Mapping a Life
Poems by Susan T. Moss
44 Poems ~ 74 Pages
Format: 6’’ x 9’’ ~ Perfect Bound
Publisher: Antrim House Books
ISBN: 978-1-943826-92-6
Price: $18.00
To Order: and at fine bookstores everywhere.
For a personalized copy please contact the author:


Mapping A Life is poet Susan T. Moss’s third collection of poems. At first reading, Moss’s verse is alive with exotic, even captivating experiences chronicled by a lifetime of world travel. Moss is a mature poet whose careful attention to her craft is unmistakable. These features alone, easily justify purchasing this book. However, language is layered. Yes, layered with nuanced meanings that illuminate not only “places” but more importantly, “places of the heart.” Therein lies the genius of Susan T. Moss.


The many facets of one woman’s global travels—not limited to the perceptible—have been stunningly re-created here by Susan Moss, a poet of uncommon acuity and insight. Her solitary walk across a rural path “fringed … by mushrooms and speckled stones” quickly expands into a world tour that includes a side-trip to an ancient forest she calls “time’s arboretum”—and again at a “precipice of memories,” encompassing destinations as disparate as Africa, Tokyo, and the south of Spain. Such wonders—along with affectionate glimpses of “fellow travelers” who accompany the poet from time to time—make this journey well worth taking.
—Marilyn L. Taylor, Ph.D., Wisconsin Poet Laureate, 2009-2010

Susan Moss’s vividly imagist poems embrace the flow of a richly lived life, mapping out the progression of each stage she has witnessed, from the exuberant passions of youth through the meditations of maturity leading to the wisdom we all hope to achieve, a peace that is the “still point” within ourselves. In the end, all comes down to savoring each segment of life upon the map and understanding through good times and bad that one can only find that still point if “you keep walking past the bitter stones of hope … It is in the doing, every inch inhaled” that one achieves it. This book is a gem to be held in your hands so that you can study every facet, allowing an understanding of a map of life that encompasses all of us.
—Jared Smith, author of Shadows Within the Roaring Fork and That’s How It Is

A map is not unlike a poem: It records terrain, it captures a time when, and it offers transport (by road, river, train, walking) connecting here to there, and self to former self. Moscow. The Great Wall of China. Spain. Zimbabwe. Japan. The intersection of Broadway and Devon. Susan Moss’s travels to many places shift her perspective in striking ways. In Mapping A Life, each poem embodies a place come to—new or new-again (“a familiar route / that has changed”). Through these compelling poems, an attentive wayfaring spirit unwraps her insights and her vision.
—Veronica Patterson, author of Sudden White Fan


Susan T. Moss is the author of two books of poetry: Keep Moving ’til The Music Stops (Lily Pool/Swamp Press, 2006) and In From The Dark (Antrim House, 2014). Her work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies and magazines, as well as on radio and cable. Susan has served six terms as president of Illinois State Poetry Society. She has been awarded a Vermont Studio Center residency and two Illinois Humanities fellowships. Susan is a graduate of Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English.


Mapping a Life
by Susan T. Moss

Sometimes it’s like that: the kind
of journey when I walk
where deer prints mark a path
fringed with scallop-bottomed
mushrooms and speckled stones—
a microcosm of beauty and solitude
at each bend and in every breath
that reminds me I am not even
halfway to anywhere
with so much to examine, hold onto
before the urgency to repack
for life’s next destination, another place
to meet myself at the still point.


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]