Poet, editor, playwright, and novelist Susan Firestone Hahn was born and raised in and around Chicago. She earned a BA and MA in psychology from Northwestern University and trained as an art therapist at the Gestalt Institute of Chicago before turning her attention to poetry.
Hahn has published numerous poetry collections, including Harriet Rubin’s Mother’s Wooden Hand (1991); Incontinence (1993), winner of the Society of Midland Authors Award; Holiday (2001) and Mother In Summer (2002), both included in Chicago Tribune's Best Books of 2002; and The Scarlet Ibis (2007). The Scarlet Ibis was also performed as a verse play in 2007 and reprised in 2008. Her first play, Golf, premiered in Chicago in 2005. Her first novel, The Six Granddaughters of Cecil Slaughter, was published in 2012. She is the inaugural writer-in-residence (2013-2014) at the Hemingway Foundation in Oak Park Illinois.
In a review of Hahn’s poetry collection Confession (1997) for Booklist, Patricia Monaghan noted, “Hahn’s self-revelation is so startling, and her details so extraordinary, that she virtually detonates her poems with energy.” Hahn’s precise, lyrical work, which is described by some critics as neo-confessional, often explores family, sexuality, and loss.
Hahn has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council, as well as Poetry’s George Kent Prize and two Pushcart Prizes. She edited the literary journal TriQuarterly from 1997 until the shuttering of its print publication in 2010. Hahn lives in Winnetka, Illinois.