Newsletter from your Pinay Poet, Aimee Suzara
February 1, 2012
Dear beloved readers and community,
Welcome to my first newsletter of 2012, in its new and improved format. Those of you who have been on my list since as early as 2006 will be relieved that I am not stuck in the dark ages of yahoogroups any longer. :-) You can click on links to go to greater worlds on the web. Thanks for being there to receive my latest news, views and words! You keep the work vibrant and thriving and I feel blessed to be held up by you.
“Poetry is a matter of life, not just a matter of language.”- Lucille Clifton
What’s new in how I am communicating with you!*
Events and News
This is my monthly newsletter which will come out around the first of each month; occasionally there may be mid-month special updates.
Coming soon: a blog on various topics and themes; keep an eye out so you can subscribe.
Website: over the past couple of months, I’ve been adding more media online – from video clips to audio. More will be added and updated throughout the year so visit when you can!
And specifically, check out Aimee’s 2011 highlights on my website, where you can catch up on what went on last year, including events, publications and photos, and click on links to videos and websites. And you'll see a thank you list to key supporters and collaborators too.
Link up with me: See the bars to the right; and "like" Aimee Suzara, Artist on FB. All of this helps sustain my arts work, so I can bring more to you.
*Specific big-ups to Dorothy Santos, Aileen Suzara, and Itoro Udofia, who helped with these improvements!
Now: Teaching Creative Writing at CSUMB. In the education world, I’m honored to teach two classes at Cal State University at Monterey Bay, both in Creative Writing (with a Social Action emphasis): HCOM 330, Introduction to Creative Writing and Social Action, and HCOM 227, Multicultural Poetry.
Now: WRITING. Yes, I'm writing, writing, writing! Thanks to your help, I completed the full-length draft of my second play, A History of the Body, and it's in the works to premiere in 2013. (Always looking for folks to join my team, so contact me if you are interested!) And I have two poetry manuscripts in the works: one entitled "Tiny Fires," and the other untitled for now (about the World's Fairs and the body in exhibition); and a chapbook simmering somewhere in there. I've been writing "love poems"/queer topics lately. If you know of or are connected with presses who might be interested in my work, send me an email! Individual pieces can be found in journals and on the web.
February 20: spoken word workshop for students at Marin Academy Literary Festival. This is an incredible festival primarily for the teens at the Marin Academy High School, but a few events are open to the public.
March 3: Along with my esteemed colleagues at CSUMB, Diana Garcia, Debra Busman, Annie Finch, and Emmy Perez, I’ll be co-presenting on “Teaching Social Action Writing and Service Learning” at the Association of Writing Professionals conference in Chicago. Will you be there? Click on the link for more info.
TBA: Writing Workshop, “In This Skin,” series, at OACC. I’m excited about plans to bring back the popular “In This Skin” workshop in writing and performance, at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, and other venues this year. Keep posted for dates and enrollment information.
Seeking Arts Interns and Booking help: As I grow my art as sustainable work, I continue to depend on the skills and hard work of my wonderful interns, volunteers, consultants and collaborators. I am still seeking interns for short and longer-term stints to assist me in arts administration/organization and fundraising, in exchange for mentorship and consultation. I’m also seeking a booking manager who will receive compensation. Contact me at email@example.com if you are interested in either, and put the position in the header.
Lastly, here’s a poem written around the crux of the new year – I’ve been really enamored with the ocean lately. That’s it for now, lovelies. Till the next - Aimee
A Poem (unpublished)
For the woman who gives birth in the form of water
(c) Aimee Suzara 2012
In this length of sea, time has died.
I can only hope for some return
of that song: the one that has
a beginning, middle and end.
We wish it away; it brings us
things like “melancholy” and “nostalgia.”
The things that poets are known for.
I imagine a woman with a flood in her hair
breaking the shell of this strange vacuum.
She won’t allow me to pretend
any longer. Nor you.
When I return to the sea, all other sounds
She reminds me of pennywhistle
and djembe nights, full moon tangled
in my hair. The fragility
of my twenties, when we all felt
forever. Sleeping in her
cradle, the dreams effortlessly
prophetic. And how
will I sleep tonight?
She is laughing at me now.
I spend my paycheck to rent
a small room just to hear her
breath rising and falling. That rhythm
of ghosts playing with the whales,
dancing on her floor, where
glowing prehistoric things tread.
She laughs at my desperate
clamor towards my past. She
and forgets. Each pulling
of the tides, a baptism.
She is everything we are made of. The cliché: we are made of water. It’s true. That cliché.
If she were to write this poem
it would be in infinite parts.
She doesn’t understand
how to complete. It’s in
the ritual, the coming and
the going. Each moment,
she is exploding into bits
and returning to a whole
bigger than I can imagine.
We want to be just
like her, to shatter
does this daily.
I don’t know how to end this poem. Something tells me
it hasn’t even begun.