Buried [A Place] tracks a woman's journey, through the shadowy realm of story, relationship, and trauma, in a haunting and challenging re-imagining of Dante's Inferno. The poet's odyssey resurrects the self and the feminine from the crushing weight of cultural and personal history, while raising the question of self in relation and correlation to other.
Beginning with, "I was lost. You must understand, utterly," we are plunged into a world where stories and language clash dream-like. The narrator faces these clashes on her journey, but also encounters conflicts with the entities who appear to guide her. What to do when one is lost? Who do we follow or call upon for help when fighting internal monsters? External ones? When does a teacher, a mentor, a brother, a father, no matter how seemingly beloved, become something else? "Which are you?" the narrator asks over and over - even of herself.
In near-primal bracketed language, in external dialogues and internal asides, the poems of Buried [A Place] track an odyssey that curves, circles, and crashes in on itself, often leaving us breathless. This is one woman's revelation of the self, of the feminine, buried underneath the crushing weight of cultural and personal history. Along the way, Buried [A Place], reclaims not just voice, but the body, not just knowledge, but raw knowing.
Sue Scavo, born in Cincinnati, Ohio [in the middle], has lived most of her life at one edge [California] or another [New England]. Her work has been published in numerous publications including Poet Lore, Blue Heron Review, Aster(ix), Burning House Press, Literary Mama, Panolopy and others; and in anthologies, including What Have You Lost? ed. Naomi Shihab Nye (Harper Collins). She received her MFA from New England College. She was awarded a writer's residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT [and then stayed as a staff artist for several years]. Sue is co-editor/co-founder of deLuge Literary and Arts Journal and is a Dreamwork Teacher/Practitioner who has taught/presented internationally at conferences/venues such as Esalen Institute, Kripalu Center, Breitenbush Retreat Center, The Rowe Center, Hollyhock and the International Association for the Study of Dreams.
"IN POEMS nearly pre-language and dream-born, in language bracketed and shifting, ruminant, Sue Scavo's poetic sequence, BURIED [A PLACE], excavates a woman's soul, 'not journey girl, not worthy girl,' from the patriarchal firmament. Questing, trusting, she follows a teacher's guidance but finds him 'greedy in [his] story taking, hoarder of what defines.' Here is myth re-making, the act of hunting for new language inside the body — 'the place of past, the place of never-changing, the place of gnarl.' These poems, talking back to Dante's Inferno and history itself, take us down the long path of coming into knowledge, from 'what [I thought] was my memory' toward 'our own words as lantern.' If 'once there was a girl who filled her breath with salt water / and remembered song,' drowning in order to sing, here, instead, is the story of being told, 'Watch your step,' and refusing. 'I stepped and stepped.' To dwell in Sue Scavo's imagination is to suspend time and what we have come to know." - Kerrin McCadden