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Susan de Sola’s poems have appeared in many venues, such as the Hudson Review and PN Review, and in anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 2018. She is a winner of the David Reid Poetry Translation Prize and the Frost Farm Prize. She holds a PhD in English from the Johns Hopkins University and has published essays and reviews as Susan de Sola Rodstein. Her photography is featured in the chapbook Little Blue Man. She is a faculty member at the West Chester Poetry Conference, and a featured poet at the 2020 Newburyport Literary Festival. A native New Yorker, she lives near Amsterdam with her family.
Daniel Brown (not verified)
It would be easy—too easy—to steal from Richard Wilbur and say that Susan de Sola is “call[ed] to the things of this world.” Too easy because, as richly endowed with the world’s physical and visual bounty as de Sola’s poetry is, her Frozen Charlotte offers a good deal more: a sense of history (especially as embodied in her European ancestry), of place (de Sola lives in Holland and has a cosmopolitan breadth of vision), penetrating portraits of people (and other forms of life), complexly loving evocations of her husband and children…all delivered with eloquence, musicality, a mastery of meter and rhyme (though free verse figures as well), and many touches of well-wielded humor. If it sounds like de Sola’s is a “large” poetry, it is, in the best and most rewarding sense. It’s also a distinctive poetry. When you’re reading Frozen Charlotte, you’re spending time with a unique sensibility, both personal and poetic. Even as she keeps faith with many aspects of poetry’s great tradition, Susan de Sola is an original.
Elizabeth Mosier (not verified)
Beautiful, resonant book!
So much in Frozen Charlotte resonated with me. I felt grateful for the prompt to laugh out loud offered by poems like "Holistic Practice," "Four Frogs," and "Paola and the Cricket," which are both sharp and generous in their assessment of humanity. The lens with which de Sola sees paints (as Thoreau said) "the very atmosphere through which we look..."
The ordering of the poems seems to present a (non-linear) progression of grief, from "The Box" and "Cedar Closet" to the somber comfort of "Two-Part Song" -- a poem I want to read daily, like a prayer, as a reminder that the things we use and break and throw away are the things we truly value. And as de Sola so eloquently expresses in "Portrait, Bust,” the artist understands that the work is a well-crafted artifice for the living, breathing truth of experience we continually seek.
Such wisdom in this collection, conveyed by de Sola’s well-chosen, artfully arranged, memorable words.