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Suzanne Gardinier


Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on January 25, 1961, poet and essayist Suzanne Gardinier earned her BA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her MFA at Columbia University.

She has authored five books of poetry: Atlas (Ediciones SG, 2017), Iridium & Selected Poems 1986–2009 (Sheep Meadow Press, 2011), Dialogue with the Archipelago (Sheep Meadow Press, 2009), Today: 101 Ghazals (Sheep Meadow Press, 2008), and The New World (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993). She has also published a collection of essays, A World That Will Hold All the People (University of Michigan Press, 1996).

She is the recipient of grants from the Lannan Foundation and New York Foundation for the Arts. She is a professor at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Manhattan.

Suzanne Gardinier
Photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

By This Poet


Gapped Sonnet

Between the blinds Past the coded locks
Past the slanted gold bars of the day
Smelling of all-night salt rain on the docks
Of grief Of birth Of bergamot Of May

In the wind that lifts the harbor litter
Wet against my fingers in a dream
Salvaging among the tideline's bitter
gleanings Generous Exigent Lush and lean

Your voice A tune I thought I had forgotten
The taste of cold July brook on my tongue
A fire built on thick ice in the winter
The place where lost and salvaged meet and fit
The cadences a class in grief is taught in
The sound when frozen rivers start to run


Stammering translated sonnet in which the poet sends the rains of Havana to her love in New York

Got your message, here
in the letter you didn’t write:
burned, with a forbidden seal,
marking the burial site
of what has neither voice nor definition,
what has no face, no peace, no place to sleep,
a whisper in which I can’t [inaudible]
—what the sea doesn’t say, whispering, every night,
and when the rain comes to erase the streets
tomorrow, & all the dusks that follow that,
and runs around making up street dances
from what you once said, I’ll have this map,
without details, made of what I’ve missed,
telling me that that which isn’t is.


Soneto Balbuciendo En Que La Poeta Manda A Su Amor En Nueva York La Lluvia de La Habana

He leído el mensaje que mandaste,
aquí, en la carta no me has escrito:
quemada, y con sello prohibido,
diciéndome dónde enterraste
lo que no tiene voz ni luz ni cara,
ni paz, ni un lugar para dormir,
susurro donde yo puedo oír
cada noche lo que no dice el mar,
y cuando la lluvia borrará las calles
mañana, y los crepúsculos después,
y correrá haciendo bailes
de lo que me dijiste una vez,
yo tendré este mapa, sin detalles,
que me dice que lo que no es, es.

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