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"Finding Our Way Back Home"
Winner of the Native Writers' Circle of the
Americas first Book Award. "Billboard in the Clouds" is a volume of poems that intimately weaves the rhythms of warriors, family, clan, and people, with the songs of tides, winds, birds, and crops, and the intense strength of poet Suzanne Rancourt's own heartbeat. Rancourt creates her poems with a tongue that is sparse and clean, simple and elegant -- rich with music and purpose." Devorah Major Brown, author of Brown Glass Windows and where river meets ocean.
"Suzanne Rancourt's Billboard in the Clouds should go a long way dispelling the common plaint of non-Native new Englanders and upper-state New Yorkers that there are no Indian people in the area. The Abenaki world in these poems resonates just as smoothly and clearly as similar Indian worlds do in Sherman Alexie novel or a Joy Harjo poem. Read this book and you will see what I'm talking about."
---Geary Hobson, author of The Last of the Ofos
"With vivid images and ecstatic intensity, Suzanne Rancourt maps the jagged contours of the contemporary landscape. Her family stories show us how history weaves through our lives, how the simplest moments become ceremonies. I am struck by her honesty, her refusal to look away from the most difficult truths. Grounded in the northeast land of her ancestors, her poetry affirms a deep connectedness that is crucial to our survival." ---Cheryl Savageau, author of Dirt Road Home
to Suzanne's poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and music.
Photography: The Bear Review "Ghost Dance"
Three Drops from a Cauldron #16 cover art "Moon Bow"
Original song: "Kataahdin"
"Women Veterans and Multi Modal Post-Traumatic Growth: Making the Tree Whole Again" pg 72 - 85
Interview with Amherst Writers' & Artists' founder, Pat Schneider
"The Bear That Stands" pg 29
"Suzanne Rancourt's Authentic Voice: One Writer's GPS to Wholeness" appeared in Poets & Writers Readings & Workshops Blog October 11, 2013. Click HERE to read.
Armistice Day commentary and poetry Nov 2019 Many fine writers featured in this memorial issue of BigCityLit
"Shiver: with Maine Accent Shiva," "Morning Morendo,"
"Return Convolution: reconvolution"
"Cleaning Drawers" audio The Gyroscope Review. "Unhinged," "Bad Girls Speak," "Tanning the Hides with Sisyphus," "Sculling in Winnipeg" Synaeresis#7 Harmonia Press, London, ON "Letters Home," "A Wave Could Crash Upon Me," "afternoon," "Plasma," "Sleep Will Come Tomorrow,""Clean Skin" Grey Borders Magazine, Niagara Falls, ON "Stones as Words" Winter 2019 Big Pond Rumours - International Literary Zine, Sarnia, ON "When Your G String Breaks" theSame
(The link is proving problematic. Follow the search prompts.)
"Impressive Education: Mrs. F. the Librarian," "The Boneman," "Maccha," "Mediterranean Blues," "When the Glacier is Gone." Dawnland Voices 2.0 #4
"Caput Mortuum," "Mish'ala," "Curves of Grace"
In the Trenches Anthology, Verto Publishing, Poems - "Venom, Sweet Venom," "the dead are not dead," "A Bridge of Social Renaissance."
#98 "The Baby Singer."
Ms. Rancourt's 4 poems French Translations by Beatrice Machet
Avec la bouche de qui je parle, Le voile réticent, Pères et fils – Brighton Beach, and Le bord.
"Harvesting the Spring."
"Visions of Clara"
"The Smell of Blood"
"Why I Don't Meditate"
"When the Wind Stops," "Ghost Nets," "Not Tonight," "The Edge"
"The Reticent Veil"
Writing of Indigenous New England
Whose Mouth Do I Speak With?
I can remember my father bringing home spruce gum.
He worked in the woods and filled his pockets
with golden chunks of pitch.
For his children
he provided this special sacrament
and we'd gather at his feet, around his legs,
bumping his lunchbox, and his empty thermos rattled inside.
