A Debut Collection from the 2023 Off the Grid Prizewinning Poet Susan Okie.
In the poem that opens her debut poetry collection, Susan Okie recounts an evening in the anatomy lab. Here we witness the depths of her curiosity toward her subject's inner workings. “When I tugged on the flexor digitorum tendons, / her fingers partly closed and her thumb /crooked in. I seemed to see the two of us / as if from outside, and could no longer / name the tendons. I felt my fingers / from inside her hand.” What to some might feel like harrowing proximity, Okie delivers, in astonishing verse, with wonder and even intimacy. To be sure, WOMAN AT THE CROSSING is the work of a seasoned practitioner.
"For all the rough and heart-rending events chronicled here, the reach for consolation is not through any convention of belief or sentiment, but in the stark, imagistic captures of travail gathered from the passionate witnessing of human survival within creation’s natural splendors." —Garrett Hongo
Author Bio @ Grid Books
Susan Okie's poems have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Prairie Schooner, The Bellevue Literary Review, Journal of the American Medical Association, Cider Press Review, Little Patuxent Review, Delmarva Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and other journals. A chapbook, Let You Fly, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2018. Her poem, "Metamorphosis," was featured as poem of the day on Poetry Daily, and poet Michael Collier chose her poem, "Perseid," as winner of the 2012 Bethesda Poetry Contest. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.
A doctor and a former Washington Post medical reporter and science editor, Okie lives with her husband in Bethesda, Maryland. WOMAN AT THE CROSSING (Off the Grid Press, 2023) is her first full-length poetry collection.