The Map of What Happened
Susan Elbe

The Backwaters Press
ISBN: 978-1-935218-31-9 · 112 pages · Paperback · $16.00/shipping included

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Barnes & Noble or Arcadia Books


Rain from “a bruised-pear summer sky," a river’s “cold silver zipper,” and the “green, sexy smell of water” fill Susan Elbe’s sensuous poems in The Map of What Happened. Perhaps, because these poems are silky attempts to defy “rain, which erases everything” and to recover images of the past in order to recast them. Even a woman hemming dresses for money, maybe an aunt or mother or neighbor, glints with the watery image of a “fan of silver pins glittering between her lips/ as she knelt on the cold linoleum.” “I’m the one,” Elbe says, “whose laugh falls from the bridge,/ the last to run for cover/ when a hard rain pushes us toward home.” Whether the water is memory or tears or erotic danger, it fills these poems, vividly presenting moments of intimate, often exquisite, recovery. ~ Diane Wakoski

Susan Elbe's "Map" is an elegant work of starkly-hued reminiscence, a love letter to the city that raised her and an unflinching exploration of the littered personal landscape we all must travel. These deftly-crafted stanzas will conjure home for you--wherever that home is, whatever shape it has taken. ~ Patricia Smith, author of Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah and Blood Dazzler.

The city itself--Chicago--is a dominant image in Susan Elbe's The Map of What Happened and in some of the poems one can actually hear echoes of Sandburg and an earlier Chicago poetry, a tradition Elbe revitalizes. ~ Stuart Dybek

Susan Elbe's book is indeed a "map," the kind we increasingly need. It's easier to locate a particular spot by satellite coordinates than to memorably express how it feels to live there, how time and place intersect, register, and resonate in the human heart. These poems skillfully and lyrically provide such mapping, inscribing the contours of place in images vividly specific to the poet, but strangely familiar to the reader. ~ Max Garland, current Wisconsin Poet Laureate, and author of Hunger Wide as Heaven


Where Good Swimmers Drown
Susan Elbe

Concrete Wolf Press
ISBN-10: 0979713765
ISBN-13: 978-0979713767 · 38 pages · Paperback · $10.00 + shipping


Review by Kathleen Kirk in Prick of the Spindle

Review by Linda Aschbrenner in Verse Wisconsin.

Winner of the 2011 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Prize. "Her poems are masterful and develop daring wisdom...." - Anita K. Boyle, Judge

"From the land of small towns, undertakers, 'burnt-out stars' and 'chrome-dented light,' Elbe makes a generous poetry that is both elegy and ode to the treasured and forgotten." - Dorianne Laux

"To read Elbe’s poems is to discover not only what it means to be in love, but what it means to be alive." - Jesse Lee Kercheval


Eden in the Rearview Mirror
Susan Elbe

Word Poetry
ISBN: 1933456779 · 80 pages · Paperback · $17.00 + shipping


Honorable Mention for the Council for Wisconsin Writers 2007 Posner Poetry Book Award. Judge Bruce Bennett's comments.

Review by Karla Huston

Review by Sarah Busse

Review by Barbara Crooker in CALYX

Review by Vince Gotera in North American Review

"I can't remember a manuscript that enacts so well a painful or difficult transformation. Read and love this book as I do. " - Hilda Raz, co-author of WHAT BECOMES YOU

"Susan Elbe’s luminous lines delicately tip back and forth between outer and inner worlds. As 'the sheer silk of the river wrinkling / salmon-pink in last-ditch sunlight,' her poems sift the phenomenal world for the refraction of memories in time. These are memorable, moving poems." - Arthur Sze

"Susan Elbe’s new volume of beautifully crafted poetry reflects an enviable sense of self-awareness, as well as the weight of conviction. These poems touch with searing honesty on matters of love, loss, and disaffection, and yet even the darkest of them somehow seem lit from within—not with flash and glitter, but with a slant, silvery sheen that both illuminates and demystifies." - Marilyn Taylor


Light Made from Nothing
Susan Elbe

Parallel Press
ISBN: 1-893311-33-3 · 32 pages · Paperback · $10.00 + shipping


"She has a wonderful sense of movement and a keen ear and eye for imagery. Her poems are ambitious.... There is always something to catch and please the reader in this work." - Paul Zimmer, The Georgia Review.

