Suzanne Underwood Rhodes
Suzanne Underwood Rhodes is a teaching poet and the
Arkansas Poet Laureate. A native of New York, she lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and has
published several poetry collections, including the award-winning Flying
Yellow. Her poems appear regularly in journals and anthologies such as Slant, Christian Century, Alaska Quarterly Review, Mid/South Anthology, and Image. (For a complete list, see About.). She taught creative writing and
literature at King University, and teaches virtual poetry workshops through the
Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, Virginia, as well as to women residents of the Magdalene Serenity House in Fayetteville.
IMPORTANT UPDATE! Suzanne was selected in October 2023 as one of 25 artists across all disciplines in Northwest Arkansas to be named a Fellow by Artists 360 and the recipient of a grant as a practicing artist. This will free up time for her to write new poems for her next full-length collection already well underway and to further her professional development. She'll continue other work she loves mentoring poets one-on-one and giving workshops and readings to advance the invaluable role poetry serves in Arkansas and everywhere to awaken, inspire, and celebrate the beauty and transformative power of language wrapped in vision, for as the the Bible explains, "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Prov. 29:18). The grant is made possible by Mid-America Arts Alliance and the Walton Foundation, to whom Suzanne is profoundly grateful for entrusting her with these funds.
Thank you for visiting my website. In my role as the Arkansas Poet Laureate, appointed in January 2022 by Governor Asa Hutchinson, I have so many wonderful opportunities to share the power and pleasure of poetry throughout my state and beyond, through workshops, readings, and projects to bring the transformative power of poetry to young and old.
I'm available for readings and workshops, so feel free to contact me at email@example.com. And, 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 late husband, Wayne Rhodes, a professional photographer who specialized in landscape and nature photography.
Flying Yellow (Paraclete Press, 2021) was named a semi-finalist in the North America Book Award in 2022 by the Poetry Society of Viginia. It's available through the publisher as well as bookshop.org and major outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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