Happy Lunar New Year!

Since it’s a new year in the lunar calendar, I thought it would be a good time to send out this belated 2011 year in review.

Collage from 2010 History of the Body Work in Progress

Amara Tabor Smith and Stephanie Bastos of Deep Waters Dance Theater

2011, I’d say, was characterized by a lot of hard work, growth and collaboration (and gratitude for the opportunities!). The first season was the season of “Our Daily Bread,” which brought me in the company of some beautiful and talented dancers, musicians and visionaries, and allowed me to embody the character of a storyteller in Eshu fashion.  Then, on to focusing on my play for the second and third parts of the year, bringing me to the full-length script of A History of the Body and a great staged reading and talk in October.  Poetry kept on moving, with features each month, and critical research/work on my manuscript.  My teaching, too, moved to the next step, as I was able to teach creative writing courses (fiction, poetry, creative writing & social action) officially at the college and university level.  And last, I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without folks who have joined my team – shoutouts are below.  The work of 2011 is definitely going to keep me on my toes for 2012, which will see lots of completion and manifestation!

Keep posted for the next update, featuring news in writing, performance and teaching, as well as a new and improved monthly newsletter.  And check out the other pages on this website – video, poems & audio – for links I’ve recently added.  Thanks!

2011 Highlights!

*Many of the bold-printed words lead to links (video, websites, flyers), so scroll over them!*

January – Start of a new year with a new website look (on wordpress.com). Visioning and planning.  Began teaching my first Craft of Fiction class at Las Positas College and my second semester of Poetry for the People at City College of SF.

February – Walang Hiya contributors reading (2/11, UC Santa Cruz). Fresh from the Oven: Love in the time of war and revolution (2/11, Luggage Store Gallery, SF)

March – Feature at Eth-Noh-Tec! (3/19, SF) and Transformative Visions (3/12, Oak). Heavy rehearsal time and collaboration with Amara Tabor Smith and Deep Waters Dance Theater for Our Daily Bread.

Image from "Our Daily Bread"

April – Heart to Help Japan (4/8, El Rio, SF); 4/18-24, Premiere of Our Daily Bread,  with Deep Waters Dance Theater, Counterpulse, SF.

May – Co-host/feature at the Food Party with Deep Waters  Dance Theater (5/22, La Pena, Berkeley), Feature at Rhymes & Rhythms (5/15, Manilatown, SF), Featured performer at the CSUMB Asian Pacific Heritage Month (5/12, Monterey),

Participants of "In This Skin" at the Oakland Cultural Center

June – Workshop at Oakland Asian Cultural Center, June 12, In This Skin; IndieGogo campaign to send me to the Atlantic Center for the Arts as an Associate Resident was successful!  Thanks to my donors!  Attended VONA with Willie Perdomo.

Feature at "Soul Food" in Orlando, FL

July – 3-week residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts for Playwriting, with mentorship of Annie Baker and Dael Orlandersmith; them a short research trip to St. Louis, Missouri; featured performance at Soul Food (7/6, Chef Eddies, Orlando).

August – Began teaching at Cal State University Monterey Bay: Creative Writing and Social Action; featured performance at Amplify! Filipino American Book Festival event (8/12, SF),

September –Food & Freedom Riders (9/1, New Parish, Oak)

October – Oct 23 Staged Reading and Story Circle at Counterpulse, featuring Christine Jamlig, Earlene Somera, director Tracy Ward, and speakers Maggie Hunter and Joanne Rondilla; appearance at Filipino American Book Festival (10/2, SF). Featured Brunch Speaker at the English Conference of CA Two Year Colleges (10/22, San Bruno); 

At KPFA 11/25/11

November –Lunada (11/10, Galeria de La Raza, SF), Interview/Feature at La Onda Bajita Del Barrio Atzlan (11/25, Radio show on KPFA.  Click here or go to “poems & audio” to listen).

Members of Deep Waters Dance Theater and me at EAT Action Food Party, December 2011

December – Conversations in a Wartime Café reading (12/2, DNA Lounge, SF), Eat Action event at CounterPULSE (12/12, SF),

And other highlights:

Publication of several of my poems in journals and books: Lantern Review Issue 2Hanggang Sa Muli,  Tayo Literary Magazine, Phatitude (forthcoming), Conversations from the Wartime Café. 

Getting Support / Expansion: after doing most of it myself, I reached out for more help in the administration and organization of my arts work/business by formally gathering interns, consultants & supporters.  From helping vision my projects to giving feedback on poems; from selling my cds to putting stuff on my website – these folks have helped make it happen.  Special shoutouts to these individuals for all the work they’ve done and continue to do, on all levels, to help my art/work live: Alicia Kester (booking), Dorothy Santos, Toussaint Haki Stewart, Dyanna Loeb, Mai Doan, Aileen Suzara, Gala King, Tala Ibabao, Christine Cordero, Teresita Bautista, Phuong Nguyen, Aimee Espiritu, Frances Sedayao, Lisa Marie Rollins, Pam Wu, Ellen Sebastian Chang, Itoro Udofia, Ise Lyfe, Idriss Ackamoor and Rhodessa Jones, Amy Kweskin, Ching-in Chen, David Maduli, Jeannie Barroga, Eyla Moore, Amara Tabor Smith, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Delina Brooks, Tracy Ward, Tasi Alibastro, Jinky De Rivera, Craig Santos Perez, Lauren Muller, Deb Busman, Ernest Stromberg, Maria Villasenor, Umi Vaughan, my parents Ellen and Emil Suzara,  Aurora and Peter Vana and all the Indie Gogo and Kickstarter donors.