Suzanne Cleary was born in Binghamton, New York. Winner of a Pushcart Prize, her poems have appeared in journals including Poetry London and The Atlantic, and in anthologies including Best American Poetry. Her previous books are Keeping Time (2002) and Trick Pear (2007). Professor of English at the State University of New York at Rockland, she also teaches as core faculty of the MFA in Creative Writing program of Converse College.
Winner of the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry
Beauty Mark uses images and subjects drawn from American popular culture to find transcendent meanings in the natures of beauty, time, and especially, art—from the beauty mark of Miss Peggy Lee to the flavors in the Cheese-of-the-Month Club. Kevin Prufer writes, "These plainspoken poems are not merely conversational, nor are they in any way simple. Beneath their amiable, glistening surfaces are deep concerns…mortality, those qualities that define art, and our relationship to the divine."
"Suzanne Cleary's Beauty Mark is a lucid, ambitious work that reflects a keen and sensiitive mind, her ideas and images gleaned from the sensual, tangible world. She writes, 'nothing lasts forever/except our desire for things to last forever' but it is this poet's determination to deeply probe her subjects and her ability to sustain the elegant, energetic line that keeps us tied to what shines in each poem's humble discovery."
"Suzanne Cleary's Beauty Mark is gorgeously audacious, tender, vulnerable and open. Her distinctive poems celebrate the quotidian life—the victories and mistakes, the hisstorical and the anecdote. To paraphrase an old Panteen shampoo commercial: Don't hate her because she writes beautiful poems. Suzanne Cleary is the real deal."