Love and the Weather

The image rules in the world of Susan Gardner and what a delight it is to hear one note from a child’s flute resting on air, a fret of rain at dawn. She reminds us how even the smallest change in the weather can help us hear more within ourselves and in the world.  In Love and the Weather, everything is a part of everything else:  black tea in a mug, the pencil beside a notebook, the manatee the size of a dining table. The quiet exactness, the focused wonder, the moment deeply heard, seen and felt, all emerge in this exceptional book.

—J.P. White, author of The Tree Becomes a Room

Susan Gardner’s poetry quietly responds to the world’s impermanence with an eye alert to “each minima of silt” and an ear attuned to the “rumors of friction wearing at stick and stone,” its textures infused with the earth tones and shifting geometries of the American Southwest, her longtime home.  From the understated gravitas of “Locked Gate”—an elegy for the murdered Guatemalan poet Alaíde Foppa—to the affectionate ironies of “Marriage”—love’s long haul wryly imagined as an “aftershock we keep touching”—Love and the Weather beguiles as it whispers.  One of its plainest statements, “I want to stay for a little while longer,” may best describe its project, which is the project of all art: to preserve what would otherwise be lost.

—Steven Cramer, author of Listen

Love and the Weather will color your mind and calm your soul. Susan Gardner’s hand is practiced in the patience of noting every stage of a process, every stroke of a moment, be that  the journey of water from cloud to sea, or a meeting with loved eyes over the rim of a teacup. In her landscapes, “a tweed carpet of leaves” falls from sycamores, “a fret of rain” enters the day, in the wake of wildfires “smoke clouds stutter by.” Vivid images bring us her weather, which abundantly includes love that’s weathered well. Not to be forgotten are the seldom seen demon that lurks in the mirror, or the deaths that include the unjustly disappeared. Reading this collection you will, as Gardner says, “inhabit the felt world.”

—Mary Gilliland, author of The Devil’s Fools

In simple, yet artful ways Susan weaves a rich story…. Her poetry integrates natural beauty into the human condition, creating a canvas of words, a recipe for authenticity, music to embrace emotions.

—Marvel Harrison, Publishing Director, Mimbres Press, Western NM University

Lifted To The Wind ~ Poems 1974-2015

Finalist for the 2016 Lascaux Prize for Poetry. Includes bilingual Spanish-English, and Japanese-English poems translated by the author. In her latest book, LIFTED TO THE WIND, Susan Gardner brings us a four-decade retrospective of her poetry, some composed originally in Spanish as well as in the language of Japanese calligraphy. In addition to being a poet, literary editor and the founding editor of Red Mountain Press, Ms. Gardner is a well-established painter and photographer. Her aesthetic sensibilities in the visual arts are easily evident in her poetry. She gives us a true reckoning of what is and an artist’s look at what might be.

“Gardner, a writer and visual artist… presents a sonically and linguistically rich set of verses…. Fresh metaphors and vivid images linger…. Precise language and imagery reinforce the conclusion that noticing leads to enlightenment: ‘a few things / unremarked / awaken us to this life.'”—Kirkus

“LIFTED TO THE WIND is artist and poet Susan Gardner’s sixth book, a rich collection of poems from over four decades illuminated by seven pages with original brush-and-ink work and one photograph. Her mostly short poems, some in Spanish as well as English, probe the complexities and contradictions of human experience—art, love, loneliness, eros, even war—even as they portray the natural world with vividness and precision: ‘Thin ice cracks in tatters’ in ‘Nebraska Sunrise’; ‘Thunder rolls its baritone song’ in ‘Rain in Santa Clara.’ Yet they don’t stop there—as we see the girl in ‘August’ ‘listening to the shadows,’ and as ‘Galaxy’ concludes, there’s ‘Still a trace of red sky beyond the grounded world,’ these poems take us to another dimension: they lift us to the wind.—Gordon Ball

“It stopped me in my tracks… Poems inspired by art… are legion, Auden’s ‘Musée des Beaux Arts’ based on Breughel’s ‘The Fall of Icarus’ being one of the best. But what happens when poet and painter inhabit the same body? Well, Susan Gardner’s work is what happens. She invites you to see a poem and, I suspect, read a painting. The poems are invitations to set aside your narrative expectations and let the mind rest, take in an image, a detail, participate in a meditative process, a sort of sensory and spiritual inventory. They are painterly snapshots inviting us to view a world largely unmediated, the ‘I’ noticeably absent, giving precedence to the ‘eye.'”—Gary Geddes

“Susan Gardner creates a recursive chain of splendid poems in LIFTED TO THE WIND: POEMS 1974-2015. She splashes lasting images across pages, defining aesthetic moments that indeed are ‘lifted’ outside chronologies. This innovative collection is a primer for other writers—the poet teaches how to sequence a range of works. Her painterly perspective celebrates colors, textures, and shapes. In ‘Night Table,’ for example, objects framed on a tabletop create an elegant still life. Readers may lose themselves in this and other individual poems—or read the book straight through. In either case, they will return to savor Gardner’s words over and over. This book, embellished with the poet’s own illustrations, is a lasting work of art.”—Denise Low

“Muchisisisisisimas Felicididades!!!! Congratulations for this lifelong way you have of portraying life for us all.”—Perla Krauze, artist, Mexico City

“Susan Gardner’s latest book feels special to the touch. The… imagistic poems and supplemental ink paintings and calligraphy, effectively move the reader to contemplate the glory of the natural world as well as everyday realities that are often overlooked…. Her collection draws the reader into a timeless, holy conversation—as if prayer is a pattern of observation and response, a way of seeking truth beyond the immediate surface. A careful reading of LIFTED TO THE WIND requires a reflective, contemplative mood. The work functions as ritual. The aesthetic control that Gardner exhibits rewards such careful attention.”—Ken Hada

Drawing the Line

“surprising nuance and depth” – Kirkus Reviews

“most interesting and impressive” –Drunken Boat

“‘a work to savor…. imbued with the same vitality, restraint, and dignity as a perfect line.” – Blood Lotus

” a beautiful story”- San Francisco Book Review

The Eric Hoffer Award Honorable Mention for Memoir

Drawing The Line is a beautiful story of a woman’s struggle to be herself…. a personal exploration of the last six decades, and a peek into the formation of an artist…. – San Francisco Book Review
 August 2011

Drawing the Line is a fine memoir with plenty to absorb throughout. – Midwest Book Review/Small Press BookWatch Vol 10 No.8 August 2011

Susan Gardner’s Drawing the Line is a poignant and touching personal story that vividly captures what it is to grow and discover, not only as an artist, but as a human being. – Scott Harrison, Artistic Director, Ironweed Productions

… sophisticated in its simplicity and profound in its lack of guile. Drawing the Line is soulful and beautiful. – Marc Talbert

Gardner has given us a meticulously detailed, ruthlessly honest and emotionally redemptive story…. Drawing the Line generously offers that epiphany to all of us. – Wayne Lee