by Heather Sullivan
Nixes Mate Books (July 15, 2017)
My purchase of Heather’s poetry collection Sullivan’s Waiting for an Answer set the record, I think. I saw it on my Facebook feed at let’s say 8:17 p.m. I owned the eBook edition at let’s say 8:24 p.m.
I would have gotten the hard copy, but I was eager. And my book buying funds were wiped out about three weeks ago. These are the facts as presented. Here are some more facts.
I’m a fan of Heather’s poetry and with this, her debut collection, I was, yes, eager, to say the least. What I found was a heartfelt collection full of talent and composure that took on the powerful topics of love and family and loss and parenting and childhood with an ease that has been, to my eye, unmatched.
The poems are written sincerely and from a place of awe or contentment or some kind of cosmic blessing the rest of us have yet to experience. When Heather trains her poetic vision on the present day of say her children or the seaside town she now calls home, the reader wants to be there with her, feel all the moments along with her. She does this with words, sentences, lines. And in poems that explore a childhood that immediately intones a past with more shadows and perhaps more jagged learning curves that will later feed the seaside present, Heather never falters with the same composure and talent. What is best about what is given up to the reader of these poems is simply everything Heather has to give that is best about her heart and her mind.
Waiting for an Answer is less a debut poetry collection and more a culmination of one incredibly strong person’s inner awakening to a life lived with integrity in the face of hardship and a philosophy built on family and built to last for all time. When a poet gives you that kind of book, you pay attention.