Arts and Public Policy; Poetry; Mixed Media Installation; Occupational Segregation; Medical Humanities
M.F.A., Warren Wilson College
B.A., University of Michigan
A poet, multidisciplinary artist, activist 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, 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. She has recently completed a poetry manuscript, Perpetual Care.
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 expand career opportunities for women and advance initiatives toward economic justice.
Her work has been awarded grants from Mass Humanities, Tyre, Tavris and Puffin Foundations, and two writing fellowship at Hedgebrook. Susan taught creative writing for more than a decade at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and works with students of all ages to develop tools for self-expression.
Susan’s projects focus on employment equity and patient-centered medical care. She writes a Move the Decimal Point blog and directs the On Equal Terms Project, using art, witness and historic elements for public conversation and action about occupational segregation. Through poetry, visual arts, essays and workshops, she encourages a more open conversation about serious chronic illness.
Eisenberg, Susan. “On Equal Terms: Women in Construction and Skilled Trades,” a touring mixed media art installation. Exhibitions: Main Gallery, Michigan State University Museum (2012); Curry College (2012); Adams Gallery, Suffolk University (2009); Kniznick Gallery, Brandeis University (2008).
Eisenberg, Susan. “Caution: Women at Work.” The Progressive 75.9 (September 2011): 26-29.