Today, I am welcoming my new online friend and kindred spirit, Suzanne Cottrell, who shares my love of gardening, wildlife, and the North Carolina mountains. Please help me make her feel right at home as she tells you about her latest release. Suzanne, take it away!
Thanks for having me today, Marcia.
Scarred Resilience is a collection of poems that will resonate with readers as they pause and reflect on their lives. All people deal with different challenges such as loss, medical condition, heartbreak, aging, bullying, abuse, or stress throughout the course of their lives. They can succumb and fall victim to a challenge, or they can choose to overcome it. They may bear emotional and/or physical scars. Most likely, they will empower themselves by gaining new knowledge, skill, confidence, and/or strength. A key message of Scarred Resilience is that individuals, despite their scars, can move forward.
Many of the poems like “Nature’s Solace,” “Enlightened Silence,” “Transformation,” and “Silent Stroll” address aspects of self-awareness. As a survivor of breast cancer and a lumpectomy, I chose to include “Altered Silhouette” and “Yet, We Laughed,” signifying that a change in one’s personal appearance does not alter one’s inner beauty. Accepting, adapting, and laughing can help one heal. “Sole Mate,” “Aged,” and “Waning Time” instill the notion that one should live life to its fullest.
Suzanne Cottrell’s poems create verbal jewels inspired by the natural world. These poems offer a healing movement-of-spirit, reminding us of why we fell in love with poetry in the first place.
Marilyn Kallet, Knoxville Poet Laureate and author of How Our Bodies Learned, poems from Black Widow Press
Suzanne Cottrell’s poems, a synthesis of visual details, combine with her all-seeing eye for nuance and change. Her collection speaks of a life spent in the sciences where things are viewed through a microscope, often distilled as in a vintage snapshot that illustrates competition for resources, quick change in circumstances or the eternal struggle to survive. Her poem, “Transformation,” provides a clinical description of biological statistics and specimens. But, in “Silent Stroll,” the poet reveals the inner life of feelings and search for clarity. The poems are a delicate balance between micro-views and personal internal longings.
Lynda McKinney Lambert, Author of Star Signs: New & Selected Poems
An emotional spark subtly ignites from deep within Suzanne Cottrell’s measured words and counted lines. Gently, yet distinctly, the reader becomes aware of the joy, understanding and love for life and nature her words convey.
Maxine Reynolds Chauvaux, Co-founder of the Granville Writers’ Group and Creative Life-Long Learning Workshop Facilitator
Suzanne Cottrell’s third poetry chapbook chronicles life’s difficulties wrapping painful memory with the beauty of nature and offering the possibility to “pass through the darkness into the light to follow your dreams.” Her poems express resilience, finding strength in laughter during darker moments. In her poem, “Aged,” the narrator asks the question — “Have all their pages been written?” I hope for those who love poetry, the answer for Ms. Cottrell would be, “Oh, no. There’s so much more to come.”
Anne Anthony, Author and Editor, Flash Fiction for Flash
Author Suzanne Cottrell
Suzanne Cottrell, a buckeye by birth, lives with her husband in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired history and special ed. teacher, her interests include reading, writing, knitting, hiking, Tai Chi, yoga, and Pilates. She enjoys researching history and culture and loves nature and its sensory stimuli. She particularly likes to write and experiment with poetry and flash fiction, as well as working on collaborative projects, especially with her daughter.
Her work has appeared in numerous online and print journals and anthologies, such as the Best Emerging Poets Series, The Avocet, Poetry Quarterly, Plum Tree Tavern, Parks and Points, The Pangolin Review, Burningword Literary Journal, Three Line Poetry, Inwood Indiana Press anthologies, Personal Story Publishing Project anthologies, Proverse Hong Kong Poetry Prize Mingled Voices anthologies, Nailpolish Stories, Quail Bell Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and Flash Fiction Magazine. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Gifts of the Seasons, Autumn and Winter; Gifts of the Seasons, Spring and Summer; and Scarred Resilience, published by Kelsay Books. She was the recipient of the 2017 Rebecca Lard Award for Poetry Quarterly (Prolific Press).