By Susanna Childress and Caroline Triscik

In Awareness and Wonder: An Interview with Susanna Childress

“I really want to be aware of how much wonder and strangeness and brokenness is around us. I find myself in awe so much. Poetry is a way to explore those things.” — Susanna Childress

Listen in as WAP associate Caroline Triscik interviews author, poet, and professor Susanna Childress about her journey into tenured faculty position, her personal griefs along the way, and her strategies for retaining her sense of joy and wonder.

"I first met Susanna Childress in my mid-twenties at the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College. I’m not entirely sure how I ended up attending the session where she did a reading from her first volume of poetry, Jagged with Love, but I do remember immediately connecting with her exploration of ideas like forgiveness, love, and longing for God and others. Nearly 15 years later, we sit down to talk about some of the most significant experiences in her current season of life — including the gifts and challenges of life as a woman in academia, the grief of miscarriage, and being present with suffering and sorrow.
"Listen in on our conversation as Susanna offers her thoughts on finding wonder and awe in the midst of everyday life in her roles as an English professor and a mother. Susanna shares her intensely personal story of the loss of her third son late in the second trimester of pregnancy as well as her journey of navigating that grief while in the interview process for tenure — and the gift of entering into sorrow and suffering together."

— Caroline Triscik

You can listen on iTunes or at All Shall Be Well: Conversations with Women in the Academy and Beyond. We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did.

Links mentioned in this interview: 

About the Author

Susanna Childress writes short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She authored poetry volumes Jagged with Love and Entering the House of Awe and a forthcoming collection of essays, Extremely Yours. She earned her Master's degree at University of Texas at Austin, her PhD at Florida State, and held a Lilly Fellows Postdoc at Valparaiso University. Currently she teaches at Hope College and lives with her family in Holland, Michigan.

Caroline served with InterVarsity since 2002 as a campus staff member in northwest Indiana and most recently in central Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor’s degree in English with a focus on creative writing from Purdue University in 2002 and holds a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling from Messiah College. Caroline, her husband, and their three children live in “the sweetest place on earth,” otherwise known as Hershey, Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she likes to read, discover new music, and attempt to train her exuberant Labrador retriever, Pax. Caroline is a clinical mental health counselor and a former associate with Women in the Academy and Professions.

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