States of Happiness, Suzanne Batty’s second full-length collection, begins with an extended sequence written in memory of her twin sister. This explores their relationship from shared birth to her twin’s early death from Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare degenerative disease. Suzanne Batty’s gifts of empathy and imagination combine to produce a profoundly moving elegy telling the hidden story of growing up as the “well” twin and exploring the meaning of illness and wellness in the light of her own experiences.
The collection as a whole extends her range and probes more deeply her primary concerns – the uncertainty and necessity of love and the drive to find meaning and healing through the medium of language. The search for states of happiness, no matter how fleeting, is at the heart of this collection. These are poems which move from the everyday to the visionary, in which the physical world reflects changing emotional and perceptual states.
Anarchic and sensuous, they fearlessly encounter both beauty and darkness, enabling a new and deeper connection with the world.