Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Susan Hahn  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Website -- Foundation
-- Susan Hahn on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Hahn was born in Chicago by the name of Susan Firestone. She attended Highland Park High School and received her B. A. and M. A. in psychology from Northwestern University. She currently resides in Winnetka.

Biographical and Professional Information

Susan Hahn an award-winning poet, playwright and novelist. As a licensed group therapist at the Woodlawn Metal Health Center, she began incorporating writing and art into her therapy; and began to write her own work submitting her first poems to Poetry magazine. In 1997 she became Editor of Northwestern's award-winning TriQuarterly literary magazine and remained there until 2010. She was also co-founder and co-editor of TriQuarterly Books.Her first play, ''Golf'', directed by Ann Filmer, premiered in 2005 at Circle Theatre in Forest Park and her seventh book of poetry, ''The Scarlet Ibis'', was directed by Ann as a verse play in an earlier version in 2007.In 2013-2014 she was the inaugural Writer-in-Residence at the Ernest Hemingway Foundation.

Published Works

  • Harriet Rubin`s Mother`s Wooden Hand, University of Chicago Press, 1991
  • Incontinence, University of Chicago Press, 1993
  • Confession, University of Chicago Press, 1997
  • Holiday, University Of Chicago Press, 2001
  • Mother in Summer, Triquarterly, 2002
  • Self/Pity, Northwestern University Press, 2005
  • The Scarlet Ibis, Northwestern University Press, 2007
  • The Note She Left, Northwestern University Press, 2008
  • The Six Granddaughters of Cecil Slaughter, Fifth Star Press, 2012
  • Losing Beck: A Triptych, Red Hen Press, 2018

Selected Titles At Your Library

Harriet Rubin's mother's wooden hand /
ISBN: 0226313018. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 1991.

Incontinence /
ISBN: 0226312712. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 1993.

Confession /
ISBN: 0226312747. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 1997.

Collection of forty-five poems by the co-editor of TriQuarterly Books.

Holiday /
ISBN: 0226312763. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 2001.

The scarlet ibis :
ISBN: 0810151847. OCLC Number:

Northwestern University Press,. Evanston, Ill. :. 2007.

A collection of poems by Susan Hahn that use the image of the ibis to explore a wide range of topics, including slavery, ancient Egypt, individuality, and courage.

Self/pity /
ISBN: 0810151650. OCLC Number:

Northwestern University Press,. Evanston, Ill. :. 2005.

The note she left :
ISBN: 0810124874. OCLC Number:

Northwestern University Press,. Evanston, Ill. :. ©2008.

Mother in summer /
ISBN: 0810151308. OCLC Number:

TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press,. Evanston, Ill. :. 2002.

Mother in Summer is a collection of poems offering candid, powerful insight into the grief of losing a parent.

The six granddaughters of Cecil Slaughter :
ISBN: 0984651004. OCLC Number:

Fifth Star Press,. Chicago, Ill. :. 2012.

A family of Jewish Hungarian immigrants settle in Chicago in the first half of the 20th century, and rise from poverty to prosperity. Cecil Slaughter's children-- out of equal measures glorified memory and sibling rivalry-- name their daughters after him, with subtle variations: Ceci, Cecilia, Cecily, Celine, Celie, and Celeste. Despite-- or perhaps because of-- this and other familial forces pushing on them, each has a personality and direction of life distinct from her cousins.

Losing Beck :
ISBN: 1597096318. OCLC Number:

. .

"Losing Beck is the story of Jennie Silver, who is trying to get over a man who was greatly influenced by the renowned Hungarian emigre novelist Avigdor Element. Spanning a hundred years of history from when Nijinsky danced "The Afternoon of the Faun" in Paris in 1912, through World Wars I and II, to very close to the present, Jennie keeps a diary, writes a play and a novella in her attempt to control her desperate, high-pitched emotions focused on a man she is uncontrollably drawn to and at the same time finds repugnant. A man who is one of the keepers and part of the legacy of Element's bad behavior"--Provided by publisher.


  • Literary Awards and Fellowships, Illinois Arts Council
  • Award for Poetry, The Society of Midland Authors, 1994
  • George Kent Prize, Poetry Magazine, 2000
  • Fellowship in Poetry, Guggenheim Foundation, 2003-2004
  • Inaugural Writer-in-Residence,Hemingway Foundation, 2013-2014
  • Pushcart Prizes in fiction and poetry

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)