Happy National Poetry Month (April)…

Since the last post in February, the Quake/Tsunami hit Japan, and lots of changes in the world have been going on.  Sending love and prayers to those affected.

My plate has been abundant, with lots of events and more to come. Next Friday, I’ll be joining a lineup of artists performing for a Japan benefit. Then, beginning April 14, the highly-anticipated  premiere of OUR DAILY BREAD with Amara Tabor-Smith’s Deep Waters Dance Theater, a powerful show that is sure to entice, nourish, challenge and move you…I’m a collaborating artist in text/performance and I can’t wait for you to experience this work.  Read on for info about these events, a reportback on February and March, and more.

And I hope to see you soon! – Aimee



  • Reportbacks & shoutouts: Walang Hiya reading in Santa Cruz, Fresh from the Oven, Transformative Visions, Salon! You’re On! with Eth-Noh-Tec, Zaccho Dance Theater
  • April 8 – Just Added!  HeART to Help Japan Benefit, featuring a list of artists, including me as the featured Spoken Word artist.
  • April 14-24 Our Daily Bread! Dance Theater piece at CounterPULSE.
  • May 29: “In this Skin” Workshop at OACC
  • BOOKING info



February kicked off with the : Walang Hiya (Without Shame) bookreading. Feb 11 at UC Santa Cruz.  Elsa Valmidiano, Roseli Ilano and I were greeted by an enthusiastic audience and got to hang with members of Alay, the Filipino club on campus. Walang Hiya: literature taking risks toward liberatory practice is an anthology of stories and poems by Filipino-American writers, edited by Roseli Ilano and Lolan Sevilla.  Then, on Feb 19, at , Fresh from the Oven,: Love in the time of war and revolution, a co-production between the Luggage Store Gallery and Deep Waters Dance Theater, co-host Ramona Webb and I joined my sis and culinary artist Aileen Suzara (KitchenKwento), Matt Blesse from the SF Slam Team, Kenji Liu, Vickie Vertiz, and Lisa Marie Rollins for stories and poems about food, war, revolution and everything in between.  On March 12, the OneLife Institute brought us Transformative Visions, A multi-media community arts event featuring dozens of visual artists, a powerful lineup of spoken word artists and live jazz by the Richard Howell Quintet and Destiny Muhammad.  Check the link (click on the title) to watch video clips! On March 19, I joined a powerful group of visual artists and performers at Salon! You’re On! the event curated and presented by Eth-Noh-Tec. March 26, I moderated a panel at the Zaccho Youth Company’s show at ODC.  The youth panel, featuring Literacy for Environmental Justice, Bayview Center for Arts and Technology, and more, showed us that the young folks know what’s UP!  Great job to the youth company’s aerial dance pieces that were breathtaking.


Now, the details for upcoming events:


HeART to Help Japan Benefit

When: Friday, April 8th, 9pm-12:30 am

Where: El Rio (3158 Mission St., SF, CA)

RSVP & invite your friends: Official invite

Tickets: $5-500, Sliding Scale at the door.

All proceeds from the HeART to Help JAPAN benefit will be donated to the JCCCNC’s Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. http://www.jcccnc.org/


Situations in Japan have grown more dire every hour. It’s heartbreaking. On top of the rising number of victims from the earthquakes and subsequent tsunami, Japan is also facing the potential of one of the worst nuclear plant disasters in world history. It may feel like there’s little any one of us can do on our own to help. But, we can unite as a community and leverage our talents and resources as best we can. Please join us for a silent auction featuring artwork from dozens of Bay Area artists plus live performances by:

Kelly Anneken (Co-host & Comedian): http://femikaze.tumblr.com /

Kelly Anneken is an Oakland-based writer/comedian. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Kelly has made a splash in the Bay Area as host of Stud Comedy Wednesdays, managing editor of humor journal Hobo Pancakes and founder of pro-feminist sketch troupe Femikaze.

Kristee Ono (Co-host & Comedian): http://rabidpixie.tumblr.c om/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/rabidpixie

Asian from an early age, Kristee ate her first Burrito before most babies figure out how their lungs work. She also runs the Ladies Night at the Brainwash and has performed comedy at clubs all over the Bay Area.”I am Japanese American, I do not have family in Japan but am involved in the Japanese American Community and have ties to the Japanese culture. When I heard about the earthquake I contacted my family and all of my JA friends to make sure all of their loved ones were alright. After really seeing the devastation of the earthquake I was that much more grateful that the people I knew and their loved ones were safe. I am trying to do as much as I can through donations to the Red Cross and participating in Japan benefit shows, hoping my silly jokes might help out some how.”

