One-Breasted Woman

Un libro in lingua di King Susan Deborah edito da Consortium Book Sales & Dist, 2007

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"The book is powerful for its original treatment of this difficult subject. Reading it is not a merely artistic experience--but also a healing and consoling one; the book would make an excellent gift for a friend with breast cancer, whether or not she is a poet."--Women Review of Books

In her third collection of poems, Susan Deborah King bears witness to a soul’s transformation in the wake of a breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent mastectomy.

In the crucible of disfigurement and confrontation with mortality, a transpersonal figure emerges, a One-Breasted Woman, who is possessed of a powerful and passionate vulnerability. She raises up with outrage at the possible systemic causes of her disease. She holds the earth and beloved people close as she contemplates her end. She connects with the suffering of others. These poems are vivid with fear, heightened awareness, anger, tenderness, sorrow, playfulness, and even joy.

Though the subject is illness, King’s imagery often springs from other sources: the mythic dimension, science, or the natural world. From “Song Sparrow”: Though his breast / has a black mark on it, / he throws his head back / and with quivering throat sends out his song / . . . “I am here! / This is who I am. / I am.” The work in this collection is a testament to the possibility that songs of ecstatic, transcendent celebration can rise from the descent into a pit of life-threatening terror.

Susan Deborah King, BA, Scripps College; MDiv, Union Theological Seminary; is the author of two other collections of poetry, Tabernacle: Poems of an Island, and Coven. Having also worked as a Presbyterian minister and psychotherapist, she now teaches creative writing and leads retreats on creativity and spirituality. For the writing and publishing of One-Breasted Woman, she received a grant from the George Family Foundation. The mother of grown twin daughters, King lives with her husband in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Great Cranberry Island, Maine.

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