She "eloquently reminds us we must rely on faith, on hope, on any faint glimmer. For Elbe, there is light enough." - Vince Gotera, The North American Review.

Susan Elbe affirms that "what matters is the wanting" in her poem "This Isn’t About You" from the wonderful Light Made from Nothing (Parallel Press, 2003) and in each of the nineteen poems in this chapbook we are transported by her specific language, her knowledge of what to say and what to withhold. These poems took my breath away. - Jennifer MacPherson, The Comstock Review


City of the Big Shoulders: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry
edited by Ryan Van Cleave

University of Iowa Press,
ISBN-10: 1609380908 and ISBN-13: 978-1609380908 · 206 pages · Paperback · $15.00



A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poems
edited by Stacey Lynn Brown and Oliver de la Paz

University of Akron Press
ISBN-10: 1937378128 and ISBN-13: 978-1937378127 · 248 pages · Paperback · $13.57


Contributors Include: Kelly Madigan Erlandson, Evie Shockley, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Kazim Ali, Martha Silano, Tomás Q. Morín, Dan Albergott, Denise Duhamel, Camille T. Dungy, Sebastian Matthews, Jericho Brown, Brian Turner, Eduardo C. Corral, Cornelius Eady, Jake Adam York, Rigoberto González, Francisco Aragón, Patricia Smith, Barbara Jane Reyes, Nina Corwin, Susan Rich, Tony Barnstone, Jeannine Hall Gailey, John Poch, Kathleen Rooney, Jehanne Dubrow, Ilya Kaminsky, T. R. Hummer, Keetje Kuipers, Annie Finch, Susan Elbe, Rane Arroyo, Barbara Crooker, Matthew Guenette, and many other wonderful poets.


Fire on Her Tongue: An e-Book Anthology of Contemporary Women's Poetry
Edited by Kelli Russell Agodon and Annette Spaulding-Convy

Two Sylvias Press
ASIN: B006R8Q9JK · File Size: 491 KB · Kindle Edition · $7.99


Kelli Russell Agodon & Annette Spaulding-Convy have collaborated to produce the first eBook of contemporary women's poetry featuring:

Kim Addonizio, Deborah Ager, Ivy Alvarez, Nin Andrews, Elizabeth Aoki, Elizabeth Austen, Lana Hechtman Ayers, Dorothy Barresi, Judith Barrington, Mary Biddinger, Elizabeth Bradfield, Ronda Broatch, Gloria Burgess, Jill Crammond, Barbara Crooker, Rachel Dacus, Madeline DeFrees, Susan Elbe, Patricia Fargnoli, Annie Finch, Kathleen Flenniken, Rachel Contreni Flynn, Rebecca Foust, Suzanne Frischkorn, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Maya Ganesan, Arielle Greenberg, Kate Greenstreet, Lola Haskins, Eloise Klein Healy, Jane Hirshfield, Erin Coughlin Hollowell, Anna Maria Hong, Holly Hughes, Ann Batchelor Hursey, Luisa A. Igloria, Jill McCabe Johnson, Tina Kelley, Janet Norman Knox, Keetje Kuipers, Dorianne Laux, Jenifer Browne Lawrence, Kate Lebo, Carol Levin, Rebecca Loudon, Erin Malone, Marjorie Manwaring, Frances McCue, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, January Gill O’Neil, Alicia Ostriker, Nancy Pagh, Alison Pelegrin, Susan Rich, Rachel Rose, Natasha Sajé, Peggy Shumaker, Martha Silano, Judith Skillman, Patricia Smith, Ann Spiers, A.E. Stallings, Joannie Kervran Stangeland, Marilyn L. Taylor, Molly Tenenbaum, Ann Tweedy, Nance Van Winckel, Katrina Vandenberg, Sarah Vap, Kary Wayson, Katharine Whitcomb, Wendy Wisner, Rachel Zucker.


pay attention: a river of stones
Edited by Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita

Lulu Press
ISBN-978-1-4467-9622-1 · 128 pages · Paperback · $10.56



Love Over 60: An Anthology of Women's Poems
Edited by Robin Chapman and Jeri McCormick

Mayapple Press
ISBN-978-0932412874 · 124 pages · Paperback · $16.95


Contributors Include: Ellen Bass, Kelly Cherry, Lucille Clifton, Wanda Coleman, Susan Elbe, Patricia Fargnoli, Nikki Giovanni, Lola Haskins, Maxine Kumin, Lisel Mueller, Linda Pastan, Ruth Stone, and many other wonderful poets.


