Prof. Maxine Susman



Department of English &



Writing Across the Curriculum

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Office: Room 4140, Visceglie Arts Center
Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday 2-3, Tuesday & Thursday 11-12, and by appointment.
Campus Extension: 3630

E-mail Address 

Professional Information: 


Ph.D., English, Cornell University

M.A., English, Cornell University

B.A., English, Barnard College

 Courses Taught: 

SC 363 Ethnic Literature and Culture of the United States (Scholars)

EN 207 Global Literature

EN 306 English Literature

EN 409 Modern Poetry

EN 411 Contemporary Poetry

EN 410 Capstone Seminar

EN 210 Introduction to Poetry

EN 111 Literary Types and Themes


Professional and Creative Affiliations: 


New Jersey College English Assn.

 US 1 Poets Cooperative

Caldwell Poets                                                                                                                                                                 Cool Women (Poetry Performance Group)

College Service Committees:


Scholars Committee

Women's Studies Advisory Board

Faculty Development Committee

Writing Across the Curriculum


Helpful Literary Links:

Voice of the Shuttle

Princeton Public Library

Cool Women Poets     

MLA This will save you hours of frustration when you prepare a research paper!





Poetry Background:

My work appears in several dozen literary journals and anthologies, including The Dogwood Journal, Runes, Poet Lore, Alehouse, US 1 Worksheets, The Paterson Literary Review, Journal of New Jersey Poets, NJ College English Notes, Ekphrasis, Earth's Daughters, Blueline, and Home Planet News.  My poems and chapbooks have been honored by the Friends of Acadia Nature Poetry contest, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, Black River Contest, and other national poetry competitions, most recently receiving Honorable Mention in the Dogwood Journal Contest affiliated with Fairfield University, and the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest (third time).


In 2008 I taught at Duksung Women’s University in Seoul, Korea, as an Exchange Professor through Caldwell, and I was 2009 Scholar-in-Residence at Passaic County College. I have published three books of poetry:  Gogama (2006), Wartime Address (2009), and Familiar (2009). I’m a member of the Caldwell Poets, US 1 Poets Cooperative in Princeton, and Cool Women, a critique/performance group, and give readings and workshops in Central Jersey.




Summoned, he’s hiked

to the distant camp,

OB bag strapped to his chest,

the predictable

not something he counts on.


She lies effaced in terror,

this baby, pounding for hours.


Let’s see, Madame.

Something’s wrong, he knows

before he’s sure, fingertips

reaching in feel – not scalp –

shoulder, agony to deliver.


Rigid, her legs wide, eyes fixed.

The child turned against her,

strange man casting inside.


His fingers probe the womb –

touch his only way to see –

try, and fail, try once more,

finally pry the shoulder free,

twist the body into place –


now she can push.

At five a.m. the baby comes.


The father, exuberant,

fussing at the stove. Fresh coffee,

bacon with eggs right from the hen,

all he’ll be paid, best he’s ever had.                                                           from Gogama (Sheltering Pines Press, 2006)



Costume at the Sejong University Museum, Seoul



The cloth head of the Empress         

in wan light stares faceless from the glass,

crowned by its “Ceremonial Hairstyle.”        

Thick black braids of other women

are woven with her own, like a pitched roof

their stiff lacquer slopes to her shoulders.


At her nape a gorgeous knob of hair

is fixed by a coral pin, exactly horizontal,

big as a dagger or calligraphy pen,

one tip carved in a lattice of peonies.


Heavy combs adorn temples and crown –

filigree, enamel, jade and other gems –

wrought into birds, flowers, butterflies

to quiver cleverly on little springs

at the merest motion of her head.                  


Beside it, her headless torso wears a robe

of gold brocade – high-waisted hanbok-style,

a broad half-bow tied over the right breast,

spread sleeves bordered in crimson, midnight blue,

deep as troughs and twice as long as arms

to lose her hands and fingers in.


A medallion, entwined dragons stitched in gold,

hangs from her neck like plate. Women’s needlework

fine as a master’s brushstrokes, emblem of the part of her

most concealed under most folds, the part

that alone matters – her womb, the treasury.


It would have taken hours to prepare

for appearance at court, she would need women

to support her progress, steps taken

beneath draped silk, in curled embroidered shoes.                                                     published in Ekphrasis Journal     


Fleeing Paris

June 13, 1940


Our Peugeot crawls. An endless column.

People on foot lug children,

suitcases, baby buggies, loaded carts.

We flee by inches. Somewhere ahead

Paul drives the Senator’s car.


Megaphones blare from buses

forcing their way the wrong direction,

Return to Paris, the Soviets join the Allies!

Truth? Lies?

Klaxons, shouts –

snarled cars, frantic pedestrians –

some turn back into oncoming traffic –


stukas scream over – that human scream –

we jump into ditches,

hundreds of us flat against the ground.

By late afternoon I just drive on,

hot, blind from the glaring windscreen,

must concentrate or hit someone.


Marie cries out. I turn and look.

Clouds of black smoke over Paris.                                                                                    from Wartime Address (Pudding House Press, 2009)                                                                    











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