Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. Roof Books, 2016

This hybrid genre collection of poetry and prose tells the story of one Philadelphia neighborhood, Germantown—a historic place wrestling with legacies of colonialism, racism, and capitalism. Drawing from interviews, historical research, and two divergent but quintessential American texts (The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans), Landers' Franklinstein is a monster readers have not encountered before.

"FRANKLINSTEIN is a church of stained glass truth-telling."—Yolanda Wisher

"In her study of Germantown, Landers derives a poetics of urban history, of being from, really from, a place—Philadelphia—that cuts itself into your skin."—Simone White

"This verse memoir, prose elegy, and documentary expose will remind some readers of Rukeyser's The Book of the Dead, which, we must recall, is also a book of the living."—Tyrone Williams

"On Susan Landers's 'Franklinstein': queer / neighborhood / preservation," Davy Knittle on Jacket2

"It has a place for me as living," Allison Cobb reviews Franklinstein for Jacket2



Poetry. O Books, 2007

In this translation of Dante's Inferno, the setting is New York in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and the Iraq War. And the poet, while not in exile, sings. 

"COVERS is a tour de translation that brings Dante up to speed with the 21st century. Deftly shifting registers between Inferno-speak and news-speak, Susan Landers antes up a resolute refusal to refract the rapture of the 'blood shuffle' aftermath. Indeed, 'the audacity dragon has a daddly complex.' But in this 'woe song sung' Landers offers us poetic remixes that quietly inscribe a sense of community, pressing us forward toward ethical remuneration."—Jules Boykoff

"Encounters with the grand tradition of literary versionings of Hell yield in Landers' COVERS an agonistic sequence of lyrics, one that wickedly 'plays the structure' (Foucalt) of the American empire's reality-making in pylyphonic protest."—Carla Harryman


248 mgs., a panic picnic

Poetry. O Books, 2003

This book explores the emotional and socio-political lives of a cast of characters based on autobiography, expressed in sound. The book's claustrophobic tercets combined with spiraling repetition help foreground the importance of artifice and code, the very elements the book's characters undermine, complicate, and expose. The code is a score. To sound out the story. The book was inspired in part by the author reading Jack Spicer, "I was excited by the serial poem as a form as well as the idea that there is no such thing as a single poem. This was me not stopping."

"This is a daring and contemporary voice that speaks of pills, guns, and of shame. The story is captivating, the echoes of recurring themes and stanzas are haunting: this book is a blast."—Anne Tardos

Featured Writing


"Shorakkopoch Rock," About Place Journal, May 2018

“Express Roulette,” “An Alphabet Like Breath We Forget,” “A Train Refrain,” The Tiny, April 2018

Sue Landers on Creative Life Network (with Donna Henderson, Renee Couture, and Rachel Zollinger), February 2018

I Don't Know What You're Called, I'll Call You By Your Sounds, published on Poem-a-Day, Academy of American Poets, December 2018

Curriculum Vitae 


Franklinstein, New York: Roof Books, 2016

Covers, Berkeley: O Books, 2007

248 mgs, a panic picnic, Berkeley: O Books, 2003


Selections from Franklinstein, Madison: Cannot Exist, 2013

What I Was Tweeting While You Were on Facebook, Cincinnati: Perfect Lovers Press, 2013

15: A Poetic Engagement with the Chicago Manual of Style, Northampton: Least Weasel, 2011

31 mgs., Cincinnati: CyPress, 2002

Edited Volumes

Pom2: A Journal of Poetic Polylogue, founding editor, 2001–2008

Poems (2011—present)  

"Shorakkopoch Rock," About Place Journal, May 2018

“Express Roulette,” “An Alphabet Like Breath We Forget,” “A Train Refrain,” The Tiny, April 2018

"Bill of Rights," Solidarity Texts, Jacket2,  April 2018

“A Faithful Interpretation,” Supplement, issue 2, April 2018           

“Trump Morning, A Grief Sequence,” Jacket2, January 2018  

“I Don’t Know What You’re Called, I’ll Call You By Your Sounds,” Poem-a-Day, December 27, 2017

 “The Witching Hour,” 7” series, Spooky Girlfriend      

 “Oculus Study” and “No Bedrock but in Silk,” Touch the Donkey, March 2017

“Trump Morning, A Grief Sequence,” The Brooklyn Rail, December 2016

“Fire,” Queen Mob’s Tea House, June 2016

“The Sense Of Beginning Or Of Ending,” The Offing, Los Angeles Review of Books, June 2015

“We Liked To Keep Them Together,” Philadelphia Review of Books, November 2014

“This Was Then The Way I Was Filled Full Of It After Looking,” Brooklyn Rail, November 2014

