Suzanne Underwood Rhodes
Thank you for visiting my website. In my new 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 through workshops, readings, and projects with youth in mind.
I'm available for reading and workshops, so feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Suzanne's new collection of poems, Flying Yellow (Paraclete Press), is available through the publisher as well as major outlets like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
"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