Visiting Lecturer and UT English Alum Susan Somers-Willett Publishes Two Major Books
Posted: June 10, 2009
Susan B. Anthony Somers-Willett has been teaching this past year as a Visiting Lecturer at the University. During her year in Austin she has taught poetry and performance, creative writing and African American poetry. Also during this year she has published two major books, a collection of poetry called Quiver as part of the Virginia Quarterly Review Series and produced by the University of Georgia Press, and a book of scholarly criticism, recently cited in the New York Times, called The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry: Race, Identity, and the Performance of Popular Verse in America, published by the University of Michigan Press.
Susan was born in Ohio and raised in New Orleans. After earning a B.A. from Duke University, she worked briefly in the New York City publishing industry as a production manager, editor, and designer. Susan went on to receive both an M.A. in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in American Literature at The University of Texas at Austin. She has also taught poetry and poetics at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities. Next year, she starts as an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Montclair State University.
Susan is also the author of another critically acclaimed book of poetry called Roam, published in the Crab Orchard Award Series by Southern Illinois University Press in 2006. Her poems have appeared in a number of periodicals including the Virginia Quarterly Review, The Iowa Review, Indiana Review, Gulf Coast, Poets & Writers, Painted Bride Quarterly, and the Poetry Foundation website. She is contributing editor for Rattle and a former Co-Editor of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. Susan has received fellowships from the Millay Colony for the Arts and the Dow Center for Creativity, and her honors include the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize, the Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Award, VQR's Emily Clark Balch Poetry Prize, and a Pushcart nomination.
For more information on Susan Somers-Willett, please visit her webpage, http://www.susansw.com.