Nov 20, 2018
Susan Rukeyser describes
herself as 'difficult company at the cookie swap'. She's aware that
she doesn't like the things your supposed to like and talks about
the things you're not supposed to talk about. Which is why, after
growing up in Connecticut, it was so hard to find her people living
in places like Georgia and Texas.
About eight years ago, visiting
family in Los Angeles, Susan decided to see what was east of the
city and drove to Desert Hot Springs. She found out there was 'some
kind of park' in a place called Joshua Tree and took a drive up.
In this episode, she describes
getting high as a kite on the sunshine and the place just feeling
like 'home'. But, with a son in a good school in Georgia, it
would be eight years before Susan could make the leap to make it
her home. In the meantime, she'd make short trips out, basking in
that sunshine, living like a local and re-opening her creativity.
When she did finally move, the first day she drove up to her new
home, a chuckwala greeted her, but, was
never to be seen again.
Moving here knowing no one -
like more of us than you might think - Susan was grateful to find a
poetry reading event at a local bookstore on Facebook. She showed
up that evening and left feeling she had met her
The idea for her book,
'Feckless Cunt: A Feminist
Anthology' was borne of Samatha Bee using the
term to insult the sitting president's daughter. Susan felt she had
lots of feelings, but no words, around the state of our nation and
put a call out to her network of writer friends to contribute. That
was June, 2018. The months after that were full of choosing the
works and formatting for self-publishing. In September 2018, Susan
was arranging for open readings of the book in Los Angeles,
Philadelphia, here at home in Joshua Tree and in the Hudson Valley
of upstate New York - very near where Susan had operated a used
bookstore in nearby Kingston years before. It felt like she'd come
Susan is also the author of
'Not on File, Only Dying' and a chapbook, produced by local Joshua
Tree Space Cowboy Books, called 'Swap/Meet'.