Susan Wood draws on her own past to create poems that are remarkable for their depth and clarity, and for the stories they tell. In Campo Santo, she chooses grief over nothingness and constructs tales out of her own lost world, the retrieval system of memory.
Wood’s lyrical narratives chart the intimacies and distances between people. She writes about he pleasures and sorrows of family relationships, about the death of her mother, about the agonies of race in a small town, about the inconsolabilities of grief and the consolations of poetry.
But for all the sorrows in these poems, there are also odd moments of joy and celebration the world caught and transfigured, recovered. “We all deserve some sweetness in the end,” Wood tells us.
The poems in Campo Santo demonstrate Wood’s confident mastery of poetic technique. With this collection she takes her place as a mature, accomplished poet.
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