04 - Cures Include Travel by Susan Rich Aug 9, 2008 22:33:33 GMT 2
Post by shayepoet on Aug 9, 2008 22:33:33 GMT 2
Cures Include Travel
"Susan Rich writes gorgeous lyrical poetry which so courageously tells us the truth about the world, tells us the world is much larger than we Americans usually like to admit. Her beautiful ear, her fierce attention to detail, her deeply human empathy inspire me and make me glad. I am glad, no --- thrilled --- that there exists such a unique and memorable voice writing today about the joys and grievances of our planet, writing with such charge in ideas and language."
A summer wind clicks through the room
plastic curtains ecstatic as castanets.
Standing outside the rim of the body
you inhabit other lives –
Russian horses and red pigeon feathers –
weathered to beach glass, to scrim.
And this afternoon, as other Jews before,
you call out green syllables
nearly sing them:
incantation of salt air, ripened plum.
Anna Akhmatova wanders the halls
offering peppermints with dented spoons –
Under a different house of sky …
Praise humans that blunder us
into the great unknowing –
translate sea to transalpine
an epic fable to jazz-filled tulip field.
(Commentary: Being and Writing - tinyurl.com/6buqtw)
Praise for Cures Involve Travel:
“I admired her talent years ago, and this book makes it clear that she has grown into a mature and accomplished poet."
--- Linda Pastan
“Cures Include Travel will take you places you didn't know you wanted to go, and then it will set you down quietly in front of the essential task of being who you are.”
--- Pamela Alexander
"From the boldly erotic to the elegiac --- Susan Rich gives us a collection of poems sensual yet exact in their language, generous in the range and power of their emotion."
--- J.M. Coetzee
"What is poetry in wartime?" News anchors around the world apologize for showing explicit footage, but, as one Al Jazeera broadcaster says, "The world should know the truth." Rich has seen more of the world than most of us, and her poems bring back a truth we are unlikely to encounter anywhere else. As an election supervisor in Bosnia, a Fulbright fellow in South Africa, and a human rights trainer in Gaza, she has witnessed the horrors of war and seen ravaged nations and their scarred people. "What saved me was geography," she says, referring you to her childhood and her father's attentions. It is our turn now, and she shows us that there is much more to the world than most of us know: the Irish Jewish Museum in Dublin, a woman endlessly sweeping the wind-blown Sahara from her room, the women of Kismayo, who protest for peace by baring their breasts: "Simply the women/ of the town telling their men// to take action, to do something/ equally bold." We see maps and drag our fingers along spinning globes, but we are rarely aware of all the places we have left our fingerprints. Rich is a traveler and an observant one at that, with a keen attention to detail and a wonderful ear for the sounds and rhythms of place that make these lyric poems a delight. Highly recommended.
—Library Journal, Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia
"For me," writes Susan Rich, "the external journey of the traveler and the internal mapping of the poet are different sides of one central desire: the search for an extended worldview." With a background that includes work in Niger (West Africa), Bosnia, Gaza and South Africa, she writes from a sensibility shaped by her observations of suffering, struggle, and the resilience of the human spirit. In her poems, she seeks always to unite the individual story and history, the personal and the political, "reaching," as she says in "Flight Path," "beyond a horizon / where everything is travel, everything / enlivened along its open path...."
"...For as far as these poems range, this collection reminds us that travel--through time, space, history, and memory--is ultimately a means of finding our way home."
—Rattle, by Anne McDuffie, tinyurl.com/5lzpu3
"Cures Include Travel makes for a provocative title for Susan Rich’s new collection of poems, her second. As traveler, Rich compares favorably with Ibn Battuta, who, in the 14th century, having set his heart on Mecca, took off at the age of 21 from Tangier, Morocco, where he had been born. As it turned out, Mecca morphed into another starting point, as did the next destination and the next, and, amazingly, Battuta eventually found himself on the road for 29 years and 75,000 miles. Similarly, in following her heart to Niger as a Peace Corps Volunteer, Rich unwittingly set off on an epic journey which has led her to South Africa as a Fulbright professor, Bosnia as an electoral supervisor, Gaza as a human rights worker, etc.
"...Despite or perhaps because of Rich’s assiduousness in focusing her lens on those in the crossfire on television news, her poetry serves as a sanctuary from terrorism, exactly what all of us could use."
—Peace Corp Writers, Ann Neelon, tinyurl.com/6ru7yv
Listen to readings of Susan Rich's work:
NPR featured reading at Benaroya Hall with Elizabeth Austin:
The Seattle Times:
About the author:
A transplanted Bostonian, Susan Rich is the winner of the PEN USA Poetry Award as well as the Peace Corps Writers Poetry Award for The Cartographer’s Tongue: Poems of the World, (White Pine Press, 2000). Her second book, Cures Include Travel is just out from White Pine Press (2006).
She has worked as a staff person for Amnesty International, an electoral supervisor in Bosnia, and a human rights trainer in Gaza. Rich lived in the Republic of Niger, West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, later moving to South Africa to teach at the University of Cape Town on a Fulbright Fellowship.
Rich’s international awards include invitations from the USIS to work in Zimbabwe as a writer-in-residence, a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Ireland, and a Ruben Rose Award from Israel. Other poetry honors include an Artist Trust Fellowship and GAP grant from Artist Trust, the Rella Lossy Award from the San Francisco State Poetry Center, the Sojourner Poetry Award chosen by June Jordan, the Glimmer Train Poetry Award and the William Stafford Award.
Her poems have appeared in journals both in the United States and internationally including the Christian Science Monitor, Harvard Magazine, Massachusetts Review, New England Review, North American Review, Poet Lore, Poetry International, Alaska Quarterly Review, Southern Poetry Review and Witness. Anthologized poems, essays, and interviews are included in Best Essays of the Northwest, Family Matters: Poems of Our Families, O Taste and See: Food Poems, South African Poets on Poetry 1992-2001, Literary Lunch, To Touch the World: the Peace Corps Experience, Voices From the Field: Peace Corps Worldwise Schools and Writing the Journey: Essays, Poems, Stories of Travel.
Educated at the University of Massachusetts, Harvard University, and the University of Oregon, Susan Rich lives in Seattle and teaches at Highline Community College. She has taught in the Antioch University MFA Program in Los Angeles, is an active alum of Hedgebrook, works as an editor for Floating Bridge Press and is on the board of Whit Press.
Her newest book, The Alchemist's Kitchen, White Pine Press, will be available Fall 2010.
ISBN-13:978-1-893996-75-5, 99 pages, $14.00
White Pine Press, 2006
[glow=teal,2,300]BUY HERE, BUY NOW:[/glow]
Website: www.susanrich.org/ (Autographed)
White Pine: www.whitepine.org/2006.htm
Wide World: tinyurl.com/5em9f5