Ballona Documentary at ETHOS Film Festival! FrogWorks Included!

Dear Friends,
By now the front yard maple is fully in leaf fall, brightening the gray sidewalk with
yellows and deep reds. The tree’s unwavering response to the season encourages me. Keep the wheel turning! And this upcoming event, part of the ETHOS FILM FESTIVAL, reminds me that there is plenty of useful work to do.

I will participate on a panel at the festival discussing Sheila Laffey’s short film about the effort to save the Ballona Wetlands. The film includes clips from the street theater troupe, FrogWorks and the Earth Water Air LA giant puppet trek across the city that I co-founded. Art in Action! If you live in the area, join us! Tell your LA friends!
In Peace, Susan

Even If the Whole World Was Burning: A Celebration of W.S. Merwin

Dear Friends, Leaves on the maple tree in my front yard have begun their flaming, drifting fall. What a good time to celebrate the irreplaceable WS Merwin whose life and works model the artist as activist. My presentation will be about how Merwin, Snyder, (and a bit about Robert Graves) have responded to war and its impacts on the earth. Do poets have any influence at all? Come hear some stories you’ve probably never heard!

Celebrate the distinguished poet, W.S. Merwin with a screening of Even Though the Whole World is Burning, a documentary about his life and work, presented and accompanied by a panel and readings from Susan Suntree, Cheri Colby [Davis] Langdell, Tim Langdell, and Daniel E. Lambert.

Refreshments, readings, and selections from the award-winning documentary.

Saturday, November 4, 2023, at 7 PM  Free!

Beyond Baroque in Venice and live on Beyond Baroque YouTube.

Refreshments, readings, and selections from the award-winning documentary.

You won’t want to miss this!

With dedication to peace (life!),


Reading! Slides, Music!

Dear Friends, 

Many indigenous cultures celebrate the fall equinox as a time when completion and harvest portend a new year, a new cycle, imminent spring.  I am celebrating my own renewal after a gravelly year that culminated in Alaska where I saw the Aurora Borealis and so much more. Soon I’ll post photos on my website and social media. I distinctly recommend the train from Anchorage to Fairbanks! 

 And I’ll soon share with you information about a couple of new, unusual publications! Stay tuned!

Please join us Sunday afternoon, 22 October, at 4:30, when I’ll read with the excellent poet, Ambika Talwar. My selection and slides from Sacred Sites reveal roots of the climate crisis, and Dear Traveler and new poems ponder how we might live now. See flyer below or the events page on this site.

With brightening leaves and the (most likely) coming rains,


Dear Traveler


July Fourth    the toy war rages

            on your city streets, in the air

                                    cannon booms

                                                launch floral blitzkriegs

            firecracker artillery fire.

Why fear foreign missiles?

You wage war right here

                        for entertainment

                                    to remember you are free

                                                            from England.

You’ve saved the blockbusters

                                                proudly made in the USA

for export to other city streets and family fields.

Passenger pigeons   breasts aflame

                        ghost wings hammering

                                                            quake the trees.


Puvungna is one of the most important sacred and cultural sites in Southern California. I’ll be reading mainly from my award-winning book, Sacred Sites: The Secret History of Southern California, including ancient narratives about the history of this singular village site.

Located on the campus of California State University, Long Beach, with easy parking. On May 21st at 2 PM.

1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840

I look forward to sharing this event with you!


Puvunga Poetry Reading

Sierra Poetry Festival’s Poetic Crossing

Dear Friends,

Irrepressible spring leans toward summer. Even here, at the coast, inland heat simmers just beyond the fog and ocean clouds. With April comes National Poetry Month and with that come the festivals!

