I hope you and your family and friends are safe, well, and steady (enough). I deeply appreciate all of the support you have given me and my creative projects over the years and I wanted to give you an update. In the midst of the world being upside down, I’m pleased to share some good news.
SACRED SITES: THE SECRET HISTORY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA was selected by its publisher, University of Nebraska Press, to be brought out in an updated paperback edition. I am very grateful to the press for their faith in the book. They feel, as do I, that it will reach more people in this new format. I’ve attached the cover which includes some new praise (including Stephen Greenblatt and Glen MacDonald) and which makes good use of the beautiful design they created for the hard-back edition.
It is now available. Your reviews posted wherever you buy books and on social media are a great plus and I thank you in advance for that support. https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/university-of-nebraska-press/9780803231986/
READINGS: On the official publication date of the paperback edition of Sacred Sites: The Secret History of Southern California, June 1, 2020, I was scheduled to read at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History at the invitation of the Santa Barbara Archaeology Association. It is postponed. When it is scheduled I will let you know.
My presentation includes a colorful slide show of largely unknown cultural and geographical features of the Southern California landscape discussed in my book. Please tell your friends who live in that area to join us when the reading happens.
I am also scheduled to read at 7:30 PM on June 18 at the E.P Foster Library in Ventura at the invitation of Phil Taggart. See next post for information about how to attend via zoom!
If your organization, bookstore, or get-together of friends would like me to read, please do be in touch. I love sharing this work. Yes, one day we will gather again. Meanwhile, we can zoom!
SACRED SITES AUDIO BOOK: A marvelous team has coalesced around the project of producing Sacred Sites as an audio book. This has been a dream of mine for years! And now it is coming to fruition. Based on the updated new paperback, this production captures the book’s poetic essence. Epics have always been sung, and though I am not going to sing, the audio book will capture the sense of the work as a song cycle.
We are thrilled that Peter Coyote has recorded the foreword by Gary Snyder and the introduction! It’s a big project requiring the input of linguists, musicians, consultants, and many others. We are already in rehearsal via zoom and soon will be raising money to fund a stellar recording to share with the world. I’ll keep you posted!
A CHORAL QUILT OF HOPE: THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
You may remember that I adapted the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a poem and that award-winning composer Adrienne Albert’s set it as a choral work (adriennealbert.com). The Preamble of our composition has often been sung, but now the 75-voice Concord Chorale of Concord, New Hampshire will premiere the complete composition with orchestral accompaniment. Originally scheduled forMother’s Day weekend, this unforgettable evening is postponed. I will let you know when it is rescheduled.
I learned about the UNDHR when I compiled and edited, Wisdom of the East: Stories of Compassion, Inspiration, and Love (Contemporary Books) for which the Dalai Lama wrote the foreword. One of the essays recounts the connection between the Roosevelts’ encounter with the Dalai Lama and Eleanor’s inspired shepherding of the document to international ratification at a meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco on December 10, 1948. When I first read the document, I knew that a choral work would allow it to resonate in the hearts of all who sing and hear it.
Finally, I am so very pleased now to have a studio at 18th Street Arts Center. It’s an honor and a boon!
Please like the Sacred Sites facebook page and check for it on Instagram. I’ll be posting lots of updates on my soon to be updated website: http://www.susansuntree.com/.
Lately, when I breath the cleaner, bluer air here in Los Angeles, I am reminded of what is truly possible when we act on behalf of the community.