Research Areas

Arts and Public Policy; Poetry; Mixed Media Installation; Medical Humanities; Occupational Segregation 


M.F.A., Warren Wilson College

B.A., University of Michigan


Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Personal Web Page

On Equal Terms Project and blog

Interview, Progressive Radio

Colorlines review, On Equal Terms

Susan Eisenberg

Susan Eisenberg

Susan Eisenberg

A poet, multidisciplinary artist, policy analyst, public speaker and educator, Susan Eisenberg re-imagines the everyday, playing with scale and juxtaposition to investigate issues of power and social policy. Working within and across genres, she has two touring art exhibitions, “On Equal Terms” and “Perpetual Care,” and is author of the poetry collections, Perpetual Care (forthcoming), Blind Spot and Pioneering, and the nonfiction, We’ll Call You If We Need You: Experiences of Women Working Construction, a New York Times Notable Book. Susan entered the construction industry in 1978, becoming one of the first women in the country to achieve journey-level status as a union electrician. She helped shape the cultural expression and analytical thinking of the tradeswomen’s movement nationally and internationally. Currently, she directs the On Equal Terms Project, that links touring the mixed-media installation, On Equal Terms, with programs that advance initiatives toward economic justice. Her work has been awarded grants from the Berger-Marks Foundation, Mass Humanities, Poets & Writers, the 21st Century ILGWU Heritage Fund and three writing fellowship at Hedgebrook. Susan taught creative writing for more than a decade at University of Massachusetts Boston, and works with students of all ages to develop tools for self-expression.

Current Projects

Susan’s projects focus on employment equity and patient-centered medical care. The On Equal Terms Project uses art, witness, historic artifacts, and research to advance public conversation and action about occupational segregation in skilled trades. Through poetry, visual arts and workshops, Perpetual Care encourages more open conversation about serious chronic illness, with particular focus on relationship dynamics in treatment/healing. 

Representative Publications

Eisenberg, Susan. On Equal Terms, a touring mixed media art installation. Exhibitions: Clemente Soto Velez Center, NYC (2013); Main Gallery, Michigan State University Museum (2012); Curry College (2012); Adams Gallery, Suffolk University (2009); Kniznick Gallery, Brandeis University (2008).

Eisenberg, Susan. We’ll Call You If We Need You: Experiences of Women Working Construction. Ithaca: Cornell, 1998.