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Beauty Mark, BkMk Press, © 2014

/ BkMk Press

Suzanne Cleary's Beauty Mark is a lucid, ambitious work that reflects a keen and sensitive mind, her ideas and images gleaned from the sensual, tangible world. She writes, "nothing lasts forever / except our desire for things to last forever"; but it is this poet's determination to deeply probe her subjects and her ability to sustain the elegant, energetic line that keeps us tied to what shines in each poem's humble discovery. -- Dorianne Laux

"The imperfect is our paradise," Wallace Stevens reminds us, but how lucky we are to have in these poems of Suzanne Cleary another reminder. Here is a world where "dancing the polka is like walking / on a ship's deck / during a storm . . . . / Each time the ship / tilts, you take two hop-like / steps in one direction . . . ." Against the odds, against the elements, the dance. "Beauty bedevils," she tells us, "but the beauty mark bedevils beauty," and this is exactly what Cleary's lyric voice does in a book that bewitches and stuns. -- Ilya Kaminsky

Suzanne Cleary's Beauty Mark is gorgeously audacious, tender, vulnerable, and open. Her distinctive poems celebrate the quotidian life, ”the victories and mistakes, the historical and the anecdote. To paraphrase an old Panteen commercial: Don't hate her because she writes beautiful poems. Suzanne Cleary is the real deal. -- Denise Duhamel

Trick Pear, Carnegie Mellon UP, © 2007

Suzanne Cleary writes about the American sublime, the ways in which our commonplace lives achieve glamour and transcendence in an Airstream trailer or dinner conversation with friends, in an encounter with a famous jazz singer or in the durable habits of a grandparent's immigrant speech. We are constantly intersecting with history in small but important ways, unforgettable ways, as they are recorded by this poet. One poem here, one of the best, is entitled True. True could be the title of every poem in this book. Cleary's is a genuine lyric gift as rich as it is rare. --Mark Jarman

With a wild and steady hand and a wild and steady voice, Cleary lures us into her world of tender anachronism. Here is a book where keen observation of the everyday opens into "illuminated arguments." --Anne Marie Macari

Keeping Time, Carnegie Mellon UP, © 2002

Suzanne Cleary's poetry is rich and full and tactile. We find ourselves settling in, eager to eavesdrop on the events she illuminates and shadows with measured, seamless craft. And we come to an understanding of the unique talent that resides in this poet. Here is poetry that is immensely readable and enjoyable. --Dan Masterson

I have long been anticipating this first book and the chance to express how highly I value Suzanne Cleary's poetry. Her poems have a vigorous forward roll to them and are strung together by daring chains of association. It is refreshing to read a poet who wants to hide nothing, to turn over all the cards at once. High time she had a book, a place for her original voice to echo. --Billy Collins

Suzanne Cleary's Keeping Time gives us memory retrieved with intense clarity and understated grace. Whether she is contemplating a 1932 photograph of Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera in Detroit during a solar eclipse, recalling TV cooking shows, Gertrude Stein, her grandparents' lawn chairs, or the films of the 1920s, her artistry keeps time at bay, bringing a well-tuned ear and quiet incandescence to the work. I salute this book with joy. --Colette Inez



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