University of Iowa

Susan Aizenberg

Susan Aizenberg is the author of three poetry collections: Quiet City (BkMk Press, 2015), Muse (Crab Orchard Poetry Series, 2002), and Peru in Take Three: 2/AGNI New Poets Series (Graywolf Press, 1997). She is also co-editor with Erin Belieu of The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women (Columbia University Press, 2001). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals; among them the North American Review, Numero Cinq, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Connotation Press, Spillway, The Journal, Midwest Quarterly Review, Hunger Mountain, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Philadelphia Inquirer; and have been reprinted in several anthologies. Her awards include a Crab Orchard Poetry Series Award, the Nebraska Book Award for Poetry and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Levis Prize for Muse, and the Nebraska Book Award Honor Book for Poetry for Quiet City. Aizenberg is Professor Emerita (creative writing and English) in the Creighton University M.F.A. and undergraduate creative writing programs and now lives and writes in Iowa City. She can be reached through her website,

Instructor Events

How do our personal and family histories intersect with the larger collective histories of which we are a part? How are our lives shaped by those of the people who came before us and the times in which they lived? How were their lives shaped by those times? What does that imply about our own lives and times? As poets, how can we explore these questions in our work? In this generative workshop we’ll explore these questions and some of the ways in which you might summon Clio, the muse of history, for your own work.

We all know that writing poems is a solitary activity, but it’s often exhilarating and useful to generate work toward new poems by responding to “no-fault” prompts and exercises together in a supportive and energizing group of fellow poets. We’ll spend our week doing just that: freewriting together in class in response to proven prompts designed to inspire new poems or new ideas for poems on which we’ve been working.