Preserve by Susan Kolodny



A woman goes on a journey. She moves through time and space.

Her attention is acute, always asking of the journey itself, “What

border are we crossing?”  So it is that Susan Kolodny’s Preserve

takes the reader not only to the natural habitats of Africa, but on

an interior voyage where the mind “slowed, discovers/ its intricate

course.” In these poems, awareness has an animating grace:

whether observing a birthday, a python, or an elephant who

“carries/ a branch bouquet of green,” Kolodny compels the reader

to surrender to “the curiosity that is a form of love.”

–Elizabeth Robinson


Susan Kolodny’s moving new collection begins with her arrival in

Botswana and tells the story of a journey that transforms her

understanding of herself and her own culture. She confronts “others”

that range from vividly described impalas, warthogs, and elephants,

“ears swung wide as saloon doors,” to the German travelers she sees

in a new light after sharing dinner with them. She observes everything

with poignant clarity and honesty, coming to see her own species as

creatures who “can go around/for years not noticing/a thing. Not even/

that they are lonely and afraid.” Kolodny is unsentimental about the

challenges that game preserves face trying to save “the wildebeest on

the landing strip” from the greed of the modern world, and the book itself

becomes a Preserve she creates to save a world whose survival is at risk.

–Robert Thomas


The naturalist and the poet unite in this collection, inviting the reader

to explore Preserve’s landscape through an unromanticized yet deeply

appreciative lens. In a world sparsely populated by humans but rich in

wildlife, we become “mere specks under African skies,” drawn to the

intricacies of the other, whether an elephant emerging from a grove of

trees, a beetle thumping against a screen, or the occasional fellow traveler.

Meditating on the relationship between the observer and the observed, this

is a precise poetry, one in which we are asked to “always newly see…”

–Susanne Dyckman




by Susan Kolodny

$19.99, Full-length, paper

Susan Kolodny’s poems appear in many literary journals and anthologies. Her first collection, After the Firestorm, was published in 2011 by Mayapple Press. A psychoanalyst, she is the author of The Captive Muse: On Creativity and Its Inhibition  (PsychoSocial Press, 2000). She teaches at The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis and practices in Oakland. Preserve is her second collection.



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