Stephen Kuusisto

Stephen KuusistoDirector, Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach, University Professor
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Stephen Kuusisto directs BBI’s Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach initiative. A University Professor at Syracuse, he is the author of the memoirs Planet of the Blind (a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”) and Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening as well as the poetry collections Only Bread, Only Light, and Letters to Borges. His newest memoir, Have Dog, Will Travel: A Poet’s Journey, is new from Simon & Schuster. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and a Fulbright Scholar, he has taught at the University of Iowa, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, and The Ohio State University. Professor Kuusisto has served as an advisor to the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington DC and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including The Oprah Winfrey Show; Dateline; All Things Considered; Morning Edition; Talk of the Nation; A & E; and Animal Planet. His essays have appeared in The New York Times; The Washington Post; Harper’s; The Reader’s Digest; and his daily blog “Planet of the Blind” is read globally by people interested in disability and contemporary culture.

He is a frequent speaker in the US and abroad. His website is:

Books (other than edited volumes) and monographs

  • Have Dog, Will Travel: A Poet’s Journey, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY. March, 2018
  • Letters to Borges: A Collection of Poems, Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, WA,  2013
  • Do Not Interrupt:  A Playful Take on the Art of Conversation.  Sterling Publishing, New York, NY.  June 2010.
  • Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening.  New York: W.W. Norton and Co. 2006.
  • The Emptiness Between Stars: Gedichte/Poems. Selected poems from Only Bread, Only Light, translated from English into German by Lilian Faschinger. Vienna, Austria: Kurbis, 2003. (The Emptiness Between Stars: Gedichte/Poems is in German and English and also in German Braille and English Braille.)
  • Only Bread, Only Light: Poems. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2000.
  • Planet of the Blind. New York: The Dial Press, 1998.
  • Foreign Editions/Translations of Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening Kuulukuviat.  Trans. Helsinki: Arkki Books, 2007.

Edited books

  • Kuusisto, Stephen, Deborah Tall, and David Weiss, eds. The Poet’s Notebook: Excerpts from the Notebooks of Contemporary American Poets. 1st pb. edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 1997. Approximate percentage of contribution 33%. I assisted with the conception of the book and corresponded with approximately half of the contributors.
  • Kuusisto, Stephen, ed. Taking Note: From Poets’ Notebooks. Geneva, NY: Hobart and William Smith Colleges Press, 1991.

Chapters in edited books

  • “Selections from Planet of the Blind” The Disability Studies Reader, 4th Edition, Ed. Lennard J. Davis. Routledge, 2014
  • Plato, Again.”  Telling Stories out of Court: Narratives about Women and Work Place Discrimination, Ed. Ruth O’Brien.  Cornell University Press, 2008.
  •  “Teaching By Ear.”  Disability and the Teaching of Writing, Eds. Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson and Brenda Jo Bruggemann.  Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2007.  124-129.
  • “In the Dark.” Writing and Grammar: Communication in Action, Eds. Joyce Armstrong Carroll, Edward E. Wilson, and Gary Forlini. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., 2004. 168-169.
  • “Life Without Mozart.” Voices from the Edge: Narratives about the Americans with Disabilities Act, Ed Ruth O’Brien.  Oxford, UK: Oxford UP, 2003. 81-95.
  • Blind Date” Dog is My Co-Pilot: A Collection of Writings on Dogs. Ed Claudia Kawczynska. New York: Crown Publishing, 2003. 40-48.
  • “Nanao Sakaki’s ‘Real Play’.” Nanao or Never: Nanao Sakaki Walks Earth. Ed. Gary Lawless. Nobleboro, ME: Blackberry Books, 2000. 68-78.
  • “Tender Helpers.” (Selections from Planet of the Blind.Their Healing Power. Ed. Phyllis Hobe. Vol. 2 Listening to the Animals Series. Carmel, NY: Guideposts, 1999. 35-42.
  • “Robert Bly’s Iron John and the New ‘Lawrentian’ Man.” Critical Essays on Robert Bly. Ed. William Virgil Davis. Critical Essays on American Literature. New York: G.K. Hall, 1992. 96-103.