You This Close
You This Close
Publication Date: July 2016
You This Close is a rippling work encompassing love and water, longing and the natural world. Su Smallen wrote these poems during a residency with the St. Croix Watershed Research Station, where she learned about aquifers and diatoms from the scientists there, kindred in their curiosity about the elegant ways nature works. With imagery from the river and its creatures, the poems of You This Close are linked together with the last line of one becoming the first line of the next, making a structure that matches a kind of diatom chain. The poems are also about hope for love, addressing a beloved not yet met. Cover and text illustrations: Diatoms by Jessica Zeglin
“Nature inspires art with its beauty, and science with its mechanism. In this volume, Su Smallen travels the secluded footbridge between art and science by exploring the beauty of nature’s workings as a mirror of our personal relations.” – James Almendinger, Senior Scientist, St. Croix Watershed Research Station
“To read through You This Close is to come upon a beautiful loneliness that sees “a blade of grass or a lone leaf / Touched, set to secret ringing.” Su Smallen has mastered the language of suggestion, intricately weaving endings with beginnings, longing with resonance as she proceeds with “wild caution.” This is an intimate and lovely book; it winds and unwinds itself in the reader’s heart long after it charms the ear.” – Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota Poet Laureate, Modern Love and Other Myths
Su Smallen is the author of six collections of poetry. Her first book, Weight of Light, was nominated for the Pushcart Press Editors’ Book Award, and Buddha, Proof was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.