Poetry. AFTER WORDS, like First Words (Red Dragonfly Press, 2010), is both memoir and elegy, but the losses are more apparent in this volume, as the author knowingly celebrates lives that have ended and things that have nearly disappeared. The deaths of a sister, of beloved uncles, aunts, and grandparents happen in a world where the old homesteads are divided to build highways and new houses—and yet telling what it was like to live on one of those farms, to be caught in those ancient chores and rhythms, makes them lasting and beautiful.
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Joyce Sutphen grew up on a farm near St. Joseph, Minnesota and currently lives in Chaska, Minnesota. She has degrees from the University of Minnesota, including a Ph.D. in Renaissance Drama. Her first book, STRAIGHT OUT OF VIEW, won the Barnard New Women's Poets Prize (Beacon Press, 1995, republished by Holy Cow! Press in 2001). Coming Back to the Body (Holy Cow! Press, 2000) was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award, and Naming the Stars (Holy Cow! Press 2004), won a Minnesota Book Award in Poetry. In 2005, Red Dragonfly Press published Fourteen Sonnets in a letterpress edition, and in 2006 Sutphen co-edited the award-winning anthology To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present (New Rivers Press). House of Possibility, a letter press edition of poems, was published by Accordion Press in 2012. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Minnesota Monthly, North Dakota Review, and many other journals, and she has been a guest on A Prairie Home Companion, hosted by Garrison Keillor. She is the second Minnesota Poet Laureate, succeeding Robert Bly. Most recently, she is the author of AFTER WORDS (Red Dragonfly Press, 2013).
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