About Suzanne Mercury
I am a poet who often works in visual and haptic poetic forms using found objects, old book pages, LED lights, glass, gold, tree branches, and all manner of natural materials, combining them with my written work. Even my poems that are just “on paper” as they say tend to have some sort of visual component, an obsession with white space, and what is left unsaid.
Manifesto’ing . . . .
Most of my recent work is deeply environmental, and my approach to writing poems in many ways models organic life processes. I’ve mostly departed from my early lyrical-narrative approach, and their forms are organic, responsive, and performance-based.
I believe the universe is a vast breathing living body, and that the forests— and rainforests in particular— are the lungs of our planet. I share my breath with theirs, and they speak to me.
Change, light, growth, decay, and death are the lifeblood of the natural world and of earth— these are the energies that I try to tap into when I write a poem.
So when I write a poem about a tree or seed or a bumblebee, I am also writing about the process of life and death within and around them.
My poetry is a conversation with that process— it is a history, one that by its nature is always unfinished, continuing, and in flux, revising itself, composting, and recycling.
My publications . . . .
I have published sassafracas (Xerolage 69), a collection of photographs of my glass haptic poems, with Xexoxial Editions— it is their first ever full-color Xerolage. This makes me very happy— the dichroic colors in these pieces are flamboyant and change dramatically depending on the light conditions, so color is really essential to the experience.
My chapbook of poems Hand to Earth is forthcoming from Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs. I am completely over the moon about this— Brenda Iijima is a true kindred spirit, utterly brilliant, and I feel deeply honored to work with her and her press.
Through Jewelweed Press, I have also published two wee limited editions of my one-word poems, Meteor’gami (2011) and Silenchante (2016). Out of print, these minimalist pieces were never actually sold— I just slipped them into peoples’ pockets when they weren’t looking and tiptoed away.
I have published poetry in a variety of literary journals including SpoKe, Truck, Summer Stock, Sonora Review, and Hayden’s Ferry Review, as well as in anthologies Let the Bucket Down and The Wisdoms of the Universes in a Single String of Letters. I have also exhibited my work and given readings and performances in a wide variety of venues in Cambridge, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Amherst, Boston, Aspen, London, and Istanbul.
I live in Boston where I create sustainable gardens, keep honeybees, let bumblebees nestle in my hair, and forage for wild edibles. I also serve as contributing editor for The Lily Review and co-organize the yearly Boston Poetry Marathon.