MEET THE AUTHOR
This sequence of poems is from a collection-in-progress, a memoir in sonnets, though
“sonnet,” in this case, is loosely defined.
All of the poems are fourteen lines. Each
contains a volta, and many make use of
rhyme, though not a traditional rhyme
scheme. Some hinge on storytelling, others on song, cultural or literary commentary, and contemplations on the nature of
memory. Some are haunted by loves lost to
AIDS and overdose. Others explore the conundrum of the rural place
where I was raised with my sister by a single mother. I, too, am a single
mother—of a son who suffered through and survived a decade of serious
drug addiction. Two of the poems here are gently edited and line-broken
online conversations between the two of us. To tell my whole life was
too much for me to tackle without the help of previous practitioners of
the sonnet. I needed Shakespeare. Keats. Evie Shockley. Gerald Stern. I
needed Gerard Manley Hopkins, the steaming guts of his Terrible Sonnets. I needed the form itself. Life had thrown me into waters I couldn’t
navigate without a rectangular raft made of those fourteen everlasting
Diane Seuss’s most recent collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks
and a Girl (Graywolf, 2018) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry and the Los Angeles Book Prize in Poetry.
Four-Legged Girl, published in 2015 by Graywolf Press, was a finalist for
the Pulitzer Prize. Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open won the Juniper Prize and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in
2010. A fifth collection, Frank: Sonnets, is forthcoming from Graywolf
Press in 2021. Seuss was raised in rural Michigan, which she continues
to call home.