Suzanne Underwood Rhodes


. . . Art is strict as the honeycomb. 

But wild as love, 

the ecstatic honey. 

(from Flying Yellow)


Thank you for visiting my website. As a poet and essayist, I think of a word as a tree, alive with possibility and even danger! Words are mysterious, like tree hollows I can crawl into. Words extend branches I can climb onto and see the sky beyond the limits of the mind. The limbs and leaves teach me to see how everything connects. I can view the earth from a height and gain a wiser perspective. Words have roots, too--roots in the divine: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). 

Come climb with me.  

Feel free to contact me at s.underwood.rhodes@gmail.com. If you're a writer looking for an editor, please check out my independent editorial practice here on the website.

Most of the photos on this website were taken by my husband, Wayne Rhodes, a professional photographer who specializes in landscape and nature photography. 

Announcing Flying Yellow, April 2021

Suzanne's new collection of  poems, Flying Yellow (Paraclete Press), is coming this spring! Preordering information is available. 

"The poems in Flying Yellow by Suzanne Underwood Rhodes cry out for the day just out of reach, the day which unaccountably may in a moment or a season let down a joyful light into the obscurity of human trial. A hopeful belief in heaven and the end of suffering colors these profoundly spiritual, often uneasy poems. Carried by musical currents that shape her work, Suzanne ventures into what she calls "the good dark stuff" of experience-good because the dark is where Christ went, willingly, to take it captive. Whether probing the meaning of her own personal traumas or those of historical figures like Mary Rowlandson and Dorothy Bradford; whether peeling back layers of habitual sight to see the natural world of robins and ghost crabs and shorelines more truly, she brings the reader alongside each surprising encounter to see the possibilities of light."

Praise for Flying Yellow

"This is one of the richest poetry collections I have read in a long time. Here are the intense images of a 1960's childhood, vivid narratives of family stresses and joys, and a panoply of voices--from colonial American women to a very pregnant Mary. These poems excite the spirit with revelations of the holy that one encounters in the most unlikely places, which of course is where the holy often appears. It is impossible to read these poems passively. Instead, one luxuriates in their explorations of the beauty and the ambiguities and the mysteries of life fully lived."  -Jill Peláez Baumgaertner, Poetry Editor, Christian Century

"Once in a very long while, if you're lucky enough, a voice reaches out to haunt you in what the poet names a "syntax that gives shape to every scream." Here, in an American idiom we can follow and trust, Suzanne Rhodes manages to reveal a Presence that lives within and beyond us. In poem after poem after poem, she shows us with the spiritual insight and wit of a George Herbert, a broken world which, resurrected, can flame out in a music which, even as it burns, lifts us into a liminal space beyond anything we might ever have expected." -Paul Mariani, University Professor Emeritus, Boston College, poet and biographer