In an interview at the University of Pennsylvania, Susan Stewart said that her primary goal as a poet is “to get people to read more slowly, and to reread, and to read a whole book and go back to the beginning of the book and see connections.” Her writing can be startlingly clear, while at the same time—in the words of the MacArthur Foundation, on the occasion of presenting her with a “Genius Award”—it makes “strange and disorienting that which we usually take to be familiar and of common sense.”

Among her books of poetry are Red Rover (2008), The Forest (1995), and Columbarium (2003), a National Book Critics Circle Award winner. She is the co-translator of works by Euripides and Scipione, and the author of several books that critically examine form, culture, aesthetics, representation, and poetry, including Crimes of Writing, Nonsense, The Open Studio, and Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, which received both the Christian Gauss and Truman Capote awards for literary criticism in 2002. Stewart has received fellowships from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Guggenheim Foundation as well as two grants from the NEA.