Ishtar Monique (R&B / Soul / Neo-soul / Pop Vocalist): http://www.reverbnation.com/ishtarmonique

Ishtar has been singing since the impressionable age of 13, tapping into the many facets of her voice thanks to a school friend. She has spent over the last decade, honing, crafting, and diligently working on her incredible gift and performing in various venues across the bay Area.  She is well versed in many genres of musiik ranging from Pop, Soul, R&B, Hip Hop, Rock, Funk, and yes even Contemporary Country! “I believe that love cures all pain and and hurt. So it’s my duty as an artist to love, care, and Serve! And for that very reason is why I am grateful to take part in this wonderful event. giving japan all my love which is musiik ♥ love always -ishtar”

Kazumi Kusano (Japanese Actress and Comedian): http://www.kazumikusano.com/


Born and raised in Japan, actress and comedian Kazumi Kusano was inspired as a child by Japanese comedians, The Drifters, and in 1995, she began performing improvisational comedy in Tokyo.  After she moved to the U.S., she created the sketch comedy duo, The Kazumi and Jane Comedy Hour, which performed in the Bay Area including a run of shows as part of The Identity Shift at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.  Kazumi has appeared in such projects as Ten Red Hen’s Clown Bible, as well as commercials for the Japanese Consulate and Cache Creek Casino Resorts.  She performs stand-up comedy all over San Francisco, and you can catch her at venues such as Castagnola’s and the Marsh in Berekeley. “Save Japan with your Love and Good Karma. Our positive energy make a big difference.”

Jay Trainer Band (Blues-Rock): http://www.jaytrainer.com/

Jay Trainer combines thick, prolific guitar riffs and stark lyricism, while drawing on the traditions of funk, rock, blues, and psychedelia to craft a modern classic. The singer/songwriter possesses a unique ability to effortlessly negotiate tone and volume, moving from a quiet, almost jazzy tone to a booming thunder at any given moment. As the Founding Director for Artfulchange, Jay sets the mission and vision of the organization, raises funds, and coordinates events. He works diligently to find non-profit sponsors whose work Artfulchange can support.

Aimee Suzara: (Filipino-American Spoken Word / Performance Artist): https://aimeesuzara.net/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Aimee-Suzara/146731845337825

Oakland-based Filipino-American writer/performer, “Aimee Suzara writes and performes with an unhurried beauty, lyricism, and love of words that contains all of her urgency and fierceness as a woman of color.” – Aya de Leon, poet/performer  Suzara’s mission is to create, and help others create, work that builds community, fosters healing, and provokes important questions through poetry, movement and theater.

Jhameel (Classically-influenced Pop): http://www.jhameel.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Jhameel

Jhameel presents a blend of orchestral instruments, tight percussion, fierce vocal melodies, and rich synthesizers. His lyrics reflect the intricacy of the sound, and stand alone from the music as poetry. They at times express the triumphs and struggles of the human condition, and at others strive to give voice to the silent margins of society. “I’ve learned that tragedy can lead to the greatest humanity. Let’s show our friends in Japan that they don’t need to overcome this alone.”




“This is an important piece that needs to be seen. In a time when so many of us are detached from the earth and the food we put in our bodies, this piece evokes the spirit of our great-grandparents ways, lost rituals, and the justice work that must be done around FOOD. “Our Daily Bread…” is the vital soul food that we have been hungering for, whether we knew it or not.” – Audience member, 2009 showing of Our Daily Bread



Our Daily Bread


Amara Tabor-Smith’s Deep Waters Dance Theater


With stories told through dance, text and video, Our Daily Bread celebrates what we eat and illuminates the culture that underlies our eating practices. It is a performance experience that honors individual food legacies and engages all of the senses. This collaboration between Amara Tabor-Smith’s Deep Waters Dance Theater, director Ellen Sebastian Chang and visual artist Lauren Elder will delve into the folklore and stories surrounding our food traditions to examine how these traditions are impacted by industrialized agriculture, fast food culture and our global food crisis. Our Daily Bread is both disquieting and celebratory – provoking and challenging the audience to examine their own food practices and the subsequent effects, both, physical and environmental; positive and negative. Are our food traditions supporting our well being or making us sick? Why are lower income communities of color and the farm workers themselves often missing from “the table” of the sustainable food movement? At once nostalgic, affirming, alarming and delicious, Our Daily Bread promises to stimulate the mouth and the mind.


Cast of Our Daily Bread: Stephanie Bastos, Eyla Moore, Aimee Suzara, Amara Tabor-Smith, Alicia Walters, Adriel Eddo with music by Ajayi Lumumba Jackson


Sunday, May 29, 2-5pm.  In This Skin, writing/performance workshop with Aimee Suzara. When it comes to body image, what is the importance of skin? Join Aimee Suzara, writer/performer and director of the Pagbabalik (Return) Project, for a writing workshop that allows you to explore attitudes around skin color, body image, and beauty. Develop gesture and text through guided writing and movement exercises.  This workshop is a part of the development phase of the the multidisciplinary piece, A History of the Body, written by Suzara, which debuted a work-in-progress in residency with Kularts, Inc. in November 2010.  A History of the Body fuses poetry, theater, dance, and visual projection to examine the impact of conquest and racial stereotyping on the body, with special focus on Filipino history.  No experience necessary; all ages and physical abilities welcome.  Sign up soon with OACC – keep posted on their website, http://www.oacc.cc for info!



I am now booking poetry readings/performances, speaking engagements and workshops, in Spring through Winter 2011!  Invite me to your college, high school, or literary or community event. Featured venues I’ve visited include Portland State University, Stanford, Mt. Holyoke College, and UC Santa Cruz.  Send an email to booking@aimeesuzara.net or go to http://www.aimeesuzara.net to download my presskit and booking request form.