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Susan Terris


April 2015

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if you open this book and expect to
know me    you will find    both truth

and lie   all poets lie and lay and have
lain    so discover inside what’s mad

or curious   yet beware    ye who enter
for you may see yourself herein

Susan Terris’s Memos are bristling notations and spare sketches from our fractured and fragmented world—yet these poems can also be understood as celebrations of both wisdoms gained and innocence lost. Scenes that sometimes begin as cameos shift subtly into raw memento mori for times lost or unforgiven. These vignettes are brilliantly rendered, precisely inscribed—and always impossible to forget.

David St. John

About the Author

Susan Terris’ poetry books include Ghost of Yesterday: New & Selected Poems, The Homelessness of Self, Contrariwise, Natural Defenses, Firs is Favorable to the Dreamer, Poetic License, and Eye of the Holocaust. Her work has appeared in many publications including: Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, The Iowa Review, FIELD, The Journal, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, Volt, and Ploughshares. For seven years, with CB Follett, she edited RUNES, A Review Of Poetry. She is now editor of Spillway and a poetry editor for Pedestal Magazine and In Posse Review. She had a poem from FIELD published in PUSHCART PRIZE XXXI.

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I like the weight, the sense, of these poems in Susan Terris’ MEMOS.

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Memo to the Girl with the Port-Wine Stain Across Her Face

a teenager   you’re standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial
place which declares all created equal   and your friends

are photographing you   not profile so only the unblemished
shows   but full face and smiling   audacious even

your parents   I’d like to know them   people who love
a girl with dreams of her own   girl   who lives unmarked

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