(Finishing Line Press;2009)

"Susan Cohen's poems praise the world in all directions, from the autistic boy who sings to a canyon at four in the morning to the huge flock of crows whose ruckus `saws into our sleep.' She includes Coleman Hawkins on cello, Coltrane, Janis, Allen Ginsberg's belly hair, and the way an egret echoes regret, as well as her own unreasonable happiness. Cohen's words are well-earned, they sear us with a fierce joy." -- Molly Fisk, author of "Listening to Winter."


"I love the emotional honesty and compression of Susan Cohen's lyrics. They are transparent, without pretense, all grace of line and firm, echoing songs… A triumph!" – Marilyn Kallet, author of "Packing Light: New and Selected Poems," Lindsay Young Professor of English at the University of Tennessee.

Finishing Line Press selected "Finding the Sweet Spot" as Book of the Month in December, 2008.

FINDING THE SWEET SPOT

Survival

Even a samovar
that rode the boat
with my grandmother, vanished
like the shtetl world
it came from, up in smoke
as if its nickel and its lead
were no harder or more permanent
than a shoe box crammed
with photos of the long-dead;
than table linens
that had been my mother's
cross-stitched dowry;
than oil paintings
that hung for years, then
ran at the first lick
of heat. When fire tore
their house down
to the foundation, it erased
every item my parents owned
from six decades of marriage
-- except one
small Wedgwood dish,
blue and heart-shaped.
I found the dish intact
where flames had whipped
2000 hardbound books
into creamy ash,
but my parents didn't want it.
They'd already started over.
I won't claim I saved it;
I just took the heart
for my mantelpiece.
What saved it was
the ferocious heat
at which Wedgwood bakes
to hardness.

-- Best Poem, New Millennium Writings
reprinted in Finding the Sweet Spot

Books

Poetry
David Martinson-Meadowhawk Prize Red Dragonfly Press; June 2016
WordTech Communications/Cherry Grove Collections;2012
Unfinished Monument Press;2005
Non-fiction