Anne-Marie Cusac, a George Polk Award-winning journalist, poet, and Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Roosevelt University, is the author of two books of poetry: The Mean Days (Tia Chucha, 2001) and Silkie (Many Mountains Moving, 2007), and the nonfiction book Cruel and Unusual: The Culture of Punishment in America (Yale University Press, 2009). Cruel and Unusual won a 2009 PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and appeared in a paperback edition in September 2010.
For ten years, she was an editor and investigative reporter for The Progressive magazine. Cusac won the George Polk Award for her article “Stunning Technology,” an investigation of the use of the stun belt in U.S. prisons. Her reporting for The Progressive inspired an Amnesty International campaign against the electronic stun belt. It also contributed to a United Nations decision to ask the United States to ban stun belts and restraint chairs.
In 2015, Cusac was a fellow reporting on mental health with the Social Justice News Nexus, a fellowship program housed at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
Her poetry has appeared in Poetry, Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, The American Scholar, The Briar Cliff Review, and Crab Orchard Review, among others.