I’m reading in the Sierra Poetry Festival’s Poetic Crossings on North San Juan Ridge (just outside Nevada City), a site of artistic vitality when I lived in Nevada County in the late 70s and early 80s. I am grateful for the long friendships I have maintained with this place and these people who contributed immeasurably to my growth as a poet.  With poppy fields! Susan

Poetic crossings

From the organizer, Bishop Randall: In 1969 Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Dick Baker, and James Walter bought a piece of property along a spur of the San Juan Ridge.  With their re-inhabitation came a slew of characters who would visit or eventually call this place home. This event honors our rich past and present ridge poetic tradition, with a night of history, remembering those who have gone, who we love. Each poet will share a bit of history about the poet they are reading and few of their poems, plus a few poems of their own.

In a letter to Bishop Randall, Gary wrote, “I was trying to say to you, that one does not become a poet or even a writer, without some background scrabbling.  And a lot

of reading and thinking, especially about the curious role “poetry” has in our culture, an inbuilt prestige but also no serious rewards.  You do it for yourself and your artist comrades, but the literary public just gives it a look and moves on. And, as it often is in art, people give poetry lot of respect but then basically ignore it.  When you have real issues, and a circle of lively minds, it gets interesting.  That’s what we have here.”

Poetic Crossings, Past & Present: San Juan Ridge

Doors 6:00. Reading 7:00 PM; $15 suggested donation. Proceeds benefit the

Schoolhouse & Nevada County Arts Council/Sierra Poetry Festival. Here is a link to the Facebook events page,

Tom Laichas: Three Hundred Streets of Venice California

Hi Everyone, 

Tom has asked me and others who wrote praises for his unusual, unforgettable book to read with him at the book launch celebration. This collection of prose poems takes us on a walk-about through Venice streets and alleys observed with captivating imagination and historical insight. Come help us celebrate OR watch the live stream note below)! Susan

Tom writes:
On April 1st, please help me celebrate the release of my new collection of poems, Three Hundred Streets of Venice California, just out from FutureCycle Press. 

Joining me will be poets Beth Ruscio, Mike Sonksen, and Susan Suntree. Reception will follow. 

The details7pm Saturday April 1st at Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice 90291. (If you live at a distance, you can see the show at Beyond Baroque’s YouTube channel). The evening is free, but tickets are available at Eventbrite or at the door. 

I hope to see you there!



The New Year, A Reading

Dear Friends,

A new sun moves north as the days slowly lengthen toward spring. In Southern California in the Simi Hills, for a week before and a week after the solstice, at dawn a finger of light enters the notched entrance and passes along the length of the ancient pecked and painted sandstone cave. As it moves, it vivifies the images and all they portend.

May the new light also move through each of us, awakening our courage and concern of all beings.


Please join me for my first reading in the new year hosted by the venerable Harry Northup.

Harry’s Announcement: Please join us to see/hear two brilliant poets, Susan Suntree & Tom Laichas, read their poetry on Harry’s Poetry Hour, Creative Chaos MPTF, on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, 1-2 PM PST. Thanks to Jennifer Clymer, Director, MPTF Studios, & the Creative Chaos Team.

Here is the Zoom link. Please check in a few minutes before 1 PM.… Passcode: MPTF  Please share.

Here’s the discount link to the Sacred Sites audiobook where you can learn about the Simi Hills sacred sites:


A Three-part Series

Free and open to the public! In addition to my talk and Raven’s observations, I will show slides of places in Southern California that are rarely seen and even more rarely recognized for what they are. Learn the story! See deeply into this amazing homeland!


indigenous peoples and native realities

ANNOUNCEMENT from Duane Bidwell

Can’t wait to attend this Monday night–Susan Suntree is a treasure.

Join Raven and Coyote as they guide us on a tour through the primordial origins of Southern California, beginning with the Big Bang/Great Silence to the present.

It’s the first gathering of a three-part series, “Indigenous Peoples and Native Realities.” Join us for a meal in Fellowship Hall at 6p, followed by the performance at 7p in the sanctuary.

Susan’s presentation, drawn from her book “Sacred Sites: The Secret History of Southern California,” is equal parts Western scientific thought and Native American myths and songs, telling a dynamic and poetic story about the Southern California landscape. Included in the presentation is a full-color slide show of images taken by renowned photographer Juergen Nogai.