Conversations with Trees by Susan Dambroff

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)



In Conversations with Trees, Susan Dambroff examines the dualities hidden deep within the human heart and how those dualities are in dialogue with one another. These are tender poems which stand as witness to the passions of both pain and beauty. The poet wants us to see clearly and love deeply—even though we might “…watch smoke rise/talk about how a heart/can speak into the air.” Ultimately, she concludes “…insisting on love’s bravery/we go on.”

–Lois Roma-Deeley, author of four poetry collections; winner of the Jacapone da Todi Book Prize for her book The Short List of Certainties


Grounded in detail, yet expansively philosophical, these poems riffle shuffle, leafing cards of time, family, memory and nature so “even the past can be rearranged.” Fall into a dreamlike trance with equal parts clarity and slippage. A merging with earth: “if you lean against a tree/and breathe it/into your back/it brings your two lives/together.” These poems pull the bobbin thread, gathering together families and strangers, the past and the future, the internal and the external: “This house with its red door and everything it opens into, cut flowers on the kitchen table and the field that grew them…a staircase walk to a full moon.” Deceptively simple and spare, Dambroff’s deliberate arrangements and surprising word pairings crack us open to “wide delights.” Here, time is liquid: “to fall into the future/the best unknown.” Hardly a period appears in this collection, leaving us breathless, rock-tumbling along, shaping us along the way.

–Kendra Tanacea, author of A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees, Lost Horse Press


Susan Dambroff’s poems illuminate the small moments in our day-to-day lives that profoundly alter our perceptions–moments that without careful observation, might go unnoticed. Excavating these moments with vivid images, Dambroff allows us to enter her inner world of memories and discoveries. Each poem embodies an experience that is familiar, universal, and infinitely precious.

–Kimi Sugioka, author of The Language of Birds, Manic D Press




Conversations with Trees

by Susan Dambroff

$13.99, PAPER


Susan Dambroff is a poet, performer and teacher, living in San Francisco. Her first book of poetry, MEMORY IN BONE, was published by Black Oyster Press.  Her poems have appeared in Stoneboat, Earth’s Daughters, and Red Bird Chapbooks, amongst other literary venues. She performs in Spoken Duets, a poetic and improvisational collaboration with performance artist Chris Kammler. Throughout her creative work, she is drawn to the detailed placement of words, the alchemy of sequence and timing.

2 reviews for Conversations with Trees by Susan Dambroff

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jim Steinberg

    I have read Susan Dambroff’s poems and heard her sing them out. As lovely as the latter is, when you read them to yourself you can hear their music…water moving over stones, wind blowing through trees, other earthly delights that carry you to places deep inside yourself. Even when Dambroff is in the treasured privacy of her studio apartment, as in “Introvert,” you see a potted plant, a lazing cat, a fire escape evoke what is inside her and, inevitably, inside you. Important things to be remembered, cherished.
    Jim Steinberg, author of “Boundaries,” a novel, and two collections of short stories: “Filling Up In Cumby and Other Stories” and “Last Night At The Vista Cafe, Stories.”

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Zev Levinson

    Only a compassionate and encompassing poetry can touch on the mundane details of existence and poignantly shift to the sacred and to the big picture, the place of the human soul in the universe. Susan Dambroff expertly blends lyricism with a gritty and contemporary sensibility, a language that embraces all there is in life, the tragedies (both personal and global) but also the exquisite dreamscapes the mind can traverse. These poems tell the human story, including the labyrinthine movement of people from one culture to another, how we are cruel and beautiful, and—often despite our actions—always family to one another. And the poems claim the past, no matter how painful, so that the present and future may be exalted. Dambroff reminds us that there is redemption if we keep striving. It continually awaits us in the natural world if we but remember to return, a simultaneous return to one’s own nature, found on the magnificent Lost Coast, in the backyard garden, in the sanctity of a pavilion of trees, dandelions in June. Through her words we share in a transformation: city streets with their grime and crime are taken in along with what she WANTS to surround her—open meadows, the ocean, forest walks—until all become part of the ongoing conversations with trees. Just listen.

    Zev Levinson, Author of Song of Six Rivers

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