One of the best privileges I enjoy is getting to meet so many different poets from around the world working from so many unusual angles. Today for Poet Spotlight, I'm bringing attention to Suzie GeeForce, who's based in the more or less United Kingdom.
She is an Anglo-Burmese spoken word artist and playwright. She has performed poetry in London and Edinburgh and has had work published by Lunar Mission One, Visual Verse and Enigma Magazine. From time to time, you'll spot her work under the name of "Susan Gray."
She loves writing SF poetry and plays, and has a theatre company dedicated to this called Stars or Mars Theatre. So, as you can imagine, she has my unconditional support and encouragement, from one Southeast Asian artist to another.
She's noted her performances at the Roundhouse, the Poetry Cafe, the Good Ship, the Free Word Centre and the Edinburgh Fringe. She has taught Science Fiction and creative writing in schools and communities. "I want to continue these workshops, including performance poetry and linking these with the imaginations that Science Fiction and Magic Realism can bring," she says.
I'm curious to see where her work will fit in over time to the work of artists like Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, the band members of Cambodian Space Project, and my own, among many others, because there's so often a culture of non-expectation from artists with roots in Southeast Asia.
I believe work like hers is vital and important as we consider the futures we are shaping. What we can envision, and what we must avert.
In 2016, she was nominated for the Long form Rhysling Award for her poem “Artist Signature” and published a collection of poetry called Energy (or the Art of Keeping it Together). It's " an energy themed collection showcasing the multitude of ways it can be presented and understood."
As her publisher notes: Energy is at the heart of everything we do - and it is our true legacy to the universe, at the end of it all. This is a collection of thought experiments that deal with energy from the small-scale to the large-scale: from the universe to the individual, from the idea of love to climate change, from the transition to post-humanism to moving house.
She is also currently working on a spoken word EP called Object Relations and on a show called Real(ity) Test: "Enter MIA, interstellar artist. Her mission – to create a space of her own on a newly found planet, armed with an archive of different lives, waiting to be transferred into this new space. However, ownership and patronage don’t seem to change when you escape Earth’s atmosphere…"
From what I've seen of her work, she brings tremendous imagination and a much needed-sense of humor and joy to our corner of the arts. I appreciate her artistic fearlessness and inventiveness. She has recently taken part in a series of readings at the BSFA (British Science Fiction Association) and performed at the Bifrost Cabaret at Nineworlds Geekfest 2016.
Her produced plays include: A Christmas Gift (2012), Terra Firma (2014), SUM (2014), The Reality Test (2014) Buzz (2015) Cuckoos and Chrysalids (2015), The Other Roof (2015) and Blue Blood (2015). Presently, she's been very intrigued with how we explore the concept of the hivemind.
She has a monologue collection, Notes from Other Worlds: "11 characters in 11 dramatic puzzles. Well, more if you count the hiveminds. Dealing with such futuristic themes as post-humanism, mass interstellar transit, physical invulnerability and a crime scene of hiveminds, this book delves into the ever-changing idea of the character, the human, the individual and the state in our present and future. These monologues come without age and gender guides for the actor and/or director to add their own twist to the performances. Each piece includes some crib notes for the situation the character is facing, along with some stage directions."
Although it's been a little while since she's posted anything, she has a youtube channel Spoken Wor(l)ds with the ambitious premise of presenting Spoken Word Pieces "every Thursday as part of my series called #Verseday – responding to Science Themed articles in the news that week." I think that's a bit of an intensive schedule, but hopefully it can spur her to some intriguing innovations.
Here's her piece "Videogames," for consideration:
All of this, and she's also working on her PhD in Creative Writing. That's pretty amazing, and I'm looking forward to seeing more from her. She has my fullest confidence. You can follow along over at: https://suziegeeforce.co.uk/