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About Susan Aizenberg


The Extraordinary Tide
Copyright © 2001
by Susan Aizenberg
Columbia University Press

A collection of more than 400 poems by more than 100 different writers, The Extraordinary Tide synthesizes and celebrates a new era of poetry by women in America. Long overdue, the anthology includes Americaís most recognized women poets and those emerging as exciting new artists of contemporary verse. The book also contains a forward by poet Eleanor Wilner and short biographies of all the contributors. — from the jacket

An extraordinary and important anthology that anyone interested in contemporary American poetry will want to read and cherish. — Alan Shapiro

The delights of this anthology are in its plurality, its collection of such a rich and varied sampling of that tide flooding American shores. — Eleanor Wilner

Reluctant as American poetry has been to embrace its own majority, the almost inestimable variety, abundance, and accomplishment of this anthology makes one shudder to think how half-hearted our national literature would be without the voices that are gathered here. Itís as if, at last, Eurydice had cleared the vast silence of the underworld, and in so doing she has fashioned a music that enlarges the voice in all of us. — Sherod Santos

Stunning in its accomplishment and breathtaking in scope, The Extraordinary Tide is an anthology like no other: rather than merely defining some very particular territory, the work of the women writers gathered herein in fact gorgeously illuminates all of contemporary American letters. — Rafael Campo

One had hoped that by this time there would be no need for an anthology like The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women, but its existence testifies to the continuing negative gender politics of poetry. ... anyone who has doubted the richness of poetry by women in the U.S. will no longer be able to do so. — Publishers Weekly

The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women unequivocally hits its mark. Read it as a textbook of contemporary poetry. Or read it as a comprehensive collection of women poets. ... The women included in this book may all rise from the same chromosomal wellspring, but the way each asserts herself as a poet could not be more diverse. The Extraordinary Tide is an important book beyond its gender specific objective and because of it. — Prairie Schooner

Copyright © 2002
by Susan Aizenberg
Southern Illinois UP

Clearly Susan Aizenberg has chosen to serve the most demanding of the nine muses, Clio, the muse of history. Aizenberg honors her with rich and vital poems of personal history, elegy, and what could be called Lyrics of the Long Haul– poems of the middle years, poems which testify to the difficulties of grace and the precious arrival of wisdom. This is an elegant and sustained volume. More importantly, it is an instructive one. — David Wojahn

How can art and life coexist? This is one of the big questions that Susan Aizenberg raises in the superbly crafted, deeply felt poems of Muse. From a beautiful elegy for the poet Lynda Hull to a brilliant sequence on Vivian Eliot, we are moved by narrative, delighted by the music of speech, and dazzled by glittering imagery. But ultimately Aizenberg forces us to confront disturbing questions about how the aesthetic can be reconciled with the ethical. She faces these questions unflinchingly. They are the heart of her enterprise. A real, three-dimensional human being emerges out of the phrasing, images, and the thoughts of these memorable poems, shaped out of words but entangled in the gritty detail of ordinary life. — Maura Stanton

Miraculous ... her muse is most benevolent. — Denise Duhamel, Painted Bride Quarterly

Peru in Take Three: 2
Copyright © 1997
by Susan Aizenberg
Graywolf Press

Featured in this welcome second volume in the series are collections by three poets who have contributed to AGNI's biannual journal, Susan Aizenberg, Mark Turpin, and Suzanne Qualls. Aizenberg ... displays a haunted, weary wonder in "Art" — "I don't know how to make things / ordinary anymore, though I dress and go to work / each day as if the world were ordinary ... carefully / rounded characters strolling bucolic paths, / safe beneath lucid trees." Also striking is "Grand Street," which focuses on a homeless woman amid Christmas shoppers in New York. ... Internal and external sight lines unite this sampler, which delivers further on the promise of the Take Three series. — Publishers Weekly

This book, second in the series of Agni's introductions, includes the work of three vibrant, emerging poets: Susan Aizenberg ("Peru"), a New York-to-Nebraska transplant and current editor of The Nebraska Review; Mark Turpin ("Nailer"), a California carpenter poet; and Suzanne Qualls ("Beauty, and Instinct"), a performance artist who is also from California. You'll be moved and entertained by Aizenberg's startlingly lyrical imagery, Qualls's wicked sense of closure, and Turpin's wise observations spiked with wit. — "Recommended Book," Small Press Editor,

The AGNI New Poets Series delivers again with this three-fer-one. My favorite here is Susan Aizenberg, mostly because she writes so vividly about how our family histories infuse every page of our lives. ... this is one of the best poetry bargains to be found. — "Recommended Book," Poetry Editor,

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