Master Suffering

Longlist, National Book Awards 2021 for Poetry

ISBN 9781946482389
Tupelo Press
CM Burroughs

CM Burroughs is Associate Professor of Poetry in the English and Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago. She is the author of two poetry collections: The Vital System and Master Suffering. (Photo credit: Tupelo Press) More about this author >

Award Years

Award Status

Award Categories


Master Suffering pendulates between yield and command; the bodies of this book are supplicant yet seething—they want nothing more than to survive. But how does a woman survive? One’s own healthy body helps, but illness is one of the masters of this book. Faith can be a salve for the inscrutable ailments of the body, but God is unreliable in these poems. The female bodies of Master Suffering want power; they want to control and to correct the suffering they witness and withstand.