Susan Azar Porterfield

Even Poets Question Themselves

Apr 15, 2015
Carl Nelson

Am I a fraud?

It’s the question most every poet asks … a “look in the mirror under florescent lights” kind of thing, a scrutiny fueled by fear and courage.

If you’re a poet, and you haven’t pondered your own authenticity, don’t get cocky. You will. Self-interrogation is part of the art. But there’s hope.

When you’re under that blinding bulb, tied to a chair and sweating, remember why you wrote that first magical poem. The real one.

Susan Azar Porterfield

Apr 14, 2015
Carl Nelson

Susan Azar Porterfield is the author of the poetry collection Kibbe.

Recently two of her poems were accepted for publication in the prestigious Barrow Street literary journal. 

A Professor Emerita of English at Rockford University, she also edited Zen, Poetry, the Art of Lucien Stryk collecting works of the former Northern Illinois University faculty member, Fulbright lecturer, poet and translator.

Dan Klefstad

Poet Susan Azar Porterfield remembers meeting a Syrian family in Beirut. She was visiting Lebanon during a period of peace, in 2003.

The Syrians were brand new parents and allowed Porterfield to hold their infant.

"They were very sweet," she says. "And the baby was adorable."

She doesn't know where the family is today; they were from Aleppo, the site of intense fighting between government troops and rebels.