Pamela Uschuk

Pamela Uschuk (Poetry) | Tuscon, AZ

Booking Fee:


Will Travel:




Pamela Uschuk, a political activist and wilderness advocate, has howled out six books of poems, including Crazy Love, winner of a 2010 American Book Award, Finding Peaches in the Desert (Tucson/Pima Literaature Award), and Wild in the Plaza of Memory (2012). A new collection of poems, Blood Flower, appeared in 2015. Translated into more than a dozen languages, her work appears in over three hundred journals and anthologies worldwide, including Poetry, Ploughshares, Agni Review, Parnassus Review, etc. Uschuk has been awarded the 2011 War Poetry Prize from Winning Writers, 2010 New Millenium Poetry Prize, 2010 Best of the Web, the Struga International Poetry Prize (for a theme poem), the Dorothy Daniels Writing Award from the National League of American PEN Women, the King’s English Poetry Prize and prizes from Ascent, Iris, and Amnesty International. Editor-In-Chief of Cutthroat, A Journal of the Arts, Uschuk lives in Bayfield, Colorado and in Tucson, Arizona. Uschuk is often a featured writer at the Prague Summer Programs, teaches workshops at the University of Arizona Poetry Center and was the 2011 John C. Hodges Visiting Writer at University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She’s working on a multi-genre book called The Book of Healers Healing; An Odyssey through Ovarian Cancer.


Blood Flower (Wings Press, 2015). Poetry.
Wild In The Plaza of Memory (Wings Press, 2012). Poetry.
Crazy Love (Wings Press, 2010). American Book Award. Poetry.

Scattered Risks (Wings Press, 2005). Poetry.
One-legged Dancer (Wings Press, 2002). Poetry.
Finding Peaches in the Desert (Wings Press, 2000). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

“Every syllable of Blood Flower’s warm and revelatory tapestry pulses with discovery—the unearthing of familial ties, the realization of strengths and frailties, the speaking of secrets out loud. The life story that springs from these lines is ultimately undaunted—but the real lessons lie in the journey.”
—Patricia Smith, author, Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah

“Dense with the colors of ancestral Russia and the American Southwest, the passionate, mindful poems in Blood Flower oppose to loss and sorrow and the multitudinous depredations of history their meticulous tribute to the tangible world of nature and human love. To the unspeakable wreckage of war and the irreparable harm it visits upon father, brother, husband, these poems oppose a hard-won vision of healing and renewal. Even Chernobyl, abandoned by the species that poisoned it, has spawned new herds of buffalo. Divested of illusion and euphemism, these poems have no time for easy pessimism either. They are tribute to the world we must refuse to abandon.”
—Linda Gregerson, author, The Selvage

“Pamela Uschuk charges into our lives in a variety of forms that explore her background and its larger cultural implications for our world. If on the one hand she can find hope and solace in that past, however mysterious and half hidden, she is also aware of ‘what breathes between the dawn death of stars’ and leads us ‘into black holes of longing.’ Most poets would stop there, but Uschuk charges against that bleakness the way ‘Defying extinction, cranes snap up blue crabs / in their anthracite beaks, then / roost in branches heaving reflected light.’ It is that reflected light in this, her best book, that gives us faith to charge along with her.”
—Richard Jackson, author, Heartwall and Out of Place

“American Book Award–winner Uschuk’s (Crazy Love, 2009) new collection of meditative, delectably powerful poems offers a steady and generous solace that serves as a platform for thought-provoking glimpses into spirit, family, and feeling. She has written of a tethered reality, commonplace secrets, and emotional rescue. And she is political. Among the more than 40 poems, “Red Menace” (“After all of these years / it’s clear what it was / those teachers couldn’t name— / not just the consonants but the roots, / the skin drums”) and “Black Swan” (“Grandfather, what purpose can you discern / now your entitled eyes are soil,/ your heart going to anthracite?”) are standouts. In the same vein as her contemporaries Patricia Smith and Joy Harjo, Uschuk is strong in metaphor, urgent in language, and powerful in vivisection.”
—Mark Eleveld, Book List Online Exclusive: Starred Review

“Like Lorca, Uschuk is a poet of the duende, that mystical Spanish conception; she views the poem as a vehicle for fierce engagement with the body and its social realities, often with a metaphysical awareness that transcends and extends the corporeal into the natural world. Working a poetics rare for a North American writer, Uschuk has crafted a poetry equally steeped in nature and political resistance. This is an ecological poetics of engagement, a mythic poetry—part Lorca, part Rachel Carson.”
—Sean Thomas Dougherty, Rain Taxi, 2012

Pam Uschuk’s is an imagination incarnated…everywhere at once, hence, “there is no place on this planet or in space that is far removed.” The passionate engagement she has with family members is extended by analogy to the human family at large, and to the earth itself. Wild nature is rendered here in a panguage photographic, figurative, and celebratory. Yet, because of her alert human sympathies, nature doesn’t finally shelter her from an awareness of injustice or suffering at home or abroad. Unexpected connections between disparate things emerge through metaphor, whose abundance and variety recall the Spanish-language Moderinsts, Lorca, Neruda and Vallejo. Accurately envisioned, strongly felt, intricately expressed, these poems establish Pam Uschuk as a powerful and essential author, one of the few able to confront the uninterrupted crisis of our era with tragic joy and an unshaken faith in the instrumental efficacy of art.”
—Albert Corn, author of Contradictions.

Love what we do? Take a second to support us on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!