A Different Wakeful Animal available June 2016 from Red Dragonfly Press

THROAT SINGING, available March 2012 from poetry publisher Word Tech's Cherry Grove Collections

Tarcher/Penguin -- March,2009

Finishing Line Press -- March, 2009

Unfinished Monument Press 2005


I'm a journalist and poet in Berkeley, California. I've been a newspaper reporter, a contributing writer to the Washington Post Magazine, and a professor in the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California.

"A Different Wakeful Animal," my second full-length book of poems, is forthcoming in 2016 from Red Dragonfly Press, which awarded it the David Martinson Meadowhawk Prize.

Word Tech/​ Cherry Grove published my first full-length book of poems, "Throat Singing," in March 2012. Please look at Poetry News on my site, or at the Cherry Grove Collections catalog for more information, and please keep an eye on my events page for readings.

News about poems from my second collection A Different Wakeful Animal:

Two poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, "The Golden Hills of California" which appeared in Redactions, and "Credo," by the California Quarterly.

"Minor Collisions" won an Atlanta Review International Publication Prize, as did "Ode to the Brown Pelican" and "Viewing Guernica in Madrid," which also was published in the Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. "Starlings" appeared in Hunger Mountain, "Night's Mouth" in the Los Angeles Review and "Full Lunar Eclipse" in Tule Review. "Death in the Face" was published in Mudfish 18, as a finalist for their national award. "Birding by Ear" and "Freefall" won the 2012 Literal Latte Poetry Prize and appear online in the Winter 2013 issue.

An earlier version of "Quiver," can be read in the Fall/​Winter 2012-3 Valparaiso Poetry Review under the title "Valentine." "Strata" (with audio) appeared in the winter 2012 issue of Able Muse as a finalist for the Able Muse Write Prize. Southern Humanities Review published "Every Minute Drove It Wilder," which also appears in the Bloomsbury Review of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry.

"Their Voices" can be found at Anderbo where Debora Greger chose it for the 2011 Anderbo Poetry Prize. "Reportorial" won the 2013 Milton Kessler Memorial Poetry Award from Harpur Palate. Greensboro Review published "Why Whales Are Poems," Sou'wester "The Milkmaid," and Salamander "In Her Eyes." "To Her Fingerprints" and "To the Brooches My Mother Wore" can be found online at Connotations Press. "We Descend" and "San Rossio Square" appear in the anthology Extinguished and Extinct (Twelve Winters Press). "If You're Reading This You May Be a Baboon" was printed in a pamphlet of Beyond Baroque contest winners and online at Canary.

Other publications include "Reading Fernando Pessoa in Portugal," and "We Bones Who Are Here," online at Blue Lyra; "To My Breath" and "Magician" in Poet Lore; "Vision" in Tar River Poetry; and "Tips on How To Become a Fossil" and "To My Shadow" in Sow's Ear Poetry Review. "Fog Week," can be read online at West Trestle Review where editors also selected it for their annual letterpress chapbook, Catenary. "After the Boston Marathon Bombing" is online at Rattle as part of their Poets Respond feature. "Describe a Holy Building" and "Tensed in Black and White" are included in the debut volume of Aeolian Harp Anthology from Glass Lyre Press.

"Normal at Any Cost" won The National Association of Science Writers 2010 Science in Society Award. One of the judges praised the book this way: "excellent and in-depth reportage, interestingly and breezily written, on an important (and to me, overlooked) medical/​scientific issue. It has pretty much everything I look for: attention to the scientific process, human interest, a strong and consistent narrative." The book, co-authored with Christine Cosgrove, was published by Tarcher/​Penguin in March, 2009, and partially funded with a book award from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

"Normal at Any Cost" was also an Editor's Pick in November, 2009, in Choice Reviews and a Women's Bioethics Bookclub selection. It is a Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009, and was among Library Journal's Best Picks of 2009 in consumer health books. The New York Times called it "irresistible."

Poems in "Throat Singing" originally appeared in Alehouse, Atlanta Review, CALYX, California Quarterly, Comstock Review, Connecticut Review, Ekphrasis, New Millenium Writings, Nimrod, Oberon, Passager, Poet Lore, Poetry East, Poetry International, Puerto del Sol, River Styx, Seattle Review, Southern Poetry Review, Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Spillway, and Tar River Poetry, as well as on the Broadsided website and Verse Daily. Some were reprinted in anthologies: Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down: An Anthology of Women's Poetry (Scarlet Tanager Books), Dogs Singing: A Tribute Anthology (Salmon Poetry), Mamas and Papas (City Works Press), Marin Poetry Center Anthology 2011, and From the Well of Living Waters (Kehilla Synagogue).

"Throat Singing," was originally titled "Dreaming on A Hard Mattress" and was a finalist for the 2010 Richard Snyder Publication Prize at Ashland Poetry Press, and for the ABZ First Book Contest.

"Finding the Sweet Spot,poems by Susan Cohen" was published by Finishing Line Press in March, 2009.

I received a Pushcart Prize nomination from poet Kim Addonizio for some of the work included in "Finding the Sweet Spot."

My profile of Dr. Abraham Verghese appeared in the January/​February 2009 Stanford Magazine, and can be read online.

"Survival," which appears in "Finding the Sweet Spot," won a New Millennium Writings Award for Best Poem in 2006.

"Two Ways," a poem from "Backstroking," was featured on Verse Daily in December, 2005.


David Martinson-Meadowhawk Prize Red Dragonfly Press; June 2016
WordTech Communications/Cherry Grove Collections;2012
Unfinished Monument Press;2005