Reviews and Interviews

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About Hive-Mind:

Rob Mclennan’s Blog

Washington Independent Review of Books

“The attraction–and immediacy–of these narratives lies in the way Ms. Bishop effortlessly tie[s] together landscape and memory, and past and present. Ephemeral passages stitched together like a quilt; persistent as bees in their millions of miles flown and in their endless milligrams of collected pollen. Here is the epiphany of natural cycles repeating, crests and troughs connected in an endless flow.”

“Overall, the environmental concerns and personal frailties and epiphanies weave together to form a substantial statement, and, simultaneously, a diary.”  Robert Kostuck, Concho River Review, Fall 2015, reprinted in  Tishman Review

“Bishop . . . takes a look at bees and beekeepers.  She highlights colony collapse disorder, the environmental disaster causing honeybee colonies to die.  As she learned more about the disappearance of bees, she realized she wanted to raise awareness about the devastating implications of the problem . . . Are we the beekeepers or are the bees the humankeepers?” Marla Elsea, Phi Kappa Phi Forum, Fall 2015

About Horse-Minded:


“In ‘You Rush past My Windshield One Night and I Say a Prayer for You,’ a mountain lion barrels through the speaker’s headlights, ‘paws gripping and releasing, / long tail raised for balance’ (3-4).  Bishop is the panther running across the headlights of the car she’s also driving.  This is how we find ourselves, moving against our own movement, moving against our old Northeast, finding that the rules are irrelevant to achieve that magic starburst–motion against motion, the ghost and the living in the same body–and being right there, Bishop sends us a postcard without an address. It’s a nice, well-lit message.” Barrett Warner, Concho River Review, Fall 2013

“This is food for the feast. Especially interesting is the use of multiple typographies to articulate meanings. Vivid use of the page and a constant weaving and reweaving of story/tone/story show what is exceptional about this poet. She plays with words and lets meaning mysteriously evolve.” Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books,  Summer 2012

About She Took Off Her Wings and Shoes:

“This lovely contest winner will speak to women as surely as poets have spoken to the author, Suzette Marie Bishop. And the poets do speak to her. Much of her work is inspired by the work of others. With an eye and pen for detail, readers looking for poetry with a delicate touch are certain to love Bishop’s book.” Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Customer Review, Dec 13, 2003

“I am often accompanied by a great blue heron, which has haunted me from the time I first read Suzette Bishop’s collection of poetry, She Took Off Her Wings & Shoes . . . when it rose from the pages on massive wings. This mystery bird does what Bishop’s poems do for me (or to me), keeping me charmed, challenged, and, frankly rather tough, for one must be tough to read Bishop. Hers are poems of witness and speak of difficulties like mental illness, sexual violation, a hysterectomy, divorce, homelessness. In all, these poems are honest and unflinching, and they ask the same of us. They are also poems that do whatever they want, and this is something I particularly love about them . . . No camp owns these poems. They are experimental and collagistic, with startling splices of disparate discourses. They are distanced but also confessional. They are feminist but also feminine.” Nancy Dunlop, 13th Moon, Vol. XIX, 1&2, 2005

“This is a deep, resonant, and rewarding collection; the gradual unfolding of its take on luck becomes, by the book’s final lines, thrilling, as the stacked-up imagery of the previous 70 pages—bats, Rome, ruins, gynecological procedure, houses, cacti—spill over into a kind of juxtapositional grand-finale. Fortune-cookie text is combined with and eventually becomes personal text; personal text becomes universal, the stuff of luck in everyday life . . . If you don’t believe poetry can be resonant and thrilling, this is the book to change your mind.” Sean Chadwell, LareDOS, January 2004

“She writes with her tongue and her fingertip, carving the spaces between her conscience and the inevitable dream.” The New Formalist, Vol. IV&V, 2005

About Cold Knife Surgery:

“Throughout her ordeal this woman replayed her identity through her memory, revivifying the virtual circumstances of her existence from earliest childhood through these latest rememberings, as she struggled to discover some legitimate reason to attempt to cope, and thereby to cope. She writes clearly, excellently, and says what must be said.” David Castleman, Mandrake Poetry Review, Volume III, Numbers 2 & 3, 1999

“…Bishop’s poetic journey is a story larger than its original intention. The poem transcends and becomes art.” Michael Basinski, Lucid Moon, July 1999

“Cold Knife Surgery wasn’t simply an academic exercise or a self-indulgent excursion. It was, and is, what was gained. It, in a word, is your soul.” Gordon Hilgers, The Word: Monthly Guide to the Arts in Dallas, May 1999

“What a book. I read it cover to cover. …Cold Knife Surgery is a hot, touching book of power and elegance.” Grace Cavalieri, host of “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress”

“Bishop carefully weaves her poem together, interpolating personal narrative with dreams, and demonstrates a wide tonal range. [Cold Knife Surgery]… has the ring of truth, and it is beautifully written.” Blair Ewing, Wordhouse: Baltimore Writer’s Alliance News, December 1998


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