Susan B.A. Somers-Willett
Susan B.A. Somers-Willett
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Upcoming Events

December 27, 2016 | 2 p.m.
Malvern Books

613 W. 29th Street | Austin, Texas

Reading by J. Scott Brownlee, John Fry, and Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

March 30-April 3, 2016
AWP Conference & Bookfair | Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Convention Center

Friday, April 1 | 10:30-11:45 AM
Black Bodies Matter: A Reading and Discussion
Room 515 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

Jonah Mixon-Webster, Adriana Ramirez, Justin Phillip Reed, Patricia Smith, Susan Somers-Willett

The Black Lives Matter movement is a recent response to a larger history of violence against Black bodies in the U.S. and abroad. What roles does poetry play in this response, and how do poets negotiate the lenses of race, gender, sexuality, and class in their responses? Can poets write about racialized violence without re-inscribing it on others? A diverse group of poets gather to read their work and discuss their approaches to writing about brutality against Black bodies.

Past Events

April 8-11, 2015
AWP Conference & Bookfair | Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Convention Center and Hilton Minneapolis Hotel

Saturday, April 11 | 10:30-11:45 AM
"Poetry in the Program Era"
Room 200 B&C, Level 2, Minneapolis Convention Center

Darin Ciccotelli,  Jessica Piazza,  Kent Shaw,  Susan Somers-Willett,  Glenn Shaheen

In his 2009 book The Program Era, Mark McGurl reads postwar American fiction by way of its origins in the creative writing classroom. In doing so, he finds that familiar lessons of craft ("show-don't-tell") and originality ("find your voice") can have far-reaching aesthetic consequences. Can the same be said about poetry? This panel will explore how creative writing pedagogy has impacted recent poets, noting how elliptical, formalist, and slam poetries have fared in this new academic era.

April 11-13, 2014
Poetry at Round Top
Round Top, Texas

Reading, Workshop, and Manuscript Consultations by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

October 18-19, 2013
Auburn Writers' Conference
Auburn University

Reading and Workshops by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

March 6-9, 2013
AWP Conference & Bookfair | Boston, MA
Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel

Saturday, March 9 | 9-10:15 AM
"On Labor: Junior Women Faculty in Creative Writing Programs"
Room 101, Plaza Level, Hynes Convention Center

Professional development discussion with Jenny Browne, Yona Harvey, Erika Meitner, Susan Somers-Willett, and Rachel Zucker

Many female faculty begin their careers during their childrearing years, posing unique demands on their families and writing. What are the concerns of junior women as they labor in writing programs, and how might these programs best support them? Panelists on, off, and spaces in-between the tenure-track reflect honestly on their careers, finding work, negotiating pay, mothering, and labor divisions across rank and gender lines. Pre-conference questions are invited on our womenwriting Tumblr:

February 7-9, 2013
"The Poetics and Politics of Hip-Hop Cultures" Symposium
Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry
The Unverisity of Arizona at Tuscon

Invited Speaking Engagement by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The Center for the Book Arts | New York City
Annual Chapbook Reading and Broadside Release

Featuring a reading by V. Penelope Pelizzon and broadside releases by Rob Stephens and Susan B.A. Somers-Willett. Curated by Sharon Dolin and Phillis Levin.

Saturday, May 26 | 7:30-midnight
Lord Weary's Reading Series
500 W. 34th Street | Austin, TX

7:30 Show & Tell of Small Press Artifacts
8:30 Readings by Rosa Alcala, Jeff Sirkin, and Susan B.A. Somers-Willett
9:30-midnight We Can Be Heroes house party
Books for sale at event from $10-$20

Friday, April 13 | 7PM
Virginia Tech MFA Visiting Writers Series

Reading by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

Thursday, April 5-Friday, April 6
Sequels Conference, Ethnic and Third World Literature Concentration
English Department

The University of Texas at Austin

Keynote by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

Friday, March 23| 7:30 PM
University of Texas at San Antonio
Business Building University Room, 2.06.04

Reading by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

February 29-March 3, 2012
AWP Conference & Bookfair | Chicago, IL
Chicago Hilton & Palmer House Hilton Hotels

Friday, March 2 | 3-4:15 PM
"Sophomore Year: The Maturation of the Slam Poetry Movement"
Red Lacquer Room, Palmer House Hilton, 4th Floor

Roundtable discussion with Robbie Q. Telfer, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Derrick Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

In 1986, the Poetry Slam Movement was created in Chicago by poet Marc Smith. And now, with two and half decades of poetry and audience engagement under its belt, the movement is growing in new, innovative ways. With its diverse collection of poets, organizers, and publishers from across the U.S., this panel will shine a spotlight on these new developments, showcasing what poetry slam has learned from traditional poetry and what traditional poets might learn from the poetry slam.

Friday, March 2 | 6-7:30PM
AWP Off-Site Reading for Everyman's Library anthology Villanelles, co-edited by Annie Finch and Marie-Elizabeth Mali
Harold Washington College, Room 102
30 E. Lake St. (Wabash & State), Chicago, IL

Readers include Grace Bauer, Robin Becker, Bruce Bennett, Martha Collins, Brendan Constantine, Steven Cramer, Timothy Donnelly, Danna Ephland, Annie Finch, Charles Fort, Claudia Gary, Matthew Hittinger, Marie-Elizabeth Mali, Taylor Mali, Patricia Monaghan, Kamilah Aisha Moon, Marilyn Nelson, Kathleen Ossip, Lois Roma-Deeley, Jill Allyn Rosser, Susan B.A. Somers Willett, Kate Sontag, Lisa Vihos, and Ken Waldman.

February 2-5, 2011
AWP Conference & Bookfair | Washington D.C.
Marriot Wardman Park | 2660 Woodley Road NW

Thursday, February 3 | 3-4:15 PM
"Does School Kill Poetry? Can It Be Poetry’s BFF?"
Nathan Hale Room, Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level
Roundtable discussion with James Armstrong, Kevin Prufer, Michael McLaughlin, Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, Brandon Cesmat, Laura Armstrong

Is the marginalization of poetry in American culture the result of the way it is taught? This panel considers how poetry pedagogy both at the K-12 and the beginning college level affects the public perception of poetry. What do high school teachers actually say about poetry? Do programs that bring poets into schools help? Does the slam poetry scene have an effect? Does college English win students back, or does it increase the indifference? How should educators at all levels teach poetry?

Saturday,February 5 | Noon-1:15 PM
"Poetry as Multimedia Documentary"
Delaware Suite Room, Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level
Reading and discussion with Kwame Dawes, Erika Meitner, Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, Natasha Trethewey, Ted Genoways

Can poets use the tools of journalism and other media to produce new models of storytelling? Poets reporting from communities in crisis (Jamaica, Haiti, Troy, Detroit, and Gulfport) gather to debate the possibilities of poetry as documentary and discuss their collaborations with radio producers and photographers. Part reading and part discussion, the panel puts into conversation writers whose work blurs the lines between art and journalism through text, photography, audio, and video.

Friday, December 3, 2010 | 7:30 PM
First Fridays Contemporary Writers Series

Western Sullivan Public Library, Tusten-Cochecton Branch

198 Bridge Street | Narrowsburg, NY

Reading by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
7PM | 9th Annual Drew Darrow Memorial Reading
Bucknell Hall | Bucknell University | Lewisburg, PA

The Darrow Memorial Reading honors the memory of Drew Darrow, a 1986 Bucknell graduate. The annual reading is co-sponsored by the Writing Center and the Stadler Center for Poetry, with support from Drew Darrow's family and friends. A reception and book signing with Susan B.A. Somers-Willett will follow her reading.

Friday, November 12, 2010 | 9:30 PM
Art Night Austin: E.A.S.T. After Party & Artist Party
Pine Street Station | 414 Waller Street | Austin, TX

Q&A with David Ellis, 9:45 PM
Special performance by poet Susan B.A. Somers-Willett to follow
Join Landmarks for an after party on Austin’s east side with special guest, David Ellis. To celebrate the university’s recent commission of Ellis’s motion painting, Animal, Landmarks is collaborating with Art Alliance Austin and East Austin Studio Tour for a special night of entertainment at Pine Street Station. The after party also celebrates local artists and follows the Art Night Austin E.A.S.T. official preview tour. Live painting by Sloke One and Rei, music by DJ Orion, DJ Tako and Mesanger, with performances by BBoy Recon and the Austin Urban Dancers. Admission is free with UT ID.

Monday, May 31, 2010 | 7PM
louder ARTS Feature, Under the Red Tent
Bar 13 | Union Square, New York City

35 East 13th Street @ University Place
2nd Floor, 212.979.6677
$6 | $5 students

4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, W to 14th Street | Union Square
Open mic with a feature by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
6 PM | WordShop @ Bowery Arts and Sciences: Ekphrastic Poetry
7 PM | Urbana Slam Feature: Semi-finals
Bowery Poetry Club | New York City

308 Bowery, between Houston & Bleecker
F train to Second Ave, or 6 train to Bleecker
$10 admission | All ages venue | Tickets available at the door only

In this week's WordShop, Susan B.A. Somers-Willett discusses the possibilities and challenges of writing about painting, photography, and sculpture as well as techniques for bringing the ancient tradition of ekphrasis into the 21st century. The last semi-finals of the Urbana Slam season will follow, with Susan as the featured poet performing before the show.

April 7-10, 2010
"The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry" Roundtable Discussion
AWP Conference & Bookfair | Denver, CO

Hyatt Regency Denver
650 15th Street

Roundtable discussion with Roger Bonair-Agard, Patrick Rosal, Patricia Smith, Danny Solis, Susan B. A. Somers-Willett, and Lesley Wheeler

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | 8 PM
Page Meets Stage: Susan B. A. Somers-Willett and Regie Gibson
Bowery Poetry Club | New York City

308 Bowery, between Houston & Bleecker
F train to Second Ave, or 6 train to Bleecker
$12 admission | All ages venue | Tickets available at the door only

A co-production of Words Worth Ink and Blue Flower Arts, the PAGE MEETS STAGE series brings together two poets from completely different worlds, one who writes primarily for the PAGE and another who writes primarily for the STAGE. The poets read together for almost an hour, back and forth, poem for poem to benefit for Bowery Arts & Sciences, the educational arm of the Bowery Poetry Club dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the oral tradition of poetry via live readings, media documentation and creation.

Sunday, February 28, 2010
4PM | Master Class
7:30 PM | Screening and Discussion

Union Docs: A Forum for Documentary Arts

322 Union Avenue | Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
$7 suggested donation
L to Lorimer St. | G to Metropolitain Ave. | J to Hewes St.
Master class and discussion of "Women of Troy" with radio journalist Lu Olkowski and poet Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

Thursday, February 25, 2010
Sarah Lawrence College | Bronxville, NY

Radio journalist Lu Olkowski and poet Susan B.A. Somers-Willett will discuss "Women of Troy" with graduate MFA students.

Wednesday, December 9 , 2009 | Noon
"Women of Troy" interview, as part of the InVerse Poetry Series
Word of Mouth, New Hampshire Public Radio

Interview with radio journalist Lu Olkowski and poet Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

Sunday, November 22, 2009 | Times vary
"Just a Girl" broadcast, as part of the InVerse Poetry Series
BBC Radio 4 Americana

Interview with radio journalist Lu Olkowski with poetry by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | 2:30 PM
Live Lit Reading Series
University Hall Courtyard | Montclair State University | Monclair, NJ

Reading and Q&A session featuring Julia Wagner, Anastasia Rubis, and Susan B.A. Somers-Willett.

November 5-8, 2009 | Broadcast times and dates vary
"Women of Troy" broadcast, as part of the InVerse Poetry Series
Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

Public radio affiliate stations nationwide
Multi-Media Poetry Broadcast
Click here for a listing of your local station and Studio 360 airtimes.

Thursday, November 5, 2009 | 5-6:45 PM
"Hip-Hop, Poetry, and Belonging: Citizenship and the Cultural Politics of Rhyming" Panel
American Studies Association Conference

Renaissance Hotel | Washington, D.C.
999 9th Street NW | Hotel Auditorium

Featuring talks from Adam Bradley, Meta DuEwa Jones, James Braxton Peterson, and Susan B.A. Somers-Willett. Chair and respondent: Diana R. Paulin.

Thursday, October 8, 2009 | 6 PM
Queztal Quill Reading Series
The Cornelia Street Cafe | New York City

29 Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village | 212-989-9319
A/C/E/F/V/B/D trains to W. 4th St. stop
$7 admission (includes a free drink)

Reading with Blas Falconer, Tyehimba Jess, Helena Mesa, and Susan B. A. Somers-Willett
Hosted and Curated by Rigoberto Gonzalez
Books for sale courtesy of Mobile Libris

Saturday, July 11, 2009
Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review Reading
America/Americas Gallery, Blanton Museum of Art | Austin, TX

MLK at Congress on the University of Texas campus
Parking is available across the street from the museum at the Brazos Parking Garage
A reading in celebration of Borderlands' summer 2009 issue inspired by the Blanton Poetry Project, focusing on ekphrastic poetry and artwork from the museum's permanent collections. The issue will be on sale at the event, courtesy of the Blanton gift shop.

Sunday, April 26, 2009
3 PM
BookPeople | Austin, TX

Reading and Booksigning with Anna Journey and Susan B. A. Somers-Willett

Thursday, April 2 , 2009
7:30 PM
Michener Center for Writers Reading Series | Austin, TX

The University of Texas at Austin
Avaya Auditorium, ACES 2.302 (southeast corner of Speedway and 24th Street)
Solo Reading and Booksigning

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
9:30-2 PM
Poetry, Voice, and Performance Symposium | Austin, TX

Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program at The University of Texas at Austin
Asian Culture Room, Texas Union 4.224
Roundtable discussion, performance, and Q&A session with Meta DuEwa Jones, Susan B. A. Somers-Willett, and Leslie Wheeler

Friday, March 20 , 2009
2 PM
Virginia Festival for the Book | Charlottesville, VA

University of Virginia Bookstore
400 Emmet Street South, (434) 924-3721
VQR Series Reading with John Casteen, Ted Genoways, Victoria Chang, and Susan B. A. Somers-Willett

February 14, 2009
6:30-7:30 PM
AWP Conference & Bookfair | Chicago, IL

New Works by Three Poets
Jeffrey McDaniel | Patricia Smith | Susan B.A. Somers-Willett
Barnes & Noble, DePaul University Center
1 East Jackson Blvd. (between State St & Wabash Ave., 7 blocks from the Chicago Hilton)
Reading and Booksigning

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
10 AM
LBJ Liberal Arts and Sciences High School | Austin, TX

7309 Lazy Creek Dr.
Poetry Out Loud Workshop

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Trinity College | San Antonio, TX

Coates University Center
Reading and Booksigning

Monday, February 11, 2008
4 PM

Dripping Springs High School | Dripping Springs, TX

111 Tiger Lane
Poetry Out Loud Workshop

Saturday, February 2, 2008
4:30-6:15 PM
AWP Conference & Bookfair | New York, NY
Twenty Years of New York City Slam
Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas
Regent Parlor, 2nd Floor
Panel discussion with Daniel Nester, Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, Shappy Seasholtz, and Susan B. A. Somers-Willett

Friday, August 17, 2007
The Eclectic Word with Victor Infante
The World Wide Word Radio Network
Internet Broadcast Interview and Reading with Scott Woods and Marc Smith

August 7-11 , 2007
National Poetry Slam | Austin, Texas

Listed events are free and open to the public

Wednesday, August 8 | 11:30AM-1 PM
Slam and the Academy Panel
Hideout Upstairs Theater, 617 Congress Ave.

Thursday, August 9| 3-4:30 PM
Is There Such a Thing as "Slam Poetry"? Panel Discussion with Scott Woods
Hideout Upstairs Theater, 617 Congress Ave.

Friday, August 10 | 2:30-4 PM
Revenge of the Nerd Legends Showcase
Hideout Theater, 617 Congress Ave.

June 28-30 , 2007
Poetry Cross-Training Camp | SUNY Oneonta

A three-day intensive conference for adults led by some of the nation's top performance poets. The conference encompasses writing as craft, performance tricks and tips, the creative process, revision and editing, publishing, teaching slam in your school, and promoting yourself and/or reading series.

May 13-16, 2007
Northeast Tour with Genevieve Van Cleve

Sunday, May 13| 7 PM
Poets' Asylum Reading Series | Worcester, MA
The Java Hut

1073A Main Street (at Webster Square)

Monday, May 14 | 7 PM
louderARTS Slam Finals | New York City, NY
13 Bar | Lounge

35 East 13th Street @ University Place
2nd Floor, 212.979.6677
4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, W to 14th Street | Union Square
$6 | $5 students
2 for 1 drinks

Tuesday, May 15| 7-9 PM
Urbana Presents: Genevieve Van Cleve and Susan B.A. Somers-Willett
Bowery Poetry Club | New York City, NY

308 Bowery, 212.614.0505
Located at foot of First Street, between Houston & Bleecker
across the street from CBGBs
F train to Second Ave, or 6 train to Bleecker

Wednesday, May 16 | 8 PM
Boston Poetry Slam | Cambridge, MA
Cantab Lounge

738 Massachusetts Ave. (Central Square)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007
4:30 PM
Carnegie Mellon University | Pittsburgh, PA
"Poetry in Public"

Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136
Research Talk and Presentation

Monday, February 12, 2007
4:30 PM
Carnegie Mellon University | Pittsburgh, PA

Maggie Murph Cafe, Hunt Library
Reading and Booksigning

Friday, November 3, 2006
7 PM
Nickel City Poetry Slam | Buffalo, NY

Albright-Knox Art Gallery
1285 Elmwood Avenue
Reading and Booksigning

Tuesday, October 20, 2006
7 PM
Prosody with Jan Beatty
WYEP Radio, 91.3 FM | Pittsburgh, PA
Broadcast Interview and Reading

Friday, October 13, 2006
Noon, Carnegie Mellon University
Center for the Arts in Society Meeting | Pittsburgh, PA

H & SS Dean's Conference Room, Baker Hall 154 R
Research Talk

Friday, October 13, 2006
3PM, University of Pittsburgh
Writers' Cafe | Pittsburgh, PA

Pitt Writing Center, M2 Thaw Hall
Student Workshop with Deb Bogan

Friday, October 6, 2006
8 PM (come early to ensure entry)
Gist Street Reading Series | Pittsburgh, PA

James Simon’s sculpture studio
305 Gist Street, Uptown Pittsburgh, 3rd floor | Directions
$5 suggested donation; food, wine, and socializing begin at 7 PM
Reading with Lee Peterson

August 9-12 , 2006
Poetry Slam | Austin, Texas
Listed events are free and open to the public

Thursday, August 10 | Noon-1:30 PM
Slam and the Academy Panel
Hideout Upstairs Theater, 617 Congress Ave.

Friday, August 11 | Noon-1:30 PM
NPS Women's Showcase
Hideout Theater, 617 Congress Ave.

Friday, August 11 | 2:15-3:00 PM
Surviving in the Small Press World Panel
Hideout Upstairs Theater, 617 Congress Ave.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006
7:30 PM

Austin Poetry Slam
| Austin, Texas
Ego's, 510 South Congress
Featured performance

Friday and Saturday, June 30-July 1, 2006
Youth Writers' Workshop

Southern Illinois University | Carbondale, Illinois

Reading and Lecture/Workshop

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
4:30 PM
Illini Union Bookstore Author's Corner | Champaign, Illinois

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Reading and Booksigning

Monday, April 10, 2006
10 AM
Focus 580 Program with David Inge
WILL Radio, AM 580| Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Broadcast Interview and Reading

Thursday, April 6, 2006
4 PM

Southern Illinois University | Carbondale, Illinois

2005 Crab Orchard Series Award Reading
Reading and Booksigning

March 8-11, 2006
AWP Conference & Bookfair | Austin, Texas

Thursday, March 9 | 3 PM
"Slam Poetry and the Academy" Roundtable Discussion
Austin Hilton (500 East 4th Street), Salon D
Roundtable discussion with Tyehimba Jess, Eitan Kadosh, Ed Bok Lee, Cin Salach, Patricia Smith, Susan B. A. Somers-Willett

Friday, March 10 | 3 PM
Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Reading
Austin Hilton (500 East 4th Street), Meeting Room 404
Group reading and booksigning featuring Victoria Chang, Amy Fleury, David Hernandez, Susan B. A. Somers-Willett

Saturday, March 11 | 3 PM
"Grassroots Austin: The Hottest Acts in Slam Poetry" Showcase
Austin Convention Center, Meeting Room 8ABC
Group reading featuring Mike Henry, Phil West, Liz Jones, Tony Jackson, Christopher Lee, Patricia Smith, Cin Salach, Susan B. A. Somers-Willett

Sunday, February 26, 2006
3 PM
Maple Leaf Bar | New Orleans, Louisiana
8316 Oak Street
A reading not to miss. Susan features at the oldest-running reading series in New Orleans, set in the home venue of Rebirth Brass Band, during Mardi Gras weekend. A second line to the Bacchus parade will follow.