Susan Quist
Novelist, Poet, Security Guard

Baggy Blue Jumpsuit Worn by the Author when she was employed as the First Female Weatherization Technician in the State of Ohio.



Let's just say, Susan Quist is a one-of-a-kind writer. That's true at this point. And here are a few reasons why:

legal secretary
street peddler
welfare mother
farm reporter
newspaper editor
aide to the elderly
traveling hardware salesperson (barn to barn)
security guard riding shotgun on an armored truck
poet-in-the-schools (Pennsylvania & South Carolina)
housepainter -- crew chief
weatherization technician
general manager of a chamber orchestra
writing teacher
photo researcher
tenant advocate
closed caption writer
fundraising consultant

Given ALL these fascinating distractions and more (like, 30 moves -- east, west, north and south), I somehow managed to complete and publish: one novel for adults (hardcover & paperback); one poetry collection (an edition of 25,000); one short story; one book review; one film review; one series of photo essays for an art museum catalogue.

Nope -- I just remembered. I've published TWO short stories. The first was published in The Terrace Park Bulldog when I was 11 years old and won second prize in the local high school writing contest. The second was published in Ms. while I was employed as a housepainter out in Denver.

Did I choose to be a housepainter out in Denver? No. One day I interviewed for three jobs: fundraiser for the Denver Art Museum, housepainter, and cocktail waitress. I had a kid to support and took the first job I was offered. I changed clothes in the car and thought it was funny, how you can change roles with a change of clothes.

A few years later I completed an investigative report on global ozone depletion for the U.S. Senate.

Now there's more work in the works -- more poetry, novels for grownups and stories for kids, a play, a film script, a book of creative non-fiction.

In the meantime, if you like Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Grace Paley, Nellie Bly, Lenny Bruce, chances are you'll like my work.

Confessions of the Lone Ranger
Ms. Magazine, April 1980

"This title arrived out of a clear blue sky. It isn't every day you see something like that written in the heavens. Hoping it was a message from god, I watched and waited..."

NOTE: When this story appeared on newstands,
I was employed as a housepainter out in Denver.


I am still in the afterglow of reading Susan Quist’s Indecent Exposure...

James Reidel
Under Exposure: A Note on the Work of Susan Quist

on the way to the clap clinic
I stepped across a smoldering
molotov cocktail. . .

Selected Works

Susan Quist “put the wiz in wisdom.” Charles Bukowski
Short Story
Inspired by Lenny Bruce and Mel Brooks, this drop-dead funny story made the cover of Ms. Magazine.
"Not the dull chronology of life, but rather its essence made real--this is what Susan Quist gives us... Jerome Klinkowitz
Collected Poetry
"A terrible title for such a tender and funny collection of good poems...I hope there will be many more." Kurt Vonnegut.

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