Born in Johnson City, Tennessee, Susan Feathers began a 20-year journey as a member of a military family. At the end of WWII, she and her sisters became a roving tribe, following their parents to and from U.S. Air Force bases coast to coast and at Hickam AFB in Honolulu. That formative experience served as an inspiration for Feathers’ writing about the American landscape. A lifelong journalist, much of Susan’s early writing found its way into journals, stories, and correspondence with friends and family.
Feathers studied American Literature for her B.S. degree from East Tennessee State University, and Special Education for an M.S. degree from The University of Tennessee. Susan taught in public schools, community college, and informal education institutions (outdoor education). Susan continued studies at Columbia University, Barnard College, and Arizona State University in the areas of environmental and biological science and bioethics.
Encouraged by her college English and philosophy professors, Susan served as the literary editor of her college yearbook, creating lyrical poetry across its pages. Her work was featured in regional journals, submitted by her college mentors. Not until the end of a long career in public education, did Susan return to creative writing.
From 2004 to 2009, Susan wrote a column for Tucson Green Magazine, in which she featured essays about living in the American Southwest. Later she self-published Paean to the Earth (2008), a collection of essays, poetry, and short stories inspired by her experiences in the desert cities of Arizona.
In 2006 the Frank Waters Foundation awarded Feathers a Writer’s Residency during which she drafted a novel about climate change in the Southwest.
Susan continued to develop essays about humans and nature. In 2011, her essay, “A Way Forward in an Uncertain Future”, was published in an anthology, edited by Martin Keogh: Hope Beneath Our Feet – Restoring Our Place in the Natural World (North Atlantic Press).
In 2014, Susan completed her first novel, working with writing peers in the West Florida Literary Federation. In 2015, the manuscript won a place in the Tucson Festival of Books Master’s Writing Competition in fiction. Threshold was published by Fireship Press (Tucson, Arizona) in 2016.
Susan’s works have also been published in Songs of Ourselves: America’s Interior Landscape (Blue Heron Book Works, 2015), Panoplyzine, SEJ Journal (Journal of the Society of Environmental Journalists), Pensacola Magazine, and in academic publications. Susan’s blog, WalkEarth.org, is a place where she writes new material and posts information for writers and readers. Susan has completed a second novel, Bountiful, for which she is currently seeking a publisher. Bountiful take place in the midwest on a working farm. She explores themes of aging, death, and the cycle of the soil in an imaginative plot set in current time. Read an early excerpt here.