 “A Point Of Consequence,” Eleven Eleven, 2014

“Having Been Built To Be Functional,” Horseless Review, 2014

“iMPeRFeCT,” Where Eagles Dare, 2014

“Anything Is Autobiography But This Was A Conversation,” Elderly, 2014

“They Will Exist Even When They Won’t,” Epiphany Magazine, 2014  

“Because They Are Forbidden But Forbidden Because They Are,” Capitalism Nature Socialism, 2013

“To Fill Up A Place When Someone Has Lost Out Of Them A Piece,” West Wind Review, 2013

“To Contemplate A Voiceless Grief,” West Wind Review, 2013

“I Wish I Had A Complete Record,” EOAGH, February 2013  

“It Has A Place For Me As Living,” ONandOnScreen, Autumn 2012

“It Is Hard Living Down The Tempers We Are Born With,” ONandOnScreen, Autumn 2012

Excerpts from “What I Was Tweeting While You Were on Facebook,” OMG!, 2012  

Excerpts from “What I Was Tweeting While You Were on Facebook,” The Recluse, 2011

Essays and Reviews (Selected)

“The Limits of Nostalgia,” Plan Philly, Eyes on the Street blog, August 2013

Report on Thom Donovan’s “The Hole,” The Poetry Project Newsletter, April/May 2012

Interview with Anne Tardos, The Poetry Project Newsletter, February/March 2008

Readings (2013—present)  

Random Name Poetry Series, Philadelphia, PA, October 2017

Knife Fork Book Reading Series, Toronto, Canada, October 2017

Factory Reading Series, Ottowa, Canada, August 2017

Monday Night Poetry and Music, Charleston, SC, May 2017

Temple University Visiting Writers Series, Philadelphia, PA, April 2017

MLA Offsite Reading, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, January 2017  

Fall for the Book Festival, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, September 2016

Black Squirrel, Washington, DC, September 2016

Charmed Instruments, Philadelphia, PA, September 2016

Yes! Reading Series, Albany, NY, September 2016

Black Squirrel Reading Series, Washington, DC, August 2016

John Oates House Reading Series, San Francisco, CA, August 2016

Boston Poetry Marathon, Cambridge, MA, July 2016

Berl’s Poetry Shop, Brooklyn, NY, June 2016

Blood Jet Poetry Series, New Orleans, LA, May 2016

Germantown Friends Free Library, Philadelphia, PA, April 2016

Poetry at Dahlak, Philadelphia, PA, April 2016

The Switch, Portland, OR, March 2016

 MagmaFest, Seattle, WA, March 2016

iMPeRFeCT Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, March 2016

University of San Diego, San Marcos, San Diego, CA, February 2016   

Woolsey Reading Series, Oakland, CA, August 2015  

If Not For Kidnap, Portland, OR, November 2014

Philalalia, Philadelphia, PA, September 2014

In Your Ear, DC Arts Center, Washington, DC, September 2014

Wendy’s Subway, Brooklyn, NY, August 2014

Unnameable Books, Brooklyn, NY, August 2014

Microlights, Milwaukee, WI, March 2014

Oscar Presents, Madison, WI, March 2014

Zinc Bar, New York, NY, March 2014

Chapter and Verse Reading Series, Philadelphia, PA, January 2014  

The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s, New York, NY, November 2013

Penn Book Center, Philadelphia, PA, October 2013

Unnameable Books, Brooklyn, NY, October 2013

On Deck Reading Series, Philadelphia, PA, July 2013

iMPeRFeCT Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, July 2013           

The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s, New York, NY, May 2013

CUNY Chapbook Festival, New York, NY, May 2013

East Bay Poetry Summit, Oakland, CA, May 2013

Painted Bride Quarterly Reading, Philadelphia, PA, March 2013

The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s, New York, NY, January 2013

Residencies, Awards & Honors

Resident Artist, PLAYA, Summer Lake, OR, 2018

Alternate, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, 2018

Franklinstein, Best Non-Fiction Books of 2016, Entropy Magazine

Resident Fellow, Saltonstall Foundation Artists Residency, Ithaca, NY, 2015

Finalist, Slope Editions Book Prize, judged by Douglas Kearney, 2015

Nominee, Pushcart Prize, 2014

Finalist, 2002 National Poetry Series for 248 mgs., a panic picnic

Winner, Hopwood Award for Poetry, University of Michigan, 1993

Poetry Conferences & Talks

Poetry workshop leader, Stenton House, Philadelphia, PA, March 2018      

Class visit, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, November 2017

“Documentary Poetry,” a panel at Gemini Ink Writer’s Conference, San Antonio, TX

Class visit, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Class visit, University of California, San Marcos

Co-programmer, Behind Our Masks: A Queer Writers Conference, Lambda Literary Foundation, 1997