“A brilliant blend of confessional intimacy, naturalism, magic, humanism, Susan Sweetland Garay’s poetry collection, Ebb & Flow, feels just as its title implies. The verse herein is life-affirming, life-giving, while carrying serious truths that devour old ideas in favor of constant renewal. Garay appears to give wholly of herself among these pages, offering something just short of a memoir,presented in vivid snapshots that bond reader and poet in unspoken friendship. This collection is about love, finding it within and without, and learning how to hold it, gently and safely, as to not break it.”
– Nate Ragolia, editor of BONED: A collection of skeletal writings, author of The Retroactivist and There You Feel Free.
“Tip O’Neil once said that “all politics is local”; what I have learned again from Susie Sweetland Garay is that the same can be said of poetry. While I have never been to her corner of the world I feel, through her poems, that I know the landscape of northwestern Oregon as though a friend has guided me through it: she has shown me where to pause to discover its signatures, it’s indelible traits and touches. But more than this, I know her Oregon because Susie has made it a fixture of her intimate thoughts, her wishes and words of love and advice to those who matter most. But just as moving is how the verses in her book are shaped, perhaps in equal measure, by the terrestrial contours she has made a part of herself. Ebb & Flow is a voice, one which I will not forget.”
– Jeremy Nathan Marks, a Canada-based American essayist and poet
“Susie Sweetland Garay’s Ebb & Flow is a collection steeped in the power of memory, both in your mind and in your muscles. It is a testament to nostalgia, to coming close to the things we fear and in that moment daring to keep our eyes open. Writing about the body, bones, the earth, and motherhood, she weaves a narrative of forgiveness and compassion reminding us that we are beautiful because we are temporary. These are poems about truth and mercy and the surprising hope that sprouts from death – the way a good wind can wipe
us clean. Lyrical and haunting, Garay’s work cuts to the core of our needs reminding us that, “So much can change when you ask the right questions.”
– Ally Malinenko, author of Fitting the Ocean in Your Mouth