"Susan Sindall's poems are surprising and lilting, and deeply moving; these poems give thanks even to her glasses: 'lens edges/ throw back into me/ whatever light they can.' But this poet does not deny the experience of suffering. She does not cease to question. What's Left is a complex and wonderful book."
Susan Sindall's life in poetry was preceded by years of activity in another art. After graduating from the Dance Division of the Juilliard School of Music in 1960, she went home to Cambridge MA for the summer and started teaching Modern Dance in the gym of her old high school.
She performed with Mary Anthony, Eve Gentry, and others while teaching children and adults in the greater New York area. The 92nd Street YM-YWHA served as her professional home where she became Director of the Children's Dance Department.
As she watched her students interact, then saw their personalities similarly expressed in improvisation and choreography, she began to study Laban Movement Analysis, which teaches the observational skills and vocabulary to better understand such movement transformations.
She had always loved the sleek feel of a pen in her hand, writing journals and a few short stories; but intense experiences now seemed to require other uses of language: a more musical arrangement of words. Her work within movement metaphor flowed into what became poems.
She continued teaching dance at Manhattanville College, SUNY New Paltz, The Lincoln Center Institute, and the Laban Institute of Movement Studies, which she had co-founded, but in 1985 she retired to concentrate on writing.
Jean Valentine was a wonderful first teacher, as were Robert Bly and Michael Burkard. A fortunate member of Galway Kinnell's workshop at New York University, she graduated Magna cum Laude in 1994 from a free-wheeling Gallatin Division banquet of Old English, Chaucer, and Art History.
Her poems were slowly appearing in journals. She was again teaching children--this time as a poet in the schools. She won residencies at colonies (see Publications and Awards).
After two summer workshops with Ellen Bryant Voigt, Susan Sindall entered the Warren Wilson Program for Writers and earned her MFA in 2003. The intellectual energy, stringent demands, and support of that program continue to nourish her poems.
She lives in the Hudson Valley with her composer husband, whom she met at Juilliard. Their son and daughter, with spouses and two grandsons, often visit.
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