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

Susan Eisenberg, is a poet, visual artist, and oral historian, who works within and across genres. First introduced to the craft of poetry by Denise Levertov, she taught creative writing for a decade at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is author of four poetry collections— most recently Perpetual Care—as well as the nonfiction New York Times Notable Book, We’ll Call You If We Need You: Experiences of Women Working Construction, optioned by MGM. 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.. A 35-year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Among the first women in the country to become a licensed union electrician, she has spoken about employment equity at the International Labour Organization in Geneva and the US Department of Labor in Washington DC. On Equal Terms, her 900-square-foot installation combining poetry with 3-D mixed media, audio, photography, found objects, and artifacts, has been exhibited in galleries in Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York. As the 2016–2017 Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist at the University of Michigan, she will bring On Equal Terms into a virtual format. She gives poetry readings, talks, and art exhibitions that explore the patient’s experience of the medical system.

Current Projects

Susan’s projects focus on employment equity and patient-centered medical care. She is developing a virtual exhibition of On Equal Terms, using art, witness, and research to advance public conversation and action about occupational segregation in construction and utility industries. Through poetry, visual arts and workshops, Perpetual Care opens conversation about the medical system experience in chronic illness. 

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. Perpetual Care. Boston: Third Rail, 2016. Poetry book with fine art photographs exploring chronic illness.