Suzanne Lummis Biography


Individual poems, including two from her relative youth, appear in the Everyman’s Library anthology Poems of the American West (Knopf); in How Much Earth: The Fresno Poets (Heyday Books); Poetry as Purpose: Poetry of the Western States (The Autry Museum of Western Heritage with Sun & Moon Press); PoetryDaily: 366 Poems (Sourcebooks, Inc.); and in the ambitious survey undertaken by Dana Gioia, Chryss Yost and Jack Hicks, California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Heyday Books).


In Danger, her most recent collection, was selected for the California Poetry Series, Roundhouse Press/Heyday Books.


In the web realm, poems can be found at - Issue 16, - Spring 2001, - Winter 98-99 and


She is the present and founding Director of the Los Angeles Poetry Festival (LAPF), which now produces a festival every second year, and literary coordinator of the Arroyo Arts Collective project “Poetry in the Windows” in Highland Park, CA.  She was principal editor of Grand Passion: The Poetry of Los Angeles and Beyond – a publication of the LAPF organization.


She has been associated with Stand Up poetry and was an editor with Charles Webb on the first influential anthology documenting this hybrid of performance and literary poetry.  An article exploring the sensibility appeared in the 1994 March/April Poets & Writers Magazine.  She’s also helped to define the "poem noir," an edgy style that achieves a fusion of opposites – urban grit and urbane wit. ( - Noir Realm)


With the text-driven performance trio Nearly Fatal Women she appeared at The Knitting Factory in New York, Knox College, Beyond Baroque in Los Angeles and various other colleges.  In Ithaca's arts paper, The Bookpress, Peter Fortunato's review asserted, "These three women, these three poets from the City of the Angels, have their performance licks tuned up, their wits honed bright, and a sense of humor, a collective tone, that avoids strident polemics while it affirms humane values." 


In the summer of 2002 she wrote the lyrics for a children's musical production of Twelfth Night produced in Beverly Hills and La Jolla by the ETC Theater Company.   Her own two plays, October 22, 4004 B.C., Saturday and Night Owls, were produced in Washington State and Houston, Texas, as well at The Cast Theater, Los Angeles. The late Drama-Logue honored the Los Angeles productions with Playwriting awards in 1987 and 1989.


Suzanne Lummis has led the beginning through master class workshops in poetry at the UCLA Extension since 1991.  She received their Outstanding Teacher Award in 1996.


She studied with Philip Levine at Fresno State University, where she completed her M.A. in English/Creative Writing.


In the introduction to a 2003 interview, Poetry Flash called her "a quintessential voice of the lively Southern California scene".