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Susan Aizenberg


E-book (Other formats: Paperback)
6 x 9

Crab Orchard Series in Poetry


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About the Book

Muse, the first full-length collection from poet Susan Aizenberg, brings together poems of personal history, elegy, and the complex lives of artists, writers, and “ordinary” people, in an exploration of the relationship between art and life, esthetics and ethics. She is sharp-eyed in purpose, trying to understand “what love is” in a continual shifting between loss and knowledge. While “there is no other world than this one” for Aizenberg, nevertheless she finds a world of affirmation. Aizenberg sings elegant blues, keeps a perfect balance between elaboration and restraint with formal skill that is both impressive and consoling, reminding us that poetry is a form of intelligence in which music creates a world full of mystery and depth.


Susan Aizenberg is the coeditor (with Erin Belieu) of The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women, a contributing editor to the Nebraska Review, and author of a chapbook-length collection of poems, Peru, which appears in Take Three: 2: AGNI New Poets Series. Her poems have appeared and are forthcoming in the Journal, AGNI, Chelsea, Prairie Schooner, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and many other publications. She is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.


“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, the images, and the thoughts of these memorable poems, shaped out of words but entangled in the gritty detail of ordinary life.”—Maura Stanton, author of Glacier Wine