Billboard in the Clouds (Paperback)

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In this remarkable debut book of poems, winner of the Native Writers First Book Award, Suzanne S. Rancourt, presents her experience as a mixed-raced person seeking understanding through relationship with the natural world and dominant culture. Her family portraits are reminiscent of E. A. Robinson; her sensuous nature poems are imbued with love of earth as a "blessing."


my legs are explosions
of lustful wind
i converse through cracks in the walls
slipping in my true intention like a snow drift
on the inside
side of a door i pound
your chest
has become my wailing wall
i crave your tongue dusted
with words and implications
i have something you need

About the Author

Born and raised in West Central Maine, Suzanne Rancourt is Abenaki, Bear Clan. She is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army. Suzanne's manuscript Billboard in the Clouds was the 2001 recipient of the Native Writers First Book Award. Ms. Rancourt holds a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Vermont College and a Master of Science degree in Educational Psychology from SUNY, Albany, NY. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including The Albany Review, Callaloo, and Cimarron Review.

Praise For…

"Billboard in the Clouds is a volume of poems that intimately weaves the rhythms of the tides, winds, birds, and crops, and the intense strength of poet Suzanne Rancourt's own heartbeat. Rancourt creates her poes with a tongue that is sparse and clean, simple and elegant—rich with music and purpose." —devorah major, author of Brown Glass Windows and where river meets ocean

"Suzanne Rancourt's Billboard in the Cloud should go a long way dispelling the common plaint of non-Native New Englanders and upper-state New Yorkers that there are no Indian people in the area. The Abenaki world in these poems resonates just as soundly and clearly as similar Indian worlds do in a Sherman Alexie novel or a Joy Harjo poem. Read this book and you will see what I'm talking about." —Gear Hobson, author of The Last of the Ofos

"With vivid images and ecstatic intensity, Suzanne Rancourt maps the jagged contours of the contemporary landscape. Her family stories show us how history weaves through our lives, how the simplest moments become ceremonies. I am struck by her honesty, her refusal to look away from the most difficult truths. Grounded in the northeast land of her ancestors, her poetry affirms a deep connectedness that is crucial to all our survival." —Cheryl Savageau, author of Dirt Road Home

Product Details
ISBN: 9781931896085
ISBN-10: 1931896089
Publisher: Curbstone Books
Publication Date: July 1st, 2004
Pages: 80
Language: English