Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991
Jagged with Love ( University of Wisconsin Press, 2005)
Posted: July 5, 2008
“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
Susanna Childress writes with an earnest desire to understand things physical and things spiritual. What results is a first collection of provocative, honest poetry that explores various human predicaments: a cancer-ridden wife, an explosive father, an infertile couple, various sexual aggressors, a missing girl. Such careful portraiture provokes the reader to consider the complexity of human love: how selfishness, fear, lust and even brutality might coincide with tenderness and loyalty. Ms. Childress' writing is refreshingly naive and clear, her voice essentially inquisitive. She is brave enough to look at the darkness of the world, but she is more courageous to hope.