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Entering the House of Awe (New Issues Poetry & Prose) Paperback – October 3, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


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

About the Author

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.

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Product Details

  • Series: New Issues Poetry & Prose
  • Paperback: 85 pages
  • Publisher: New Issues Poetry & Prose; First edition (October 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936970007
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936970001
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,542,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Leyland Fields on January 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Who would dare to use the word "awe" in this decade of overuse and cliche? Susanna Childress would--and she chose rightly. The house she opens to us is an awe-full place, a place of dense wonder and violence and all-things-seen-new, even motherhood, forgiveness, the body, marriage,love. "All Hallow Even" begins, "The night most of America snapped on/black capes and gauzy era-imitation dresses, our hostess/bearing her torso-length cleavage in a jumpsuit the color/of a spinach tortilla, you tell me you love me." The poem begins to end with these words: " and this is how it might be, our worlds shattered with a clarity/we don't know what to do with, separating/somehow the festival of human desire, that exquisite/house, its exquisite owners, their Japanese herb gardens/and martini menu and Who's-Who I would have wilted into/but for you, man who brushes my hair/who shapes lanterns from paper, who presses against/the window of a life that, as Wendell Berry has it, 'won't compute' . . . "

There is such weight and substance here, you will feel heavy, pressed upon, as you move between rooms of this house, but awe is like that. It fills us with air first, we feel buoyant with new recognitions, then we return, thudding back to place a little denser ourselves for the strange beauty of what we've seen and heard. Susanna Childress is becoming one of my favorite contemporary poets.
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By Brady Peterson on November 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Susanna Childress writes poetry I find myself returning to over and over. I'm still working my way into them, but they are a good read.
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