Department header
Bewildering Stories

Sue Parman, The Thin Monster House


The Thin Monster House
Author: Sue Parman
Publisher: Finishing Line Press
PO Box 1626
Georgetown, KY 40324
Vendor: Finishing Line Press
The thin house on the hill is invisible
to adults but children know when it will appear,
although it can be seen only by its dark perimeter
for less than a minute. Such a brief time, seconds fizz
through fingertips, not enough time for fears
to bubble and trouble small spirits, and yet
so much can happen inside of a single minute....

— excerpt from the poem “The Thin Monster House”

Sue Parman is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and an award-winning poet, playwright, essayist, and fiction writer. In academia she is the author of six books and numerous articles on topics as diverse as Scottish crofters, Japan, and the neurophysiology and cultural patterning of dreams, and has published in diverse literary genres, from memoirs, science fiction, and travel writing to sonnets and haiku. For thirty years she studied a Gaelic-speaking community in the Scottish Outer Hebrides, and many of her academic writings and literary fiction deal with Scotland.

Since moving to Oregon in 2009, she has received over ten writing awards, including four first-place awards from the Oregon State Poetry Association and Oregon Writers Colony, two Kay Snow Awards from Willamette Writers, and Honorable Mentions from Best Travel Writing Annual Solas Awards and Oregon Humanities.

Her poetry has appeared in Cloudbank, Verseweavers, Slant, The Hiram Poetry Review, and The Elephant-Ear, as well as other venues, and her short stories, plays, and essays have appeared in Voice Catcher, Lumina, Journeys, The Elephant-Ear, Spectacle, The Los Angeles Times, Songs of Innocence, and BewilderingStories. Produced plays include Queen Victoria’s Secret (performed in Portland’s Fertile Ground New Play Festival in 2011, published in Voice Catcher, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize). Information about upcoming readings and publications can be found at: and


“From modern to ancient times, these poems call forth the cycles of the natural world and human life on planet Earth. With unexpected turns, Sue Parman applies the unimagined to the ordinary, taking the reader deep into primal elements and outward into the universe. A thoroughly luscious read!
— Marie Buckley, President Emeritus of the Oregon Poetry Association

“I could not put down Sue Parman’s manuscript until I had read it from beginning to end twice, and then I had to go back and pick out some favorites. In each poem her knowledge of form and style is evident. Her descriptive technique frequently causes objects to morph into other meanings which becomes a unique use of metaphor. A richness of well chosen words creates a flow of surprising interior as well as end-line rhyme. There is a great deal of depth hidden within these poems and it takes a careful reader to plumb them. The final poem MAP says it all: ‘Beware, for there be monsters here.’”
— Judith Massee, widely published in poetry anthologies, poetry editor for Writers Northwest Quarterly, and board member of the Oregon Writers Colony

“Keenly observant, intelligent, and filled with moments of beauty, The Thin Monster House tastes of nature, life and loss. I felt as if I was on a journey with a poet taking me to new, unexpected places. Sue Parman’s poetry is edgy, sharp and acute.”
— Sandra Giedeman, past president of the Orange County chapter of PEN, Pushcart Prize nominee, and winner of the Mudfish Poetry Prize

“Sue Parman’s unforgettable collection The Thin Monster House reaches into recesses and representations of the world to explore the imaginary, the immanent, and the possible. Every poem carries surprise of detail and observation and opens into transcendence. Parman offers a universe of connection through master work in forms. Her hallmark is unusual and precise diction that reveals the profundity of relationship — human, geographical, linguistic.”
— Sandra Ellston, Professor of English at Eastern Oregon University and founder of the Northwest Poets’ Concord

Copyright © 2012 by Sue Parman

Home Page