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The Memoir of Mona Lisa and Other Poems

Su Smallen Love

ISBN: 978-1-912561-60-5

Page Count: 104

Publication Date: Thursday, March 28, 2019

About this Book

“Absolutely beautiful language. Powerful, surprising images.” 
Sheila O’Connor, Evidence of V 

The Memoir of Mona Lisa and Other Poems is a wonderfully ambitious and innovative book. An extraordinary work of the imagination, ‘The Memoir of Mona Lisa’ is a narrative of a woman who had been both tormented and adored, who manages to escape fate’s tight bounds in order to pursue both work and love. This memoir is terrifying but also exhilarating. Like life itself it unfolds in ways that are unexpected, mysterious, challenging, and inspiring. This opening meditation on life and art is followed by poems in which intimacy animates consciousness in beautiful and surprising ways. 
Jim Moore, Underground

“How / Can you not love the one with whom / You are beautiful?”  In the languages of movement and place, The Memoir of Mona Lisa and Other Poems attends to the lines we draw but don’t exist for gender, public and private, art and life, making and finding, gravity and joy. In the title sonnet sequence, imagined from research and long looking, Mona Lisa examines “the questions of / Form and perspective, surface and relationship” and reveals her relationship with her husband and her husband’s male lover.


“Direct, unvarnished, luminous” 
Spencer Reece, Road to Emmaus

“Beautifully marries attention and evanescence” 
Alison Hawthorne Deming, Stairway to Heaven

“Heartbreaking power of plain language” 
Elizabeth Hoover, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Su Love writes with eccentric grace and clarity” 
Deborah Keenan, Willow Room, Green Door

Author Biography

Su Love is the author of six collections of poetry; she previously published as Su Smallen. Her work has been recognized with, notably, the Jane Kenyon Poetry Prize and residencies with the St. Croix Watershed Research Station and Tofte Lake Center in Minnesota and the Unamuno Author Series in Madrid. Su is a 2019 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

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