Our skin would stick to Daddy's gluey clothing
and we'd smell like Mumma's Pine Sol.
We had no money for store bought gum
but that's all right.
The spruce gum
was so close to chewing amber
as though in our mouths we held the eyes of Coyote
and how many other children had fathers
that placed on their innocent, anxious tongues
the blood of trees?
Dawnland Voices calls attention to the
little-known but extraordinarily rich literary
traditions of New England’s Native Americans. This pathbreaking anthology includes both classic and contemporary literary works from ten New England indigenous nations: the Abenaki, Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Mohegan, Narragansett, Nipmuc, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Schaghticoke, and Wampanoag.
Through literary collaboration and recovery, Siobhan Senier and Native tribal historians and scholars have crafted a unique volume covering a variety of genres and historical periods. From the earliest petroglyphs and petitions to contemporary stories and hip-hop poetry, this volume highlights the diversity and strength of New England Native literary traditions. Dawnland Voices introduces readers to the compelling and unique literary heritage in New England, banishing the misconception that “real” Indians and their traditions vanished from that region centuries ago. To Order click HERE
TO ORDER Ms. Rancourt's newest book of poetry, murmurs at the gate (if in the U.S.) HERE Outside of the U.S. click HERE or HERE. Suzanne S. Rancourt’s second book of poetry uses both fictional and auto-biographical events to create a chorus of survivors. These poems, for the unspeakable, the marginalized, the “in-betweeners,” create a chorus of survivors in the theater of life’s sorrow, love, tragedy, beauty, and profound human resiliency. (Book cover photo by Tif Holmes.)
What they're Saying about murmurs at the gate:
Poet Suzanne S. Rancourt is a multi-modal artist who lives and works in the American Northeast. She is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army, with periods of active-duty and reserve service both prior to the first Gulf War and following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Some of her ancestors are Abenaki and Huron. Others are European. In her poetry, she honors both. Read the complete literary review HERE by Randy "Charlie Sherpa" Brown
Suzanne Rancourt has written an autobiography in words -- words that bring the reader into her life and all its difficult and joyous events, words that show us how a truly brave woman-artist lives. Her images sing and whirl, as when she writes, "The wind in a spinning skirt/sneaks a harmony from thighs to earth. . . " This is Rancourt's second book, and it points the way to more poems that clamor to be read and heard.
---Bertha Rogers, Poet, Wild, Again
I would lie if I didn’t admit that my first impulse when writing a response to “murmurs at the gate” was to say “if Emily Dickinson went to war….” But Rancourt’s work is more deserving than a comparison to Dickinson, to the extent that the comparison discounts her work, because her work makes me question why it is that Dickinson comes to mind. Why am I more familiar with Dickinson than any story before her time, before white privilege erased the voices they didn’t want to hear. Why would I compare Rancourt’s work to the work of another female poet (especially one as canonized as Dickinson)? Why not Brian Turner, Yousef Komannyakka, Owen, Sassoon, insert name of another male poet who has written about war. Rancourt writes, “Violence is a heavy thing,” compares the sand of war to makeup that comes in “metal saucer discs with a compact mirror,” as she bears witness from life how female veterans must not only fight war, but oppression, victimization. No, there is no comparison. Rancourt blazes new trails with her use of dashes—cutting time and adding time, and fierce use of line breaks that move a poem forward, reflective and visual, sensual and philosophical. Image by image, thought by thought, image by thought, by question, by why? Why, in coming up with analogy, comparison, simile, to describe her work, does my mouth come up dry, and I’m left searching for “belt loops, dry socks, and cigarettes….” Yet my mouth is filled with “true flavor.” --Jason Poudrier, 2018 Pat Tillman Scholar and author of Red Fields
Suzanne Rancourt takes us deeply into the loves and the lives of her Native American people; enough so that we find ourselves touching our own stories, our ancestors, our own fragile and tough remembrances. It’s a beautiful book; one will want to read and re-read her tender and tough stories, deeply compassionate, touched here and there with delicious humor.
