Artist Roster

L.J. Sysko

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L.J. Sysko is the author of two books of poems, including her debut full-length collection THE DAUGHTER OF MAN (University of Arkansas Press, 2023), selected by Pulitzer Prize finalist poet Patricia Smith for the Miller Williams Poetry Series. National Book Award finalist poet Ross Gay called THE DAUGHTER OF MAN “goddam funny" and “a clinic in irony," Colorado Review dubbed Sysko "a valley girl Beowulf," and Publishers Weekly wrote, "This whip-smart collection is a playful celebration of feminine power." Sysko's first collection, BATTLEDORE, is a chapbook about pregnancy, early motherhood, and postpartum depression (Finishing Line Press, New Women's Voices Series, 2017). Sysko’s poems have been anthologized in BEST NEW POETS and LET ME SAY THIS: A Dolly Parton Poetry Anthology (Madville Publishing, 2023) and have appeared in literary journals such as Ploughshares, Tupelo Quarterly, The Missouri Review's "Poem of the Week," and Mississippi Review, among many others.  

An MFA in poetry, a Virginia Center for Creative Arts Fellow, and a 2022 Palm Beach Poetry Festival Thomas Lux Scholar, Sysko has received several Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg awards, was both a 2024 and 2010 Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist Fellow, (Established and Emerging, respectively), and was chosen by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins as runner-up for the 2023 Scotti Merrill Poetry Award. Collins said of Sysko’s poetry, “This poet uses the language of everyday to expose the nervous realities at work behind human behavior, using bright language to make poems that are fun to read!"  

Also a prose writer, Sysko has served as Director of Executive Communications at Delaware State University since 2021, writing for University President Dr. Tony Allen. Sysko’s nonfiction was selected as The Georgia Review’s inaugural Prose Prize finalist, judged by Jennine Capó Crucet,  and published in that journal's Summer 2023 issue. Other honors include recognition by Zoetrope's All Story, judged by novelist Anthony Marra, also finalist recognition from both The Bellingham Review Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction and The Pinch Literary Awards.

As a former high school English teacher and department chair, Sysko has many years of experience both in the classroom and on stage. For a more comprehensive bio, unabridged cv, press kit, and video links, please visit

Artist Information

Poetry, Nonfiction, Fiction
Workshops, Teaching Artist, Social Functions, School Residencies, Readings, Public Art, Performances, Master Classes, Lectures / Public Speaking, Exhibits, Commissioned Work
Kindergarten to 5th Grade, Adult, 9th to 12th Grade, 6th to 8th Grade
Theaters & Auditoriums, Schools, Outdoor Stages, Festivals, Community Sites
Regional Availability
Northern Delaware
Wilmington DE 19803


L.J. Sysko reads for "SoFloPoJo" or South Florida Poetry Journal
L.J. Sysko
The Daughter of Man