Praise for Self-Portrait in the River of Déjà Vu:
"I have never read a book of poetry quite like Susan Meyers’ Self-Portrait in the River of Déjà Vu. The mode is lyrical and yet narrative, the poet speaking through remembered elders to create an ode to a beloved aunt who was the subject of much family lore. Almost a novel in verse, this is a tale of mystery and grief, intense with a music made of the simplest words and local idioms, but not without comic moments. Some poems are subtly formal, using contemporary methods of ekphrasis, collage, acrostic and anagram. Susan Meyers’s quiet, masterful voice will live on in these marvelous poems for a long, long time."
—Richard Garcia, author of The Chair
"Self-Portrait in the River of Déjà Vu vu begins with the mysterious disappearance of Aunt M., who "missing for years, didn’t drown herself in the river." And we are urged to "Listen, / her dead self / still rides these currents." Has she lived a life in Paris as "a glass harmonicist," or is she at the bottom of a North Carolina river where her shoes were found? You will be, as I was, captivated by poems that examine the question, "Who says our brief lives aren’t mere wishes?" You will be rewarded, as I was, by Susan Laughter Meyers’ lovely blend of Southern Gothic, priceless ekphrasis, and contemporary elegy."
—Tom Lombardo, Press 53 Poetry Series Editor and author of What Bends Us Blue
"What a gift to be able to spend an afternoon with Susan in the pages of Self-Portrait in the River of Déjà Vu. Here we plunge headfirst into the world she loves—of words, of all things nature, of a good mystery, of wit, darkness, and the complexities of her poet’s pen. She returns to the ordinary life of earlier work—goldfinches and crows, pluff mud and river beds—yet the images she creates and the stories she tells are anything but ordinary. Looking into the river of déjà vu, the poet sees not herself but the portraits of others—Aunt Mary Alice, Estelle, Milton, and others whose often eccentric lives weave through the collection. These superbly crafted poems are the wordsmith at her best, as poems are puzzles to be solved and words elicit magic and music. Every day, I miss Susan. Now, in this engaging collection, I can have her back, even if just for a little while, and remember her special embrace of the world: "There are moments in my life / when gravitating toward feels the same / as ducking from. Moments when, / for recompense, I look back. Or up.""
—Barbara Presnell, author of Blue Star