Poetry Everywhere
"I have just returned from a visit to my pier..."

Susan Firer

Call Me Pier

Susan Firer grew up in Milwaukee, where she continues to live, write, and work; she also serves as the city's poet laureate. She is the author of five books of poetry, including Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People: New & Selected Poems 1979-2007 and The Laugh We Make When We Fall, which won the Backwaters Prize. Billy Collins has said, "To read the poetry of Susan Firer is to enter a unique building constructed by the imagination, like Kubla Khan's pleasure-dome, out of the shimmering material of words." A spectrum of literary influence is evoked throughout "Call Me Pier," in which Firer takes a variety of famous lines from the likes of Whitman, Milton, Dickinson, Williams, and more, and makes them her own by replacing a word in each with "pier." This experimental technique results in a distinctly literary landscape, in which the poet both pays homage and affirms her own place. Firer is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she teaches courses in creative writing and women's studies. This animation was created by Paula Schultz, and Firer reads.

To read this and other poems by Susan Firer, as well as biographical information about the poet, please visit the Poetry Foundation Web site.