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Susan Wicks - Author

About the Author

Susan Wicks has published three books of poetry with Bloodaxe: House of Tongues (2011), De-iced (2007), and Night Toad: New & Selected Poems (2003), which included a new collection with selections from three earlier books published by Faber: Singing Underwater, winner of the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Prize; Open Diagnosis, which was one of the Poetry Society's New Generation Poets titles; and The Clever Daughter, a Poetry Book Society Choice which was shortlisted for both T.S. Eliot and Forward Prizes. She has also published two novels and a short memoir, Driving My Father. Her translation of Valerie Rouzeau's Cold Spring in Winter (Arc, 2009) was shortlisted for the 2010 International Griffin Poetry Prize and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize. Born and raised in Kent, she lives in Tunbridge Wells, and teaches at Goldsmiths' College, London.

Featured books by Susan Wicks

House of Tongues

House of Tongues

Author: Susan Wicks Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/04/2011

House of Tongues is concerned with acceptance and refusal, power and the lack of it, silence and the refusal of silence. It's also a book full of the sadness and exhilaration of leaving - of saying an often ambivalent goodbye to people and places, a job, friends lost through illness, sex, innocence - and of the precarious process of patiently setting out again. Far from remembered in tranquillity, the emotion here is re-enacted in the book's surprising coda - a series of poems set in the Swedish Hanseatic harbour town of Visby and based on its many colourful stories, from medieval to more modern times. In these poems, tongues mix and entwine in the mouths of unlikely personae in an atmosphere of vengeance and betrayal that throw a retrospective light on the more contemporary themes and material that form the body of Susan Wicks's latest collection.

Other books by Susan Wicks

The Months

The Months

Author: Susan Wicks Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/06/2016

The Months is a book of poems about time - not only the attritions of time, its ageings, conflicts and illnesses, but also, and more importantly, the kind of time the French philosopher Bergson called 'duration', a human time that speeds up or slows, expands and contracts, measured by perceptual rather than scientific laws. At the centre of the collection, the long title-poem interweaves material from two pregnancies spanning two generations: these months open themselves up to insecurities and dreams, culture, myths, everyday realities and moments of fear or delight. The two births that end this compelling narrative take the book in a new direction, to a time and place where it is possible to stand still and watch a saucepan drying on a draining-board or cycle round a mountainous island at age sixty, laugh at oneself, or even begin again.

A Place to Stop

A Place to Stop

Author: Susan Wicks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/01/2012

In an idyllic village in south-west France, a web of lives interconnect, ready to unravel at the first touch. Alex is running from a teenage love-affair that went badly wrong at home in England. Julien, the retired village schoolmaster, is struggling with loneliness and insomnia. Pete has everything - a wife who loves him, an existence of ease and freedom - yet he's frightened of something. Magali wants so much more than the life her parents had. And Damien's angry with all of it. And then through their world passes a walker, or a pilgrim, on the old Santiago de Compostela pilgrim path. He accidentally moves a rock a couple of metres and continues on his way. And by the time he has travelled a few more slow days towards Santiago, the lives of every inhabitant of this small community will be irrevocably changed.

House of Tongues

House of Tongues

Author: Susan Wicks Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/04/2011

House of Tongues is concerned with acceptance and refusal, power and the lack of it, silence and the refusal of silence. It's also a book full of the sadness and exhilaration of leaving - of saying an often ambivalent goodbye to people and places, a job, friends lost through illness, sex, innocence - and of the precarious process of patiently setting out again. Far from remembered in tranquillity, the emotion here is re-enacted in the book's surprising coda - a series of poems set in the Swedish Hanseatic harbour town of Visby and based on its many colourful stories, from medieval to more modern times. In these poems, tongues mix and entwine in the mouths of unlikely personae in an atmosphere of vengeance and betrayal that throw a retrospective light on the more contemporary themes and material that form the body of Susan Wicks's latest collection.

De-iced

De-iced

Author: Susan Wicks Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/01/2007

Susan Wicks' poetry transforms the apparently ordinary into something precise, surprising and revelatory. These new poems are a departure for her, exploring the cracks in our experience - between movement and stasis, the everyday reality that surrounds us and what we perceive of it, between what our bodies experience and what can or can't be captured in paint or ink. Many of the poems are about escaping - in a car loaded with stolen meat or in the de-iced plane of the title - an escape that takes us first to the snow-bound world of the central MacDowell Winter sequence, and then, in her seriously playful Graham Mickleworth poems, in search of the now-you-see-them-now-you-don't family of a fictional painter. For running away is also running towards, even a kind of pilgrimage, to a place where art and experience, past and future, merge and find ways to survive.

Night Toad New and Selected Poems

Night Toad New and Selected Poems

Author: Susan Wicks Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/11/2003

Susan Wicks' poetry transforms the apparently ordinary into something precise, surprising, and revelatory. The new poems in Night Toad move outwards from the intimacy of personal loss to a wider landscape haunted by disappearance--a French Flanders still scarred by successive wars, the woman pen pal of a prisoner on Death Row, an old woman with dementia lost in the woods, the absent keeper of an unmanned Cornish lighthouse. As well as a whole new collection, this volume also includes a generous selection of work from her three previous collections: Singing Underwater. Open Diagnosis, and The Clever Daughter, which was short-listed for both the T.S. Eliot and Forward Prizes. She has also published two novels and a memoir.

Open Diagnosis

Open Diagnosis

Author: Susan Wicks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/1994

Susan Wicks's Singing Underwater was awarded the Aldeburgh Festival Prize for Best First Book of Poems of 1992. Sean O'Brien, in the Sunday Times, described it as 'astringent and surprising', while John Forth, analysing its mixture of qualities in the London Magazine, spoke of 'poems which hop across spaces you don't know you're missing until it's too late, or put out a sudden pleasurable probe which might be a sting'. Open Diagnosis takes it author into riskier and more intimate territory. Its central section forms a narrative which concerns her own brush with serious illness.

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