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Of a Transient Nature by Victoria Chase Sutton

Virginia Chase Sutton's book Of a Transient Nature was a finalist for the 2015 Knut House Poetry Prize and features original artwork by painter Philip Neil Mandel. Sutton's poetry has appeared in Paris Review, Ploughshares, Antioch Review, and Quarterly West, among many others; and her book What Brings You to Del Amo won the Morse Poetry Prize from the University Press of New England. About Of a Transient Nature, National Book Award winner Mark Doty writes: "Virginia Chase Sutton’s brave new book is concerned with pleasure, though not in any usual sense of the word . . . The woman we meet here tattoos on her back the Japanese characters for suffering, ecstasy and death; she is not afraid to put her hands into the fire where she first learned love, where harm and desire dwell intertwined, and not afraid to hope, or to take us with her into the depths of the days she’s known."

Author Bio

Virginia Chase Sutton's poetry book What Brings You to Del Amo won the Morse Poetry Prize, and was published by the University Press of New England. Her first book Embellishments was published by Chatoyant. Her poems have appeared in Paris Review, Ploughshares, Antioch Review, and Quarterly West, among many other magazines, journals, and anthologies. Her poems have won the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry at Bread Loaf and the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award. She lives in Tempe, Arizona. This collection Of a Transient Nature, containing original artwork in collaboration with painter Philip Neil Mandel, was a finalist for the 2015 Knut House Poetry Prize and published in February 2016.


Pat McDowell photo

Advance Praise for Sutton's Of a Transient Nature

Virginia Chase Sutton’s brave new book is concerned with pleasure, though not in any usual sense of the word . . . : these are accounts of a speaker compelled to seek solace in a body long-ago betrayed, forced to re-enact the loss of self she learned first at her father’s hands. The hard truth of these poems is that pleasure is pleasure, even when it keeps us trapped in painful repetitions, even when it destroys us: the body wants to be touched, to be brought to rapture: “Admit it. Almost hallucinogenic these forays into rapture, the turn of a hand. / someone’s salty kiss . . .” The woman we meet here tattoos on her back the Japanese characters for suffering, ecstasy and death; she is not afraid to put her hands into the fire where she first learned love, where harm and desire dwell intertwined, and not afraid to hope, or to take us with her into the depths of the days she’s known.
— Mark Doty, winner of the 2008 National Book Award

The poems in Virginia Chase Sutton’s new collection, Of a Transient Nature, are haunting and beautiful. Sensuous and gritty, they speak of longing and desire. Language and image and narrative combine to create a tremendously touching collection about the worlds we try to escape and the ones we try to imagine. Above all, these are poems about the persistence of the human spirit and what it takes to embrace our lives. I’m very glad that I’ve had the chance to know them.
— Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever