Susan B.A. Somers-Willett
Susan B.A. Somers-Willett
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Susan B.A. Somers-Willett is the author of two books of poetry, Quiver (VQR Poetry Series, University of Georgia Press) and Roam (Crab Orchard Award Series, Southern Illinois University Press), and a book of criticism, The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry (University of Michigan Press). She writes poetry, criticism, and nonfiction. In addition to her work being featured by The Iowa Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poets & Writers, and The New Yorker, Somers-Willett has enjoyed success writing across different media--for print, for the stage, for art installations, and for radio and multimedia--as well as performing in different venues across the country.


On Cancer | Gulf Coast

Tallahatchie | Orion Magazine

Matter and Void | American Scientist Magazine

It Will Be a Moment Ordinary as This, Half-Life, and Radium: Aubade | Campbell Corner Distinguished Entry

Women of Troy: six poems with audio, photos, and essays | Virginia Quarterly Review

Birds, In Flight | Poems for the 99 Percent

Half-Life | Bucknell University, originally published in Gulf Coast

Self-Portrait as Interstate 10 | Big City Lit

Ophelia's Technicolor G-String: An Urban Mythology | The Poetry Foundation

Darwin Strikes a Match | Virginia Quarterly Review

First Sex | Virginia Quarterly Review

Cow Song | Verse Daily

The Effects of Light on a Woman's Body [text] [audio]| Robert Frost Foundation Award

The Jeanne D'Arc Poems | WOMB


"The Place Where I Write" | Orion, August 2012

“Poetry is Dead. Long Live Poetry! Some Thoughts on Poetry in the American Public Sphere.” | Creative Research Center Guest Blog, April 2012

"The City Ablaze" essay introducing "Women of Troy" | Virginia Quarterly Review, Fall 2009

"Through the Invisible Cloak: Some Problems and Possibilities of Being a Reader of African American Poetry" | RATTLE #31, Summer 2009

"Can Slam Poetry Matter?" | RATTLE #27, Summer 2007

Depending on your bandwidth, MP3s may take a few moments to download.

Wild Animals I Have Known (a multimedia palimpsest) [HTML] [PDF] | Texas Landmarks Commission, The University of Texas at Austin, 2010

"Women of Troy" Multimedia Video Project | Vimeo, 2009

In Verse: "Women of Troy" Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson | 6 November 2009

Women of Troy on Studio 360: Part 1

Women of Troy on Studio 360: Part 2

“The Last Known Confederate Civil War Widow Writes from the Dead Letter Office of Heaven” and “Insomnia Chiaroscuro,” If These Walls Could Speak installation, Blanton Museum of Art, 2008

Poetry Foundation Podcast [16K MP3] | 11 June 2007 (14 min.)

"Slam Past, Present, and Future," The Eclectic Word with Victor Infante [streaming audio] Blog TalkRadio | 17 August 2007 (1 hour)

Poetry Slam Incorporated Podcast [35K MP3] | March 2006 (30 min.)

Interviews and Articles

"On Representing "The City and Its Women": An Interview with Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, Part I and Part II Viz. | June 2011

"Women of Troy: A Documentary Poem" The New Yorker | 10 June 2010

Narrative Digest interview, Neiman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University | 22 January 2010

"Women of Troy: Upstate Girls" The Huffington Post | 18 December 2009

"In Verse: The Making of 'Women of Troy'" | November 2009

"Is Slam in Danger of Going Soft?" New York Times | 3 June 2009

BOOK/TALK: Conversation with Slam Poetry Scholar Susan B.A. Somers-Willett The Arts Politic Inaugural Issue | Summer 2009

West Branch Interview [website] | February 2009

Poetry Foundation Cover Story: Performing the Academy [website] | 7 June 2007

Carbondale Nightlife Interview [PDF]| 5 April 2006

Robert Frost Foundation Interview [website] | Winter 2005