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.
to Suzanne's poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and music.
"Silent Walk," "Acropolis Oya Overlooks the Bay," "Little Lake, Pond, or Bay," "My Feet Still Burn," "Chamomile Agora" Mediterranean Poetry
"Dorothy's Silent Hiking Boots," "Hunker is a Lifestyle," and "At what point is a human parasite too much for even the natural world to recover?(asking for a friend)" Writing the Land Project ORDER HERE ALL proceeds support the Land Trusts paired w/ the poet. Learn more about Nature Culture.
"Mesquite Flesh" Cutthroat Magazine #27 Through the Ashes, New Leaves. Order HERE as every penny supports wildlife and land preservation.
"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
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
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 reviewHERE 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 HarleyHERE
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 co-author of It’s My Country Too and Eyes Right.
"When the Elephant in the Room Stops Singing," "Ridge Runner" Women of Appalachia Project
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.
Old Stones, New Roads is a poetic journey that crosses landscapes and histories, as both human and animal. Rancourt’s strong and lyric voice does not back down when challenged by memory or history. Old Stones, New Roads is a poetic journey of capture and release that is weaved with the poet’s own perfect gossamer thread. ~CMarie Fuhrman
Grounded in the good earth, the past is ever present in the these poems that are, in and of themselves, collectively and individually Old Stones New Roads. Borne of an old soul, translucently touched by the spirit of elders and ancestors as they mist between us on the slightest breeze, the merest ripple, the first and last light of this hour to the next. An invocation to the ancients for guidance through this dire present. ~Mike Jurkovic
We’re long accustomed to the idea that lyric and narrative threads are two different things, and images, too, are their own spool of yarn, and that even past and future should have different tenses. Suzanne Rancourt’s Old Stones, New Roads takes poetry out of its compartment syndrome. Her poem is not a bird in the sky—her poems are the sky and the long winding path up the mountain to bring us there. ~Barrett Warner
Riding atop grief’s didactic waves, Rancourt skillfully writes in a variety of poetic forms that support the intimate melding of shared experience as healer, elder, and human being. Prose, lyric, ballad, couplets, and haiku inspired – Rancourt continues to push the boundaries of trauma. Songs of Archilochus is an odyssey of soul recovery over great distances, time, and place: a migration from moral injury to a momentary place of peace. It takes courage to age with grace. It takes courage to sing the songs that we have been given - but sing we must for that is how the healing is carried – that is how the stories take shape – how they become a part of history whether personal, societal, global, or Universal. Songs of Archilochus reminds us that the vibration of human life knows no border, boundary, box or cage. Warrior. Poet. Lovers. Sing.
Praise for SONGS OF ARCHILOCHUS
In this collection Rancourt’s poems are a highly energized synthesis that pulls images from the many chambers of her life—a woman marine, a journalist, ambulance crew member. She is able to weave soul with the technical language of this or that employment with grace. “All/but the occasional high intensity lumen clusters, say,/of facility-housing-child-prisoners & various/violence of aborted humanity, are all beacons that Fanta/as sticky spill down your street, into your house,/your church, your lungs, because a round of pepper spray,/a couple of cans of tear gas/& rubber bullets can be like that…” The driving heart of these poems will invite you to take a walk with her. Her ability to mix disparate elements and make them cohere in imagination is remarkable.”
--Doug Anderson, VN Veteran, Pushcart Prize winner, author of: Undress, She Said; Horse Medicine; Bamboo Bridge; The Moon Reflected Fire; Blues for Unemployed Secret Police; Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam
"Rancourt's words are earthy and intimate—like morning conversation between old friends, clear-eyed with the sorrows of shared experience, still hopeful for the future. Wherever she goes in her poems, she offers gifts of nature and spirit and grit. ‘Archilochus’ is an ambush, but the hummingbird lives."
--Randy Brown poetry editor, As You Were journal and author of FOB Haiku: War Poems from Inside the Wire
“In Songs of Archilochus, a lyrical storm that marries sky and Earth and memory and presence, Rancourt’s voice vibrates across the landscape of body, ‘to cleanse the palette, to rinse earthly vulgarities/ spoken in abjection while present in the wandering.’ These poems are political and spiritual protests, inverted depictions of absence and passion and ephemera. Through powerful meditation and unexpected metaphor, Rancourt writes vertically, forces us to ask ourselves, ‘What is it – finally – that needs to be said?’” --Tara Stillions Whitehead, author of They More Than Burned and The Year of the Monster
About the Author
Suzanne S. Rancourt – a poet / author / of Abenaki / Huron, Quebecois & Scottish descent – is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army. Her books include Songs of Archilochus (Unsolicited Press, 2023); Old Stones, New Roads (Main Street Rag, 2021); murmurs at the gate (Unsolicited Press, 2019), winner of the 2023 Poetry of Modern Conflict Award; Billboard in the Clouds (Curbstone Books, 2004), awarded the Native Writers First Book Award. Rancourt was the May 2022 / 2023 guest artist at the University of Michigan's New England Literature Program. She has also been the featured writer for the Sundog Poetry Center's VT event honoring the People of the Dawnland: Voices of Today and Tomorrow. Her poetry, non-fiction, and fiction have appeared in a host of journals and magazines, including The Massachusetts Review, The Brooklyn Review, River Heron Review, Tupelo Press Native Voices Anthology, Bright Hill Press 25th Anniversary Anthology, Muddy River Poetry Review, Ginosko, Journal of Military Experience, and Callaloo. Suzanne is also a multi-modal Expressive Arts Therapist with degrees in psychology, writing, Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor, Aikido and Iaido.