Susan McLean

X ≠ Y

Mr. di Zerega, whose claim
on the first day of tenth-grade math
that "boys are smarter than girls" became
the road map for my present path,

to prove his point asked who knew who
McAdam was. I did, in fact.
What's aggregate? I knew that, too--
as well as that his deck was stacked.

Winning, I knew I'd also lost.
Infinite possibility
was mine no longer. I had crossed
into a region closed to me,

where every step was blocked or mined.
Nothing I did could change his scorn
of me and all my lesser kind.
Feminists are made, not born.


"You're a holiday."--The Bee Gees

One month from when you met me, when you brought
the first of many gifts, a 45
of plaintive praise and longing, who'd have thought
that forty-five years later we'd survive
on weekends, holidays, and summer breaks,
a foretaste of the end in every start,
anticipation ballasted with aches
as we put love on hold and live apart?

You are a holiday. The working week
unspools like toilet paper from a roll.
My attitude goes airborne when we speak,
and when we meet, my heart swoops like a shoal
of fish. Would we have lost this giddy glow,
living together? Better not to know.


Susan McLean is a professor of English at Southwest Minnesota State University. She is the recent winner of the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, and her book The Whetstone Misses the Knife, selected by Dick Davis, will be launched at the twentieth-anniversary West Chester University Poetry Conference. Her poems have appeared in Per Contra, Blue Unicorn, Lighten Up Online, Light, and the European Journal of International Law. A book of her translations of 503 epigrams by the Latin poet Martial will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 2014.


Melissa Balmain
Judith Barrington
Meredith Bergmann
Jane Blanchard
Cally Conan-Davies
Barbara Lydecker Crane
Mary Cresswell
Rebekah Curry
Anna Evans
Marcene Gandolfo
Claudia Gary
Gwen Hart
A. J. Huffman
Kathryn Jacobs
Geneva Kachman
Joan Mazza
Susan McLean
Sally Nacker
Janice D. Soderling
A. M. Thompson
Cara Valle
Marly Youmans
Seree Zohar


>We are pleased to announce that Anne-Marie Thompson is the recipient of the Mezzo Cammin scholarship at the West Chester University Poetry Conference and Wendy Sloan is the recipient of The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project scholarship.

Judith Schaecter: I found the beauty of stained glass to be the perfect counterpoint to ugly and difficult subjects. Although the figures I work with are supposed to be ordinary people doing ordinary things, I see them as having much in common with the old medieval windows of saints and martyrs. They seem to be caught in a transitional moment when despair becomes hope or darkness becomes inspiration. They seem poised between the threshold of everyday reality and epiphany, caught between tragedy and comedy.

My work is centered on the idea of transforming the wretched into the beautiful--say, unspeakable grief, unbearable sentimentality or nerve wracking ambivalence, and representing it in such a way that it is inviting and safe to contemplate and captivating to look at. I am at one with those who believe art is a way of feeling ones feelings in a deeper, more poignant way.

I would describe my process as derived almost entirely from traditional techniques in use for centuries. The imagery is predominantly engraved into layers of glass; only the black and yellow are painted and fired on in a kiln. The pieces are soldered together in a copperfoil and lead matrix.
32 Poems
The Academy of American Poets
The Atlantic
The Christian Science Monitor
The Cortland Review
Favorite Poem Project
The Frost Place
The Iowa Review
Light Quarterly
Modern American Poetry
The Poem Tree
Poetry Daily
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Raintown Review
String Poet
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Verse Daily
Women's Poetry Listserv
The Yale Review

Bread Loaf
Poetry by the Sea


Barefoot Muse Press
David Robert Books
David R. Godine Press
Graywolf Press
Headmistress Press
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Louisiana State University Press
Northwestern Univ Press
Ohio Univ Press
Persea Books
Red Hen Press
Texas Tech Univ Press
Tupelo Press
Univ of Akron Press
Univ of Arkansas Press
Univ of Illinois Press
Univ of Iowa Press
Waywiser Press
White Violet Press

City Lights
Grolier Poetry Bookshop
Joseph Fox Bookshop
Prairie Lights
Tattered Cover Bookstore

92nd Street Y
Literary Mothers
Poets & Writers