The following interview of Susan Rogers by Lois P. Jones originally aired on KPFK Los Angeles (reproduced with permission).
Biographical Information—Susan Rogers
Susan Rogers considers poetry a vehicle for light and a tool for the exchange of positive energy. She is a practitioner of Sukyo Mahikari— a spiritual practice that promotes positive thoughts, words and action. Sukyo Mahikari Centers for Spiritual Development is a non-profit international community service organization that encourages healthy lifestyles through positive light energy and principles such as humility of heart, acceptance of one’s circumstances, and gratitude for all things. From reducing the world’s carbon output and toxic substances in the environment, to teaching about the importance of organic food, Sukyo Mahikari centers are dedicated to helping people live healthier and more fulfilled lives. The fundamental tenet of this organization is cited in her poem “The Origin is One”: “The origin of the world is one. /The origin of religions is one. /The origin of all mankind is one.”
Susan is also an artist, a licensed attorney and an active volunteer in her community helping to protect the environment by organizing activities at several earth fairs every year. In addition, she serves as a Tree Planting Supervisor with TreePeople. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and currently resides there. Her BA is in English Literature from Princeton University, where she did her junior work abroad at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Oxford. She has also received a JD from UCLA and an MA in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University. She has taught Creative Writing at Johns Hopkins University and English Literature at UCLA.
Her poems were part of the 2009 event “Celebrating Women, Body, Mind and Spirit,” the 2010 Valentine Peace Project, the 2010 event “Poetry: A Garden to the Human Spirit” held at Cypress College in Cypress, California, the 2010 Poem Flag Installation by Global Alchemy Forum and have been performed at museums and galleries in Southern California. In 2010 she was Writer of the Week for “Words, Spirit and You,” sponsored by Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature. One of her haiku won Honorable Mention in the 2010 Kiyoshi and Kiyoko Tokutomi Memorial Haiku Contest sponsored by the Yuki Teikei Society of Haiku. She was a featured poet at the Moonday Poetry Reading Series in 2011. Her work can be found in the book Chopin and Cherries, numerous journals, anthologies and chapbooks including Ribbons, Badlands, Phantom Seed, An Island of Egrets, Shell Gathering, Poetry and Cookies, Poets on Site Chapbooks, the Global Alchemy Forum Journal and others. Her work can also be heard online or in person as part of the audio tour for the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California.
She writes and performs with Poets on Site, a group of poets founded by Kathabela Wilson as well as with the Southern California Haiku Study Group led by Deborah P. Kolodji. and the Westside Women Writers. She is a member of The Spiritual Quartet consisting of four female poets—Lois P. Jones, Susan Rogers, Taoli-Ambika Talwar, and Maja Trochimczyk. Each poet comes from a different spiritual background, while sharing a focus on compassion, beauty, enlightenment, and a creative expression of positive energy. They draw inspiration from the poetry of Rumi, Rilke, and their own spiritual traditions.
Please see the following links for further information:
www.pacificasiamuseum.org/_digital_lounge/audio_tours.aspx (Jade Gallery: Bowl and Kuan Yin)