Susanna Velarde Covarrubias is a poet, playwright, translator, percussionist, and performer. Daughter of Mexican immigrants, she’s drawn to the borderlands, be they geographic, linguistic, cultural, or the liminal spaces found between genres, labels, breaths…
Susanna trained at Megaw Actors’ Studio, and is a founding member of Mujeres del Sol, a multicultural collective of women in the arts producing cross-disciplinary community performances. A long-time percussionist, she’s accompanied poets, dancers, storytellers, and has played in bands throughout the valley – from Latin jazz, and salsa to rockabilly – at venues such as Crescent Ballroom and The Rhythm Room. She’s lived and traveled throughout México, Cuba, Europe, Canada, and Morocco, where she studied Arabic through a scholarship for Peace & Diplomacy.
A 2017 VONA/Voices of Our Nation playwriting alum, she was also selected for the 2017 Fornés Playwriting Workshop in Chicago, the 2018 Kennedy Center Summer Playwriting Intensive in Washington, D.C., and received a scholarship for Sojourn Theatre’s 2019 Summer Devising Institute in Chicago. This year, she was awarded a Research & Development Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and Arizona Community Foundation supporting the writing of her play Estrella, which will be in dialogue with an exploration of the ways in which cultural hybridity plays into the navigation of grief, loss and mental health in communities of border beings.
After earning a B.A. double major in French and Spanish, and pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Literary Translation from Arizona State University, she studied playwriting at the University of Notre Dame, and earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University-Newark. Her poetry has been showcased at local venues such as The Nash and The Heard Museum; KGB Bar in NYC; as well as others throughout New Jersey, Florida, and Hermosillo, México. Her poetry has also been featured on PBS’ Art in the 48, and will soon be available on NPR’s The Show. She is currently a Core Artistic Ensemble member of Teatro Bravo based in Phoenix, Arizona. She can be reached at [email protected]
Check out this video featuring Susanna’s poetry: