Susanna Lang

Poet, Translator, & Educator



Once it’s been broken, the body

holds the memory of falling

as you would hold a fragile goblet

that belonged to your great grandmother,

whose name you also carry.


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Kathleen Kirk, Escape to Life:

"Just as looking at a painting or a photograph can invite a viewer to place herself in the picture, reading a poem can invite deep connection, even identification."

Albert DeGenova, The Poetry Cafe:

"Self-Portraits allows readers to see the inner self of the subject artist as strongly as that of the poet."

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In the Press

I’d had Susanna Lang’s Travel Notes from the River Styx in my to-be-read pile for some time, and when I finally picked it up recently, reading it in one sitting, my first thought was that I wished I’d read it sooner. It’s just fantastic. You should all read it.. Read More

Lynn Domina,

Travel Notes from the River Styx contains some great poems that get to the emotional core of love, life and death. The poems are haunted and haunting, forcing me to read them more than once. I found the poems enjoyable and they will stay with me for a long time... I'd highly recommend this collection. Read More

Pamela Scott,

Lang sets a mood of dreamy, elegiac mystery in the opening poem, “Road Trip,” with “Carla Bruni… singing Je rêve comme je respire” on the car’s speakers as the driver follows familiar roads to arrive at a motel room peopled by her dearest ghosts... Read More

Kathleen Kirk,


Susanna Lang was born in New York and raised in college towns where her father taught in Kansas, Michigan and Connecticut. She is the author of three full-length books of poetry and has translated the poetry of Yves Bonnefoy. Her most recent collection, Travel Notes from the River Styx, was published by Terrapin Books in 2017. Earlier collections include Tracing the Lines (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2013) and Even Now (The Backwaters Press, 2008) as well as a chapbook, Two by Two (Finishing Line Press, 2011). Words in Stone, her translation of poems by Yves Bonnefoy, was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 1976. The Origin of Language, prose poems by Yves Bonnefoy, was published by George Nama in 1979.

She has published original poems and translations in such journals as Poetry East, Little Star, December, The Baltimore Review, Prime Number Magazine, Jubilat, Comstock Review, Verse Daily and American Life in Poetry. She has won numerous awards, including a 1999 Illinois Arts Council Award, the Inkwell Poetry Competition in 2009, the Prime Number Poetry Prize in 2015, and multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize. She was a 2010 and 2015 Hambidge Fellow and received a 2011 Emerging Writer Fellowship from The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD.

A longtime educator in the Chicago area, she currently works as a creative writing instructor at the Chicago High School for the Arts.

For the past 35 years, she has taught literacy and literature in grades 5-12, as well as graduate level education courses at National Louis and Northeastern Illinois Universities. She has led adult poetry workshops in public libraries and for organizations such as the Illinois Writing Project, Northwest Cultural Council, Rhino Poetry Forum, Center for College Access and Success (Northeastern Illinois University), Boundless Readers and The Writer’s Center (Bethesda, MD). She has also written curriculum or consulted for the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Poetry Foundation, and ThinkCERCA.


News & Events




If you missed my reading of poems from

Self-Portraits sponsored by the Normal Public Library, you can hear it on YouTube. Thanks to Escape into Life and to The Poetry Cafe for publishing such wonderful reviews of the collection. Links on the Books page of my site.




My poem "In a Dark Wood" is included in Issue 3 of Channel Magazine (Dublin), and in the video celebration of the issue launch. Listen!




My chapbook, Self-Portraits, is now available from Blue Lyra Press! 




Thanks to Another Chicago Magazine for publishing my translations from Je rends grâce à l'arobase/I give thanks for the @ by Souad Labbize!




Translators Aloud celebrates Women in Translation Month: Listen to a reading of poems by Souad Labbize, in my translation.




I am honored to be among the short-listed poets for the Lockdown Prize sponsored by Fish Publishing. Use the button to find my poem (and stop to read others along the way!).




Listen to a reading from my collection, Travel Notes from the River Styx, on YouTube.




Former Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith has selected my poem, After You Get Up Early on Memorial Day, for inclusion in her radio show, The Slowdown. Listen on Monday, December 2: find it at


Thanks to Crosswinds Poetry Journal and Margaret Gibson for awarding first prize to my poem, Inspection, which will be published in spring 2021.



of Poetry

Upon entering the site, click on the above image. The review starts on page 12.



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