Summary: Storage Issues pictures an individual wandering through the remains of communal life. These personal lyric and narrative poems search for meaning in the background, events, and concerns of one Mennonite woman’s existence. The poems invoke archetypal help and seek elemental order, but they also accept the changing world.
Comment: "The ‘slim striped dirt-colored frog / in the first flush of deadnetle, milweed / and bindweed unmaking the hollyhock bed” might be Annie Dillard by way of Gerard Manley Hopins . . . but in fact it’s Suzanne Kay Miller, whose poem-document on life lived both in and away from a Mennonite community proves to us over and over how ‘You might imagine eternity / in local terms,’ the mandate of so much moving poetry, and the lovely presiding spirit of her own.” —Albert Goldbarth, Author, To Be Read in 500 Years and many more poetry collections; two-time winner, National Book Critics Circle award
“Pop psychologists call it baggage—the memories, the feelings, both happy and sad, that stick with us, and haunt us, but author Suzanne Miller rightly observes that really, it’s storage issues—how much room do you have in a life for happiness, for joy, for love and for the pain that sometimes comes with great love and loss?” —Darcy A. Zabel, Professor of English, Friends University
“‘To live as an island in a sea of wickeness, even with God, leaves one dry.’ Empathizing here with the thirst of Noah, Miller explores that ‘dryness’ that is the human plight, especially the generations of woman-pain: mothering, a husband’s betrayals, brokenness, like that of the trees. The poet’s voice reminds me, when it breaks into praise, of Hopkins in its formality—and sometimes, in its disappointment with the world, as anguished as a Sexton or a Plath.” —Raylene Hinz-Penner, Author, Searching for Sacred Ground: The Journey of Chief Lawrence Hart, Mennonite
Market: Miller’s poetry should appeal to anyone who appreciates fine poetry and especially readers drawn to poetic engagement with issues of community and individuality with hints of Mennonite particularities.
Shelving: Poetry— Personal lyric/narrative; Anabaptist-Mennonite literature; Women’s Perspectives
The Author: The poems of Suzanne Kay Miller, Wichita, Kansas, have won awards sponsored by the Winfield (Kan.) Arts and Humanities Council, The Associated Church Press Association, and the Evangelical Press Association. During the years she wrote these poems, she raised four children, worked a variety of part-time jobs, and earned degrees. Currently, she teaches writing at Friends University and is at work on another book of poems..
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