Making Her List, Checking it Off

  • BY Cal State East Bay
  • December 20, 2017

Cal State East Bay English Professor Susan Gubernat recently accomplished what she’s called a “bucket list item” — having one of her poems published in the San Francisco Chronicle — just in time for Christmas.

According to the Chronicle’s David Roderick, Gubernat’s poem “Christmas Fires” was selected for the paper’s “State Lines: California Poetry” section because it’s a nod to classic Christmas poems, with references to a sleeping family and decorated home, but is also “sobering and tragic.”

“[Gubernat’s poem] reveals a reality we sometimes forget — that the holiday season can be a difficult, lonely time for many people, a lesson to keep in mind as we make our own holiday plans this year,” Roderick wrote in the article.

Gubernat has taught at Cal State East Bay since September 2001 where she co-founded and now advises the Arroyo Literary Review, the university’s annual student publication. Her recently published book titled “The Zoo at Night” received the 2016 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

She has also worked as an opera librettist, creating the books and texts used in various operas. Her compositions have been performed in a number of venues and by various companies, including in the VOX New Composers Series of the New York City Opera and by the Opera Company of Brooklyn.

Read “Christmas Fires” on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website.