Today's poem is "Common Name: Scilla"
from The Laugh We Make When We Fall

The Backwaters Press

Susan Firer is the author of three previous books of poetry. Her third book, The Lives of the Saints and Everything, won the Cleveland State Poetry Prize and Posner Award. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry, Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Chicago Review, Iowa Review, New American Writing, and others. She has read her poems widely in the Midwest, on public radio and television. For many years she worked with the Great Lakes Poem Band, a collaborative effort joining poems and music. She teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

About The Laugh We Make When We Fall:

"A wild generosity of spirit and vision characterizes this collection. The language marries the elemental and worldly with aplomb, and the effect is sacramental. A wedding lies at the heart of this book, impure life in the arms of mortality. From this union a sensual spirituality bears the eros of our bodies in this time and space. The subject of the book is humble even as it is universal, hovering as it does over and within that great oxymoron, human love, which drives us to remember why we are here, to practice faithfulness to the world, and to give blood. Both fierce and vulnerable, these poems possess a Whitmanian fertility, raised by a grace wholly female to carry the consciousness in which we move through this century and to the seventh generation."
—CarolAnn Russell, Backwaters Prize Judge for 2001

"To read the poetry of Susan Firer is to enter a unique building constructed by the imagination, like Kublai Kahn's pleasure-dome, out of the shimmering material of words. These poems reveal a love of language both for its own dear sake and for its ability to deliver the news some of us cannot live without."
—Billy Collins

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