well-being, creativity, & community
Several years ago, I made a promise for the world: well-being, self-expression, and community for all people by 2020. Then the real 2020 showed up, with Covid 19 sending us all into quarantine. By May there were 100,000 casualties.
Then an unarmed black man, George Floyd, was murdered by police in Minneapolis. All over the world, people protested, as the demand for racial justice and equality far surpassed the fear of Covid 19. Racism was an even more deadly virus, and people were sick of it, protesting night after night, people of all ages and races becoming a community to affirm “Black Lives Matter.”
Back in 2016, as our nation entered this increasingly fragile time, my husband was becoming infirm. I was about to become a widow. Best I could do was stay sober, be a caregiver, pray and write poems. Sometimes God answers prayer with poems, using our gifts for His glory. These poems on racism, sexism, homophobia, white privilege, social injustice, loss and trauma are my testimony and prophesy for these days.
Article for your consideration:
Say Something & Do Something:
Suicide Prevention, For Friends Helping Friends
This article will train readers to recognize danger signs and intervene effectively when a friend or roommate is in danger of self-harm. Readers will learn three strategies to help a friend at risk: 1) practice reflective listening and compassionate neutrality; 2) form a safety plan; 3) carry out the plan by communicating effectively with family members and institutional helpers. With this training, readers will learn how to advocate for peers, and create a safety net for suicide prevention that will benefit their entire community.…READ MORE
In Pilgrim Drag
In Pilgrim Drag, forthcoming in September 2020 from Finishing Line Press can be pre-ordered here.
Pramila Venkateswaran, Suffolk County Poet Laureate 2013-2015, wrote of In Pilgrim Drag, “As we witness the poet confronting her history of whiteness, her personal losses, the injustice of the marginalized, and undertakes her journey of transformation, we are shocked with her into amazement at human fragility, the violence of faith, the awe-inspiring beauty of love and the “spirit bell” of ancient stone. Dingle’s superb lines resonate with us long after we have read her poems.”
Order Parting Gifts (published by Local Gems, January 2020) from the author through this website.
Of Parting Gifts, Julie Sheehan (Thaw; Orient Point; Bar Book) said, “When Susan Dingle gets her “Hallelujah ride” going, her sentences wrap around her lines with the jazzy grace of a preacher. This poet comes to praise, whether in a state pain or bliss, whether writing about illness and death, a magnolia bush, or the view during a walk where “houses unfold like accordion pleats / above the distant river." Even the morphine given to a dying beloved “shoots…like Christmas lights bubble bright colors.” With visions of such verve, how can we not join her song?”
In The News
Learn more about Susan Dingle
• Community Organizer
• Therapist in private practice
• Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
• Credentialed Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC)
POETRY IN THE COMMUNITY
• Commissioned to write poem for the 375th Anniversary of the First Presbyterian Church of Southold, 2015
• Created Poetry Street with Robert A. Brown, 2014
• M.C. and Host of Poetry Street on the Road
• Selected as JumpstART artist by East End Arts, 2014
• Presented poems for communities at the National Museum of the Marines, Vietnam War Memorial Traveling Wall at Calverton Memorial Cemetery, VFW at Shelter Island, Church of Living Water, First Baptist Church of Riverhead, East End Arts School, Cutchogue-New Suffolk Free Library
• Performed one woman show of spoken word poetry at The Brick Church, NYC, and at Poet’s House, LI. and in salon performances in NYC and Long Island
• Debuted as one of “Four Young Chicago Poets” introduced by Paul Carroll at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, 1970.
WORKSHOPS, PRESENTATIONS AND TEACHING
• “Writing for Recovery” workshops at Long Island Center for Recovery
• Mentor for East End Arts JumpstART Program, 2015.
• Presenter at national conferences: AWP (Associated Writing Programs), 2015; Expressive Therapies Summit) 2014, 2015
• Taught writing at Colgate University, 1971-1974.
• Editor and co-author of The Poetry of Well-Being, a collection of poems, with Maggie Bloomfield LCSW CASAC and Nina Yavel LCSW.
• Lead writer/editor, Guidance Everyday, Vol I and II (Grades K-3; 4-6), with Director of Guidance and Office of Student Progress. Published by the Office of Curriculum Development, New York City Board of Education, 1986.
• Articles and Reviews in Parents Magazine, Collection, the Brooklyn Phoenix, United Press International, Freshman English News.
• 1971-1976: poems in the American Poetry Review, Partisan Review, Feminist Studies, Liberation, audit/poetry, Vortex, Carleton Miscellany, the Ohio Review; and in Beacon Press anthology For Neruda, For Chile, edited by Walter Lowenfels.
• MSW. School Of Social Welfare, SUNY Stony Brook University, 2008.
• M.A. in Creative Writing, University of Illinois at Chicago.
• B.A. in English, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.
This website is a collaboration with designer Mick Wieland.
The source for my promise is “Health & Happiness for Humanity” (H&H4H), an international group of nine independent consultants in healthcare and well-being. We have collaborated since 2008, and have presented our work at international conferences.
I also acknowledge and thank my fellow poets, artists, therapists and friends: Steve Alpert, Michael Anania, Roni Berger, Maggie Bloomfield, Robert A. Brown, Rev. Charles Coverdale, Mark Doty, Diane Giardi, Russ Green, Shawn Hamilton, Diane Johnson, Gayle Johnson, Rev. Peter Kelley, Karen Malcomson, Terri Muuss, Matt Pasca, Vijay Seshadri, Jane Shannon, Julie Sheehan, Pat Snyder, Mary Jane Tenerelli, Nina Yavel; JumpstART artists Caitlin Shea, Miranda Gatewood, Jessica Valentin, Tina Folks; and many anonymous friends.
Special thanks to my husband David, my son Jake Koprowski and his wife Natalie & our United Nations of Grandchildren (Chloe, Taylor, Coby, Tanner, Myradie and Lucie), and the amazing extended family of Dingles and Carréres!