Prize Winner Selected by Patrick Lawler.
poetry has appeared in Poetry, Iowa Review,
TriQuarterly, The American Scholar, The Madison Review, and Crab
Orchard Review. Her first poetry book, The Mean Days (2001)
was published by Tia Chucha Press and won the Posner Book Award from
the Council for Wisconsin Writers. A recipient of a Wallace Stegner
Fellowship at Stanford University and a Wisconsin Arts Board
Individual Artist’s grant, Cusac was for ten years an editor
and investigative reporter for The Progressive magazine.
Her investigative reporting there won several awards, including
the prestigious George Polk Award. She is a professor in Communication
at Roosevelt University and a contributing writer for The Progressive. Cruel
and Unusual (Yale
University Press, 2009) is her new nonfiction book.
press kit here.
on Levertov in Jacket magazine
Levertov was my teacher from 1989—1991. So, even if my country
were not at war, I would still think of the many lessons she taught,
and a few
I resisted. But I would not find myself considering, over and again,
the challenge and problem Levertov left for politically engaged poets
tasks of acting responsibly and also writing poetry when one is a citizen
of a powerful nation with a history of forcing acts of war upon weaker
and their peoples. These were tasks Levertov faced with courage, urgency,
and probably great heartache."