Poet and writer Susan Wheeler earned a BA at Bennington College and did graduate work in Art History at the University of Chicago. Her first poetry collection, Bag o' Diamonds
won the Norma Faber First Book Award. The Village Voice Literary Supplement
described that book as displaying “
limber intelligence and visual wit ... with influences including John Berryman
, Wallace Stevens
, John Ashbery
, and the Language poets;”
the reviewer noted that Wheeler “
risks echoing everybody while sounding like no one.”
Wheeler's work is noted for its sonic and lyric intensity, surrealist imagery, use of pop culture, pastiche, and non seuqitur, as well as its playful relationship to received form. According to literary critic Majorie Perloff, “
Wheeler is that rare thing among poets, a genuine cultural critic; her poems use image and allusion with such exactitude that we see the things around us—
from pop tarts to polyvinylled toilet seats—
as if for the first time.”
Other collections include Smokes
(1998), selected by Robert Hass for the Four Way Book Prize and a featured selection of the Poetry Book of the Month Club; Source Codes
(2005), which won the Iowa Poetry Prize; Assorted Poems
(2009); and Meme
(2012), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her novel, Record Palace
(2005) won high praise for its atmospheric portrayal of Chicago and deft blending of coming-of-age narrative with noir.
Wheeler has won numerous awards and honors for her work, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has received the Boston Review
Poetry Award, the Robert D. Richardson Award for Non-Fiction from the Denver Quarterly,
and a Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has taught in writing programs at the New School, New York University, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and Columbia University. Wheeler is currently Associate Professor and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.
Educator and poet. Art Institute of Chicago, director of public programs and information, 1981-85; freelance editor and writer, 1983-91; director of public affairs arts and sciences, New York University, 1989-95; Vermont Council on the Arts, CETA writer and instructor, 1977-78; School of the Art Institute of Chicago, instructor, 1984-85; Poets in Public Service, New York City, instructor, 1989-91; New School for Social Research, instructor, 1994-, core faculty member (SIC), MFA in creative writing program, 1996-2006; Rutgers University, instructor, 1995-96; New York University, instructor, 1997-98; Princeton University, visiting lecturer, 1999-2010; University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, visiting professor, 2000; Columbia University, visiting professor, 2004; New York University, visiting instructor 2006-2008; Princton University, associate professor, 2010-; Princeton University, director creative writing program, 2011-
- Bag o' Diamonds (poetry), University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 1993.
- Smokes (poetry), Four Way Books (New York, NY), 1998.
- Source Codes, Salt (Cambridge & Perth, UK), 2001.
- Ledger, Iowa University Press (Iowa City, IA), 2005.
- Assorted Poems, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2009.
- Meme, Iowa University Press (Iowa City, IA), 2012.
- Record Palace, Graywolf Press (St. Paul, MN), 2005.
Contributor to anthologies and journals, including American Hybrid,
2010; American Poets of the 21st Century,
2007; The Best American Poetry,
1988, 1991, 1993, 1996, 2005; Extraordinary Tide,
2001; Roth's Poetry Annual,
1990; New Yorker; Witness; Chelsea; Paris Review,
- Bloomsbury Review,January, 1995, p. 20.
- Boston Review,summer, 1998.
- Chicago Review,Volume 46, number 1, p. 164.
- English Journal,April 13, 1998, p. 94.
- Poetry Review,Volume 88, number 1, p. 4.
- Publishers Weekly,May 25, 1998; March 26, 2001, p. 85.
- Rain Taxi Review of Books,Volume 3, number 4, p. 1.
- Voice Literary Supplement,April, 1994, p. 14.
- Yale Review, Volume 87, number 1, p. 149.
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