Contact Susan Elmslie: susan.elmslie at mail.mcgill.ca
Bio: Susan Elmslie was born in Brampton, Ontario, and now lives in Montreal. Her second book, Museum of Kindness, has just been published by Brick Books and is featured on the “Hot New Releases in Poetry” page on Amazon.ca. Her first trade collection, I, Nadja, and Other Poems (Brick, 2006) won the A.M. Klein Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the McAuslan First Book Prize. In 2007 it was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award and a ReLit Award. Her writing appears in journals, anthologies, and a prize-winning chapbook, When Your Body Takes to Trembling (Cranberry Tree, 1996). She received a PhD in English (specialization: Canadian literature) from McGill University and an MA in Comparative Canadian literature from Western. She was a Hawthornden Poetry Fellow in 2002.
Quotes for Museum of Kindness:
“Susan Elmslie has written a remarkable collection. Many of these poems deal with some of the more demanding elements in the lives of women, of mothers. One whole section takes on with intelligence and full emotional resonance the experience of the poet in a school shooting, the nightmare of every parent with a child or adolescent in any teaching institution. Another strong section deals with raising a child labeled abnormal. These are poems that will speak to many people with power and dignity and a healing touch.”
— Marge Piercy
“Charting the course of love as well as violence, Susan Elmslie’s Museum of Kindness is a difficult journey. These poems range from Elmslie’s experience as a teacher sheltering her students while an active shooter rampaged through campus, through imposed bed rest during a high-risk pregnancy, to the diagnosis of a beloved child. These poems are so acute, so clear-eyed in their brutal wisdom, that I had to put the book down to rest between poems, like a woman in labor, entirely wrung out. Museum of Kindness is a masterpiece of loss transformed by love into some of the most greathearted, lyrically daring poems I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Susan Elmslie has written a brilliant, unforgettable book.”
— Rachel Rose
Quotes for I, Nadja, and Other Poems:
“What range and abundance! A catalogue of trench coats, a daughter’s first hunger, the stories of George Sand, Marie Curie, and, of course, Breton’s love, the unforgettable, unknowable Nadja. Each of these poems is fully felt, finely formed, astonishingly different from the next. Susan Elmslie compels you to linger with admiration – but also to keep turning the pages, breathless for the next discovery.”
— Stephanie Bolster
“If for no other reason, buy this book for the “I, Nadja” poems. They are brilliant. But there is another reason-the book itself-all of it.”
— P.K. Page
Cover of I, Nadja, and Other Poems (Brick, 2006). Design by Alan Siu.