Poems that offer a candid and powerful insight into the grief of losing a parent; Mother in Summer is a heartbreaking and heartbroken book of poems. It is an avid, near maniacal, utterly grief stricken Book of the Mother. With inconsolable intensity, it speaks to both her plentitude and her death. Each of the lyrics has its own distinctive shape and character, yet the feeling accrues from poem to poem until the overall effect is that of reading a single long poem. Despite the impressive formal control of the book, there is nothing willed or self-conscious about the writing. Keeping the wildness and urgency of the poems in tact through the artfulness of her language, Susan Hahn creates beauty out of grief. It is the beauty of the living world that seems impossible to deny, even as it blooms almost perversely in the face of sorrow and death, that makes the vision of this book so complex and thus reveals it to be a most passionate, obsessive, startling and necessary work.
Susan Hahn is a poet and playwright and has been the editor of TriQuarterly magazine since 1997. She has published four books of poetry, most recently Holiday (University of Chicago Press, 2001) and is the recipient of numerous awards for poetry including The Society for Midland Authors Award, The George Kent Prize from Poetry magazine and many Illinois Arts Council Awards.