---Pat Schneider, author, Writing Alone and With Others and How the Light Gets In, both from Oxford University Press, and founder, Amherst Writers & Artists.
There are no smoke bombs here and the 200 or so pages encompass and expose the inner workings of a thoughtful poet who has bravely shed the notion that just a few poems would do ... Read the complete review by Scottish writer, Duncan Harley HERE Leslie Marmon Silko has said that the Pueblo Laguna see time as an ocean. What is long ago is right here. In Suzanne Rancourt’ s collection, murmurs at the gate, the past, distant and recent, comingle, from the father’s memory in... Read Douglas Cole's complete review HERE
Whether exploring the strengths that bind us within familial relationships or of those that bind us to the elemental forces within the natural world, Rancourt’s poems serve as spiritual meditations, igniting chords of remembrance for who and what we truly are beyond the limitations of flesh and bone. Often deft with subtlety, such as the character reveal of a father who “removed that petrified baby rabbit from the middle of the logging road,” this collection also holds back nothing in its seeking to understand humanity’s obsession with violence, given our indelible commonalities of what it means to be human. Prepare to be moved! –Tracy Crow, President, MilSpeak Foundation and author of It’s My Country Too and Eyes Right.
"Clean Skin" Free State Review, April 2020
"Migration, Immigration, Profligation", "Old Stones as Photo Albums" Event Magazine B.C., Canada
"Adiabatic Theorem" Pangyrus LitMag
Audio releases of Ms. Rancourt reading "Blood on Blood," Quiddity Lit NPR Radio;
Women Who Serve: Anthology, Gary Bloomfield, Editor
Ms. Rancourt has six poems in this incredibly diverse Anthology that draws from writers globally, various genres, ages, backgrounds. This Anthology looks at War and Conflict from multiple human perspectives. This is an educational resource. Click HERE to order.
Poems: Mish'ala, Caput Mortuum,
Curves of Grace
Click on image to order.
Courage Grows Strong at the Wound, Steelies
click ON IMAGE to order and support
your local art centers!
CNF "Bushido and Choice" is included in this diverse mix of genre and Nationalities. An educational resource. Click HERE to order.
Includes "Whose Mouth Do I Speak With?"
The only book designed specifically for the AP® Literature and Composition course is back and even better. Organized thematically to put meaning first, Literature & Composition offers a wide variety of classic and current literature, plus all of the support students need to analyze and write about it—for assignments and on the AP® Literature Exam.
Ms. Rancourt has poetry and a craft essay included in this anthology.
In this groundbreaking anthology of Indigenous poetry and prose, Native poems, stories, and essays are informed with a knowledge of both what has been lost and what is being restored. It offers a diverse collection of stories told by Indigenous writers about themselves, their histories, and their present. It is a celebration of culture and the possibilities of language.
Featuring forty-four poets, including Ishmael Hope, Bojan Louis, Ruby Murray, Simon Ortiz, Leslie Marmon Silko, Luci Tapahonso, Joy Harjo, dg okpik, Sherwin Bitsui, Heid E. Erdrich, Layli Long Soldier, and Orlando White.
Original influence essays by Diane Glancy on Lorca, Chrystos on Audre Lorde, Louise Erdrich on Elizabeth Bishop, LeAnne Howe on W. D. Snodgrass, Allison Hedge Coke on Delmore Schwartz, Suzanne Rancourt on Ai, and M. L. Smoker on Richard Hugo, among others.
And, a selection of resonant work chosen from previous generations of Native artists. Click HERE to order. Ms. Rancourt's poem, "The Shores of Methana", is included in this Anthology, Brighten Press, Gene Hult, Editor. Click HERE to order.
BACK IN PRINT!!! BACK IN PRINT!!!
Northwestern University sends Billboard in the Clouds to its 2ND PRINT!!!