Susan Utting’s 2012 poetry collection, Fair’s Fair (Two Rivers Press), has been described as ‘joyous, heartbreaking, ramm’d with life.’ Jane Draycott writes ‘...the poems in Fair's Fair reveal Susan Utting's capacity to move us at its most powerful yet - a new collection of great skill and lucid tenderness.’
Work from the earlier collection, Houses Without Walls, (Two Rivers Press) was featured in the Independent on Sunday, was widely and warmly reviewed, with a poem included in the best single poem category of the Forward Book of Poetry.
Her work has won many awards, including a Poetry Business Prize for the pamphlet Something Small is Missing and the Peterloo Poetry Prize for Under the Blue Ball. She was selected for The Times newspaper's best love poem prize 2010, was a winner in the Academi Cardiff International and has twice been shortlisted for the Arvon Poetry Prize. Her first full collection, Striptease, was published in 2001 by Smith/Doorstop Books.
Susan runs poetry workshops country wide and taught poetry & creative writing at Reading University for 17 years. She was appointed Community Laureate for Southern Arts' Year of the Artist and received a Creative Writing Fellowship from Reading University’s School of English & American Literature.
She is the founder of Reading's acclaimed Poets' Café, has read and performed her poetry at arts venues and festivals including Edinburgh, StAnza at St Andrew’s, Henley and Marlborough Literary Festivals, Ledbury Poetry Festival, and for the Poetry Trust at Aldeburgh.
Poets are often praised for knowing what to leave out. Susan Utting knows what to leave in. Ordinary things gain an almost hallucinatory vividness in her richly textured poems. Utting animates life's brittle edges and her poems carry unforced emotional weight.
Her poems accomplish a strikingly steady focus, both compassionate and uncompromising in its observation of the human experience. In the silence after the poem’s last line it is this which remains to haunt the reader.
These poems shimmy in the mind long after closing the cover.
Her poems are musical, magical and have a clarity which goes straight to the heart.