Review by J. Nishida: And Blackberries Grew Wild by Susan Ward Mickelberry
Susan Ward Mickelberry’s poetry presents a “microcosm of body”—an intimacy of sensory experience found in whippoorwills and windows, fish bones and raspberries, mosquitos and moss, blood and thorns, a standard sink, a red tricycle. But this intimacy of detail, along with gentle rhythms of Mickelberry’s narrative voice, cannot distract from the sheer breadth of content carried in the poetry. Reading her poems is like stepping into gentle waves of one of the beaches she writes about—the crispness of the water and sand and other minute sensations is vividly alive within the context of the vastness of the ocean itself. This collection moves from Apopka to Asmara, Muskogee to the Bahamas, the Ozark hills to Azores, exploring themes of “Everything”—love, sex, fragility, loss, abuse, revelation, consciousness, voice. And Blackberries Grew Wild offers us the unpretentious but rich and evocative life experiences of a deeply honest, thoughtful poet.
—J. Nishida, Poetry Editor of Bacopa Literary Review 2024
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