How lucky we are to have Irene Smullyan Sloan's collection of poetry, Weeper, Laugh! It is rare these days to find a poet who can charm us so thoroughly with her inventiveness and wit. Using traditional rhymes and meters, she brings us the satisfactions of the poetry of former times while she writes about the issues of today's world. Her poems not only please the senses, but reward us with meaning that is both subtle and totally accessible.
Smullyan Sloan's biography is an odd one for a poet. She came to writing late, after a career as a research biologist. During those decades in the laboratory, however, her lifelong fascination with language never waned. After she retired, in 1979, it began manifesting itself in the construction of crossword puzzles for the New York Times and other publications. Eventually, it led her to confront similar challenges in the creation of rhymed and metered verse, of which we are now the fortunate beneficiaries.
Smullyan Sloan is brave to take her poems in a direction so different from those that most of her fellow contemporary poets are following. With great originality and mastery, she brings us a gift you are sure to treasure. -Louise Albert, author of But I'm Ready to Go and Less Than Perfect