What Brings You to Del Amo by Virginia Chase Sutton

What Brings You to Del Amo by Virginia Chase Sutton

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“Virginia Chase Sutton’s poems—many set in mental hospitals and/or dealing with psychiatric problems—delight with their fresh imagery, vivid perceptions, unusual perspectives, and general liveliness, even when their subject is suffering.”
-Charles Harper Webb, Judge for the Samuel French Morse Prize, 2007

“Face it: as much as we love to glorify and extol the powers of imagination, there are some things you have to see up close and personal in order to be able to bring them into the rarified circumstance of a poem. These would include death, and even worse, all manner of human degradation and suffering possible. Still, bearing witness, no matter how intimate, is no guarantee of good art either. Virginia Chase Sutton manages, no, she illuminates a seamlessness between what is real, and what is barely imaginable in our lives with such precision that you are compelled to bear witness beside her. The poems of What Brings You to Del Amo are relentless in their pursuit of us, and relentless too in their pursuit of the highest level of craft and care.”
-Bruce Weigl, author of The Abundance of Nothing

“‘Never construct narrative,’ says a hospital shrink in Virginia Chase Sutton’s riveting suite of poems, ‘all you get are scraps.’ But the marvel of Sutton’s book is her ability to order a flashing series of scenes in order to tell, almost recklessly, not without hope, not without tenderness in the face of desolation, a life. A shattered life—but the irony of that doctor’s advice is that these fragments shored up against their speaker’s ruin make, indeed, a coherent, vital testament, tenaciously alive.”
-Mark Doty, author of Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, National Book Award

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