paper halving a small meat

is this: were each of us to know this weeping

and let ourselves, what would not come

undone, whole, unhulled, from the sky?