BlazeVOX books

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This Visit by Susan Lewis

Price: $16.00

This Visit Susan Lewis BlazeVOX [books]


In Susan Lewis’s This Visit, each poem becomes a complex plot of phrasing that doubles back with contradictory meanings and proceeds forward with dead-on accuracy. Lewis’s brilliant word-play subverts language with wit and precision. While reading these poems, I feel as though I am wandering through landscapes that continue to change as Lewis’s powerful voice guides me through her terrain of wit and ideas — and she is in control. Her use of ambiguity gives multiple meanings to her poems with lines like this: “But (you say)/some of my best friends are — /to which I nod:/decay?” This is a cerebral collection of poems written with humor and detail; Lewis delights with sleight-of-hand mastery in each poem.

—Mary Kasimor

Like a curious echo returned to the reader patiently perched at each poem’s mouth, This Visit is cavernous. It leads you deep. Into unexpected spaces, resonating and illuminated by Susan Lewis’s intuitive ear and playful elasticity of language. Look around and listen closely. You will find the world carved here to be less replica and more simulacrum of the familiar surface above. Lewis returns to us the original primordial rhythms and rhymes engrained in our bones… but she does so slant. So that, whether you read this book aloud or silently to yourself, the voice that calls back to you from below is neither hers nor yours alone.

—Travis Macdonald

Susan Lewis’s This Visit is a dissonant pastiche of many lost voices connecting, a series of lost letters that have found an intimate listener. Yet these lyrical and profoundly intelligent dissonances contain bodies, distances, the real presence of the material world, “your desire and your embedded thorn.” Only the “ungod” gives these spaces their form, their voice, their substance; after all, God is “watching like a prisoner” from the world of these poems, constantly struggling to take form, like Michelangelo’s slaves emerging from the half-hewn stone, or Duchamp’s nude descending a multitude of staircases in shimmering half lines and half steps and snatches of overheard lines. This is a poetry of “the flesh rolled and soothing, eyes nosing over lipped seam,” and this visitation yearns for a connection as deep and ephemeral as being touched.

—Sam Witt, author of Everlasting Quail and Sunflower Brother

In the fissures and gaps of a malleable lexicon, Susan Lewis’s playful, punning, musical lyrics create spaces for a reader to explore. In her “mythic stickiness” edges are blurred in service to an “everlasting loop.” Her poems are oddly intimate, full of a wise skepticism and a quirky grace — perhaps more of a place to live in than to visit.

—Joanna Fuhrman

The question arising is: do rest or do you reach? Are you a machine stroker or a poem stoker? Or maybe, do you both? These poems swerve in that place between choice and choicelessness, and call out to trouble the stasis.

—Eleni Sikelianos

“The voice in the poems is wise; it seems to have been here before, to have racked up some special insight. The work here is intelligent.

It is also intellectually demanding. For one thing, it is allusive, including quotes from The Waste Land and many other works, so that the reader is always on the lookout for another layer, for a lining. It is also discursive, with a mere hint of an argument running through out, with a thread showing here, and here. I guess I'm describing the book as a well-made jacket, supple and perfectly constructed, but it's also something more ethereal than that—like a jacket constructed of still-beating wings.”

—Karen Craigo in Sundress Academy’s litzine, Stirring


Susan Lewis lives in New York City and edits Posit (

She is the author of How to be Another (Červená Barva Press, 2014), State of the Union (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2014), The Following Message (White Knuckle Press, 2013), At Times Your Lines (Argotist Ebooks, 2012), Some Assembly Required (Dancing Girl Press, 2011), Commodity Fetishism, winner of the 2009 Červená Barva Press Chapbook Award, and Animal Husbandry (Finishing Line Press, 2008).

Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and published in such journals as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, BlazeVOX, Boog City, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron Review, Dusie, EOAGH, Fact-Simile, Fourteen Hills, Gargoyle, The Journal, Lungfull!, The New Orleans Review, On Barcelona, Otoliths, Phoebe, Ping Pong, Pool, Propeller, Raritan, Seneca Review, So To Speak, SpringGun, Truck, Verse, Verse Daily, and Word For/Word.

Susan received her B.A. and her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley, and her M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. She has worked as an editor at several publications and taught creative writing at SUNY, Purchase. Her flash fiction has been performed in Denver’s Stories on Stage series, her collaborations with composer Jonathan Golove have been performed at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie's Weill Hall, and her collaborations with artist Melissa Stern have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the U.S.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 104 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-169-6



THIS VISIT by Susan Lewis Book Preview by Geoffrey Gatza