Eating the Pure Light: Homage to Thomas McGrath
Edited by John Bradley

The Backwaters Press
ISBN-978-1-935218-02-9 · 153 pages · Paperback · $20.00


Contributors Include: Thomas McGrath, Susan Elbe, Reginald Gibbons, Denise Duhamel, Christopher Buckley, Jim Moore, John Bradley, Barry Silesky, Barbara Crooker, Kelly Russell Agodon, Ellen Bass, Susan Eisenberg, Phillip Dacey, Lyle Daggett, and others


Cadence of Hooves: A Celebration of Horses
Edited by Suzan Jantz

Yarroway Mountain Press
ISBN-978-0-9801141-0-2 · 600 pages · Paperback · $24.99



Letters to the World: Poems from the Wom-Po Listserv
Edited by Moira Richards, Rosemary Starace, and Lesley Wheeler

Red Hen Press
ISBN-978-1-59709-099-5 · 456 pages · Paperback · $25.00 · Available 2/1/08


On Retirement: 75 Poems
Edited by Robin Chapman and Judith Strasser

University of Iowa Press
ISBN-10: 158729527X ISBN-13: 978-1587295270 · 140 pages · Paperback · $13.57 on Amazon


Contributors Include: Werner Aspenstrom, Chana Bloch, Philip Booth, Hayden Carruth, Lucille Clifton, Ruth Daigon, Susan Elbe, Sam Hamill, Mark Irwin, klipschutz, Ted Kooser, Maxine Kumin, Richard Moore, Naomi Shihab Nye, Grace Paley, Robert Pinsky, Carol Potter, Ishmael Reed, Claudette Mork Sigg, Ronald Wallace.


Encore: More of Parallel Press Poets
Edited by Elisabeth Owens

Parallel Press
ISBN 1-893311-63-5 · 80 pages · Paperback · $15.00 + shipping


An anthology of poetry from Parallel Press poets. The collection is wonderfully representative of the poetry chapbook series that started in 1999. Each of the forty poets contributed a poem and a statement commenting on their experience with writing the poems. The anthology also contains a foreword by Ken Frazier, Director of the UW-Madison Libraries.


Kiss Me Goodnight: Stories and Poems by Women Who Were Girls When Their Mothers Died
Syren Book Company, edited by Ann Murphy O'Fallon and Margaret Noonan Vaillancourt,

Order through Amazon
ISBN 0-929636-33-3 · 246 pp · Paperback · $13.22


"A deeply moving book. At first one hears only pain. Then one hears the courage, the strength, and indomitable faith." - Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People


Family Matters: Poems of Our Families
Edited with Introductions by Ann Smith & Larry Smith

Bottom Dog Press
ISBN 0-933087-95-0 · 230 pages · Paperback · $16.00 ($18.00 postpaid)


POEMS BY: e.e. cummings, Emily Dickinson, Galway Kinnell, Denise Levertov, Audre Lorde, Kenneth Patchen, Theodore Roethke, Muriel Rukeyser, William Carlos Williams, James Wright, and others

Contemporaries: Nin Andrews, Antler, Ellen Bass, Jeanne Marie Beaumont, David Citino, Barbara Crooker, Jim Daniels, Kate Daniels, Todd Davis, Susan Elbe, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Diane Gilliam Fisher, Kathleen Fraser, Joy Harjo, Rasma Haidri, Ted Kooser, Li-Young Lee, Jim Lenfestey, Lyn Lifshin, Diane Lockward, Peter Meinke, Corey Mesler, Chad Prevost, David Ray, Susan Rich, William Pitt Root, Michael Salinger, Vivian Shipley, Penelope Scambly Schott, Derek Sheffield, Larry Smith, Gary Soto, Susan Terris, Jeff Vande Zande, Ron Wallace, and many others


A Fierce Brightness: Twenty-five Years of Women's Poetry
Edited by Margarita Donnelly, Beverly McFarland, Micki Reaman

Calyx Books
ISBN 0-934971-82-X · 218 pages · Paperback · $14.95 + shipping and handling


A landmark collection.

"This is an extraordinary anthology of women’s poetry that is both a landmark and a cause for celebration...powerful.... Highly recommended." – Tulsa World

"From here will come our literary heritage." - John Berry, Editor-in-chief, Library Journal

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