Impressions of a Seeker A Review of Lifted to the Wind by Ken Hada


Impressions of a Seeker


Lifted to the Wind: Poems 1974 – 2015 by Susan Gardner

Red Mountain Press, 2015


Susan Gardner’s latest book feels special to the touch. The texture of the cover and the following pages, displaying imagistic poems and supplemental ink paintings and calligraphy, effectively move the reader to contemplate the glory of the natural world as well as everyday.


Gardner’s poems draw on her wide-ranging travels and her knowledge of several world cultures and religions. Her collection draws the reader into a timeless, holy conversation—as if prayer is a pattern of observation and response, a way of seeking truth beyond the immediate surface. A careful reading of Lifted to the Wind requires a reflective, contemplative mood. The work functions as ritual. The aesthetic control that Gardner exhibits rewards such careful attention.

Her work connects readers to a poetic tradition that endures despite the limits of time and the restraints of language and society.

-Ken Hada, author of Persimmon Sunday

Lifted to the Wind: An appraisal by Diane Thomas

Susan Gardner is the founding editor of Red Mountain Press, which, in the ten years of its existence has done so much to spread fine poetry—in beautifully produced volumes—throughout the land.

Her poems are of that life-changing variety that, like good paintings, invite you to enter them as you might a secret cave or garden, experience them deeply—and thereby discover hidden facets of yourself. Little wonder they are so vivid and enticing: Gardner is also an acclaimed painter and photographer, with numerous exhibitions in museums and galleries. In her spare time she has been a house builder, scholarly researcher, teacher and landscape designer.

LIFTED TO THE WIND is Gardner’s sixth book. A rich collection of poems from over four decades, illuminated with original brush-and-ink work, it was praised by Kirkus Reviews as “Sonically and linguistically rich,” with “fresh metaphors and vivid images [that] linger….”

– Diane Tomas, author of In Wilderness