Poetry is my first love

My poems moves in and out of personal, ethnographic, and autotheoretical modes, exploring themes of embodiment, motherhood, relationship to place, and human connection.


They often find her undressed

in just the skin of her sound

petticoats wet with the rivulets

that run down her sentences

like sand

slip underground

From ‘grain of her voice’ (Wardell 2019)

Are you writing this tree

to the exclusion of the world?

Or does the world writhe and bud

from its dark yearly pods; a politics

of birth and rot, consuming green rain

shifting daylights…

From ‘Enough’ (Wardell , forthcoming)

Read Susan’s poems online…

The Museum of Trees

In Cordite (2020)

Sunday call me a squid

In Cordite (2019)

4 x poems

In A Fine Line (2019)

Red Carpet Interview

In Not Very Quiet (2019)

All the trees

In Plumwood Mountain (2019)

Little ‘berg in the Big City

In Not Very Quiet (2019)


On the Given Words blog (2020)

Plastique in Brazil

In Not Very Quiet (2019)

Three songs to rain, translated by a kōwhai tree

In Plumwood Mountain (2020)

Also find Susan’s poems in…

Ko Aotearoa Tatou (Anthology)

Poem: “Fill-in family Pop Quiz” (2020)

Takahe 94

2x Poems: “A nice cafe” and “Tūrangawaewae” (2018)


Poem: “Southern//Cross” (2021)

Landfall 235

Poem: “Grain of her Voice” (2018)

Haumi ē, Hui ē, Taiki ē – Stay Well Here (NZPS anthology)

Poem: “The Glass Teacher” (2020)

Mayhem 9

3 x Poems: “Everywoman I have ever known lives by the sea”, “Scent”, and “In this way I give birth to my mother” (2021)

Landfall 239

Poem: “High Country Hallelujah” (2020)

The Perfect Weight of Blankets at Night

Poem: “A selection of papers translated from birdsong” (2019)

Takahe 92

Poem: “What Yellow Means” (2018)

Anthropology and Humanism

3x Poems: “Fingeryeyes”; “Social Scripts”; “Flow” (2021)