Bio

Susan Suntree is a poet, performer, and essayist whose work investigates the dynamics of science, art, and spiritual philosophies as they engage contemporary life. She has presented her poetry and performances nationally and internationally, and has published books of poetry, biography, and creative nonfiction, as well as translations, essays, reviews, and book chapters.

Her best-selling book, Sacred Sites: The Secret History of Southern California (University of Nebraska Press 2010; updated paperback 2020), won the Southern California Independent Booksellers Award for Nonfiction, PEN Josephine Miles Award for Poetic Narrative, and a Mellon Foundation grant. In this book, Suntree draws from Western science and indigenous myths and songs to tell the story of how Southern California came into being from the Big Bang to the present.

Her adaptation as a poem of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been set as a choral work by composer Adrienne Albert (A Choral Quilt of Hope: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

Finishing Line Press will publish her newest book of poetry, Dear Traveler, in 2021. Her book of poetry Eye of the Womb was published in Madrid as a bilingual edition, El Ojo de la Matriz (Vision Libros, 2010). Other books include: Tulips, a bilingual chapbook of translations (with Nancy Dale Nieman) of poetry by Ana Rossetti; Rita Moreno (young adult biography); and Wisdom of the East: Stories of Compassion, Inspiration, and Love (editor), which includes a foreword by the Dalai Lama.

Her performances include one-woman shows, site-specific works, and street theater, featuring giant and small puppets and masks, some of which focus on threats to the Southern California environment and indigenous heritage. She has an MA in English and American literature from the University of Kent, Canterbury (UK), and a BA from the University of Arizona.

Publications and Presentations

Performances