Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Suzanne Buffam  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1972 in Montreal, Canada

-- Suzanne Buffam on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Suzanne was born in Montreal and raised in Vancouver, BC. Suzanne currently live in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Suzanne is the author of two collections of poetry. She earned an MA in English from Concordia University in Montreal, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Past Imperfect: Poems
ISBN: 0887847269

House of Anansi Press. 2005

Recalling Hopkins or Dickinson in their urgency, these poems seduce the reader into experiencing life's darkest moments while revealing unexpected shafts of light. In a voice that is at once confident, elegant, and doubtful, the author scans the world as if through the wrong end of a telescope, employing recurrent images and exploring obsessions to produce a remarkably exact account of remote, intimate dealings. "I will have to explain myself to myself," she writes, but in doing so communicates a great deal about all of us.

The Irrationalist
ISBN: 0982237634

Canarium Books. 2010

“Buffam’s often deadpan tone is like a magical dustpan that sweeps up the strangest observations and ideas, all worlds to themselves. Her ‘Little Commentaries’—‘On Piñatas,’ ‘On Fountains,’ and ‘On Vanishing Acts’ (to name only a few)—are absolute gems, kin to Anne Carson’s town poems and Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit. Buffam’s poems tug at new corners of the brain. They’re marvelous.”
- Matthea Harvey

“Buffam begins with a world that ends, a world that is always ending. This is not despair, but a shrewd mind behind an honest eye that in wry observation creates out of small poems a book of knowledge, ‘Little Commentaries,’ which show there is no wisdom unsharpened by wounding wit. That motion is an essential motion, and these are essential poems.”
- Dan Beachy-Quick

“These poems try to achieve something almost impossible: not to betray the ironic today while celebrating the interiority of a serious meditation. And they succeed in doing it. What a treat!”
- Adam Zagajewski


  • Gerald Lampert Award in 2006, ''Past Imperfect

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (No)