Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review of Entering the House of Awe by Susanna Childress

New Issues Press

By the numbers
ISBN 978-1-936970-00-1
Publication: 2011
Total pages: 85
Number of poems: 43


I first met Susanna Childress in the spring of 2008 while I was attending the Earlham School of Religion, a Quaker seminary. A professor at Hope College, she had been brought in as a guest instructor to teach a poetry course in the Writing-as-Ministry track. Susanna’s influence, both as a teacher and through her poetry, is one of the main reasons why I am involved in poetry today. I was swept away by her first book Jagged With Love. A fan of her writing, I am no less in love with this, her second book, discussed below. I also had the opportunity to interview her. Click here for the interview and to read more about her. Nancy Chen Long

Susanna Childress’ second book of poetry Entering the House of Awe is no quick read. It is filled with richly-layered poems that invite the reader to stay a while, to come back again and again. The title itself is the reader’s first clue of the layered-ness that will be found in the poems: the

An Interview with Poet Susanna Childress

I want what you want, and the stamen, and the sun.
-from “Sweetly from the Tree,” Susanna Childress

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 selected by Billy Collins for the Brittingham Prize in Poetry from the University of Wisconsin and was awarded the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Her second book Entering the House of Awe was published in 2011 by New Issues Poetry & Prose, Western Michigan University and was awarded the 2012 Society of Midland Authors Poetry Prize. 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 teaches at Hope College and lives in Holland, Michigan.

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I met Susanna back in 2008 when she was teaching a poetry intensive at the Earlham School of Religion, a seminary in the Quaker tradition, which I was attending at the time. Susanna’s influence,