Poetry

I have been writing poetry since I was in middle school. Inspired by Boris Pasternak, Anna Akhmatova, and Joseph Brodsky, I had written in Russian at first but then switched to writing and publishing in English. In high school, my poems tended to be very surreal but studying literature academically has led me to polish my work and make my images more precise. Reading Mark Strand, Elizabeth Bishop, and Robert Haas has also led to my interest in narrative poetry. After writing my dissertation, I was inspired to pursue my own creative potential.

My first volume of poetry, Parachute, came out of a wonderful writing group in San Francisco. This book explores Soviet family history, personal mythologies, nature, as well as the process of becoming a new mother. 

 

My second volume of poems, A Stranger Home, emerged from my experience of coming back home to New York city in 2016. The book explores grief and (re)birth, often casting these emotions in mythological and fairy-tale-esque settings and paying attention to persona and form. 

In New York, I have taken workshops with poets Rowan Ricardo Phillips and Tina Chang and am continuing to learn from fellow poets how to craft poems playfully and precisely. Over the last five years, I have done readings at KGB Bar and the Bowery Poetry Club, as well as “Books Are Magic”, Berl’s Poetry Book Shop, and other venues.

Please explore my past readings and events, let me know if you would like a copy of my latest book and contact me for any creative collaborations!

See my Goodreads reviews here.

Selected Reviews

You reminded me why poetry is the most penetrating art, closest to God: prayer, incantation, healing herb, and the Borgesian precision of lucidity/scrutiny/abandon.

The eyes all over Istanbul, the Late May – Remembering Childhood. How happy you made me, how vast your world is, resigned, stubborn, and beautiful.

Domnița Petri

Poet, Author of Eclipsa

Natalya Sukhonos is a poet of precision and empathy. Reading A  Stranger Home, one is staggered by the preponderance of both joy  and pain in the poet’s life, of which her work is a seamless extension.  With roots in Ukraine and a home life in Brooklyn, Sukhonos fluently  navigates languages, cultures, and landscapes, offering a poetic vision  of a world that is sprawling, yet intimate. These poems are momentous  in the Keatsian tradition, engaging personal and historical tragedy  while daring us to see the perseverant beauty in things.

Cal Freeman

Author of Fight Songs

The color gold gleams and glistens throughout this glorious new book  of poems by Natalya Sukhonos. We see it in her vivid evocations of  Ukrainian food, of “golden/rings of fried potatoes, pearly thin slices  of bacon/the deep orange/sunset of borscht”; of camouflage jasper gemstone, with its “round lunar surface, burgundy grey/mottled with  gold”; of dawn, which appears “like gold dust on concrete.”

But Sukhonos is too aware of the dark history of her native Odessa and her own  personal losses to paint these scenes as the remnants of a Golden Age.  The bright images of food haunt the mind of a man starving amid Stalin’s genocide, and jasper is the birthstone of the mother the poet is  mourning. Yet a redemptive light pours through the latter pages of the book, as Sukhonos celebrates the birth of two daughters. A Stranger Home is a beautifully grounded book of poetry.

David M. Katz

Author of In Praise of Manhattan and three other books of poems, davidmkatzpoet.com

As poet Natalya Sukhonos writes, “All books, all authors have a flavor,  a taste….” Her own work is sweet with “the gift of nourishment” between  mother and daughter and often intriguingly redolent of the “salted olive  oil and scallions” of her native Odessa, Ukraine. “A Stranger Home”  makes a welcoming new home for a trove of human wanderings and wonderings. 

Carol Snow

Author of Position Paper: New and Selected Poems

“[W]hat’s remembering to you now?” asks one poem in Natalya Sukhonos’s sharp and timely collection. These are lyric poems of crucial  attention, of efforts to keep alive traditions, tastes, and terrain from the past. Across vast distances of landscape and time, via literal and figurative thirsts and hungers, these poems attentively sing of what  matters most and off er maps of both sustenance and survival. Exploring  lineage, lore, the Ukraine, motherhood, and the interface between natural and aesthetic realms, her taut yet expansive lyrics recognize beauty in all its largesse while interrogating its fine print, its small fees. Her singing serves as a present-tense suitor of both past and future:  amid all the not-knowing of memory and what’s-to-come, the intimacy and keen attention in these poems make home strange in the best of  ways. 

Michael Morse

Author of Void and Compensation

Readings and events

 

Write at Home: Sonnet Writing Workshop
Learn more here.
Bowery Poetry Club Reading — 2019

Why There Are Words, Sept. 2019

Cornelia Street Cafe Reading

Books Are Magic Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY, January 2018

Kelsay Books Authors Read in Manhattan — May 20, 2018

Aldrich Press at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop — January 19, 2017

“Our Favorite Things”: Natalya Sukhonos and Katherine E. Young Discuss Their New Poetry Collections
Read the interview.

Bowery Poetry Club Reading — 2016
“Chronos Dines Alone” Book Launch, Red Harlem Readers Event for Anton Yakovlev, March 2019

Another Event: Abnormal Fest, June 28, 2020

Secret Loft, September 15, 2017

Published Content 

  1. “The Fragrance, the Garden”, poem, in The Saint Ann’s Review Anthology
  2. “Theater of Bones” and “My Body is a Map of Someone Else’s Life”, Long Shot Books, October 2020
  3. “Lost in the Stars,” in American Journal of Poetry, July 1st, 2019
  4. “A Stranger Home,” flash fiction, in Gone Lawn, December 13, 2018
  5. “The Red Farmhouse” in Literary Mama, November 2018
  6. “The Art of Unknowing and the Unknowing of Art – A Few Alternatives to Interpretation,” in Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics 41.1 (2018)
  7. “ ‘Similar to Feverish Delirium’: The Fantastic Worlds of Battle as Tolstoy’s Criticism of War in War and Peace,” in Critical Insights: Tolstoy, Salem Press, Fall 2017
  8. “Horses”, Empty Sink Publishing, April 2015
  9. “Feathers,” Empty Sink Publishing, April 2015
  10. “A body, a shell, a husk,” Empty Sink Publishing, April 2015
  11. “Dirge”, Empty Sink Publishing, April 2015
  12. “Totoro”, in cahoodaloodaling, October 31, 2014
  13. “Parachute”, Really System, Issue 4, September 2014
  14. “Urban Legend”, Yellow Medicine Review, May 2013
  15. “Jorge Luís Borges: Aesthetic Constructs and the Humanism of Play” in Comedy in Comparative Literature: Essays on Dante, Hoffman, Nietzsche, Wharton, Borges, and Cabrera Infante, ed. David Gallagher (Ceredigion, UK: The Edwin Mellon Press, Ltd., 2010)