Drawing on history, myth, folk rhymes, human physiology, and the psyche's crevices, Susan Hahn's Self/Pity is a relentless journey of the self through time, into the labyrinth of the present with its own stimuli and despairs. She strikes a delicate balance of contrast and collision between the various linked poems in this collection, which all deal with birth, the body, and the soul. As with her previous collections, the poems in Self/Pity can be read as a cohesive whole. From the simple prayer ""To Jacob Four Months In The Womb"" to the complex territory of the poem sequence ""The Pornography of Pity,"" in which Mother Goose, the Marquis de Sade, Godot, Lewis Carroll's Alice, The Cat and the Fiddle, Zeus, and many others are called upon, Hahn creates a tour-de-force exploration of the book's central themes.
Susan Hahn is a poet, playwright, and the editor of TriQuarterly magazine. She is the author of five books of poetry and the recipient of many awards for her poems, including a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship. The Chicago Tribune named her fourth book, Holiday, and her fifth book, Mother in Summer, among the Best Books of 2002. Her first play will have its world premiere in February 2005.