Book Overview



Who wrote these poems—and why? Poetry has always been in Susan’s writings, filled with emotion, diversity, intensity, and whimsy. It reflects her searches for both her Irish and Jewish heritages, her Quaker involvement, and her love of Washington, D.C., where she has lived for more than fifty years. A political science major at Wellesley, she edited a book on Irish politics in Boston when in graduate school at Boston University. Eventually, she came to D.C. as an international affairs management intern—a program at which she met her husband on the first day.


After the riots in D.C. that followed Rev. Martin Luther King’s death, she stayed in D.C., and began to work on black-white relations. At Mayor Marion Barry’s request, she became the city’s first patient advocate for all D.C. residents seeking help with their substance abuse problems.


As an urban pioneer, with a husband and two children, she worked with and wrote poetry with some of D.C.’s best poets, including Sterling Brown, Gaston Neal, and Nap Turner. Mayor Barry asked her to write and read one of her poems to over three thousand people at his third inaugural. Poetry helped her become an easily accepted person on both sides of the Anacostia River. At seventy-eight, she remains an enthusiast for D.C. statehood.