Antolin’s joy in home, pets and family shines through all her work with an immediacy and reverence for the ordinariness of simple things. With a shake of a tablecloth she invites us to a family picnic that is so pleasant we linger until stars appear, with white crumbs scattering to mimic the night sky and its promise of never-ending.

the tablecloth
shaken over the lawn
starry night

Yet with a slight turn of perspective, Antolin lets us know she’s not unaware of how transitory life is.

heading home
a pair of coyotes
circles closer

The above is an excerpt from the latest issue of Modern Haiku in which Linda Jeannette Ward’s review of my book Artichoke Season appears. When I sent my book off for review in the fall, it felt a bit like dropping my kids off on the first day of school. I couldn’t go along with them through their school day making sure everyone would be nice to them. So I parted at the door, turned away, and trusted the world would treat them well. Now I see my book has made it through the day mostly unscathed.

As I was digesting this first review of my book, I found the new issue of Frogpond in my mailbox. In a brief review of Artichoke Season, George Swede, Editor of Frogpond, calls the book an, “arresting debut collection.” I love it. Of all the adjectives I would have thought of to describe the book, “arresting” is not one of them. Now the word “arresting” swirls pleasantly around in my mind as I move through my day.


4 thoughts on “Reviewed

  1. Susan, thank you so much for coming to my reading last night. How kind of you. I felt as if a haiku rock star walked through the door. I’m so sorry we didn’t have a chance to talk more. My niece and her partner showed up quite unexpectedly and whisked Randall and me off for a glass of wine–and I glanced around to see you talking to Jerry and Sarah, the librarian. I’m headed out of town, but could we plan lunch sometime in March. I know you’re a very busy person, so feel no obligation.

    • Your reading was wonderful! I can’t wait to read the book, but unfortunately I will have to wait as I brought it to my writing group today in Oakland to show everyone and then left it there by mistake. I will get it back next Wednesday. I would love to have lunch. Let me know when it is convenient for you. By the way, I love what you said about making truth out of facts. There is often so much more real truth in a work of fiction than one can ever find in a newspaper!

      • Oh thank you. There’s nowhere I’d rather you leave my book than with a writing group! –I’ll give you a holler here when I’m back in town and we’ll set a date. I’ll look forward to that very much.

        I stole that ‘truth from facts’ line from the southern Cal writer, Jincey Willett.

        Here’s the quote: “It’s the writer’s job to fashion truth out of fact.”

  2. For anyone else reading these comments, please check out Stacy’s beautiful web site with details about her book, Small Kingdoms. I have added the link to the list at the bottom of this site.

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