Not Exotic: Poetry on Asian American Identity
All Levels | Especially inviting people of Asian backgrounds, this class will focus on poetry by Asian American writers in the United States. We will engage with poetry and spoken word, considering themes of belonging and otherness, homeland and loss, and racism and immigration. Special attention will be given to challenging silence, misrepresentation, the current climate of anti-Asian sentiment, and how we challenge it by telling our own stories. Readings may include Kevin Yang, Ocean Vuong, Barbara Reyes, Michelle Peñaloza, Jason Bayani, and Lee Herrick.
Aimee Suzara is a Filipino-American poet, playwright, and performer based in Oakland, CA whose mission is to create, and help others create, poetic and theatrical writing about race, gender and the body to provoke dialogue and social change. Her debut poetry book, SOUVENIR (WordTech Editions 2014) was a Finalist for the WILLA Award 2015 and her plays A HISTORY OF THE BODY and TINY FIRES were Finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2015 and 2016. A YBCAway awardee and Spirited Woman Fellow (AROHO), her theater and performance work has been presented nationally and staged at Berkeley Repertory Theater, CounterPULSE, the World Theater and Bindlestiff Studio and selected for PlayGround, United States of Asian America Festival, Emerging Performance Festival, The National One-Minute Play Festival, Utah Arts Festival, and APAture; she collaborated as a writer-performer with Deep Waters Dance Theater in 2007-2011 and with other groups such as the San Francisco State University University Dance Theater. She is a 4th season member of the Playground SF Writer's Pool at Berkeley Repertory Theater. An advocate for arts education, she has taught composition at Bay Area Colleges and Universities since 2006 and has offered workshops and coaching in creative writing since 2003. www.aimeesuzara.net