Mara Adamitz Scrupe’s poems rush headlong at love, loss and grief, as they untangle spiritual, psychic and corporeal affinities between people and nature. Where the author lives, on a farm alongside the James River in view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, provides the locale for many of her poems. Always bringing fresh and urgent imagery to that intimacy shared by poet and reader, the poet’s language is full of music and cadenced rhythms that swerve and pause, stutter and race toward a profound realization of the richness of our relationships with one another, with animals, and with the natural environment.
Mara Adamitz Scrupe is the author of two previous collections, BEAST (NFSPS Press, 2014) and Sky Pilot (Chapbook, Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in international literary journals and magazines and she has won or been shortlisted for the Ron Pretty Poetry Prize, BigCi Environmental Fellowship, Erbacce Prize, Fish Poetry Prize, Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Prize, Bristol Prize, and the National Poetry Society Competition, among others. Adamitz Scrupe divides her time between her farm in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains Piedmont, and Philadelphia where she is Professor of Fine Arts and Creative Writing at The University of the Arts.
Mara Adamitz Scrupe’s poetry is at once elliptical and starbound, earthed and exotic; she finds joy in the minuscule and excels at gorgeous, exacting detail. Like her foremother Emily Dickinson, Scrupe’s poems are earth-connected, wise and use dazzling punctuation and, like Dickinson, she has the dexterity to pull it off. She lures the reader with skilled use of pause and absence, married to a muscular vocabulary, and compels us to stay and feel, alternately, the beauty and menace in her words. She is a ‘hoarder of human heartbreak’ but also a harbinger of life’s softer, sensual moments. Adamitz Scrupe is truly a poet. - Nuala O'Connor