SUSANNAH RODRIGUEZ DRISSI is an award-winning Cuban poet, writer, playwright, translator, director, producer, and scholar.  A Lecturer in UCLA’s Writing Program, she is finishing a book titled Moorish Cuba: The Arab & Islamic Presence in Cuban Literature & Culture from the 1830s to the Present. In addition to numerous academic articles and books chapters, her poems, short stories, creative non-fiction, and reviews have appeared in anthologies such as In Season—Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places in Between; and journals such as Saw Palm, Literal Magazine, Diario de Cuba (Madrid), SX Salon, Raising Mothers, Acentos Review and Cuba Counterpoints, among others. Her short story, “The Will,” won First Prize in the College Language Association Short Fiction Competition (2005). Recently, a selection of her poems, Lupe’s Trilogy (Cuba, 1990-1992), was short listed for the Poetry Short List of the Small Axe Literary Competition and is currently available from SX Salon. Her first novel, Until We’re Fish, has been selected as one of the finalists for Veliz Books’ 2018-2019 fiction publication. Currently, she writes Letters from Camus, her second novel. Nocturno, a jukebox musical that pays tribute to music from the Spanish-speaking world in the 1960s and 70s is currently in the development process. Her award-winning play, Houses Without Walls, premiered to a sold-out audience at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival. An excerpt from House Without Walls was published in December by La Casita Grande Press, an imprint of Black Rose Writing specializing in Latino/Caribbean literature (Read it here). More recently, and as a member of NALIP, she works on two original scripts for cable and network television. This spring 2018, she joined Padua Playwrights in “Shepard and the Avante-Garde,” a groundbreaking and adventurous new interdisciplinary theatre workshop bringing together directors, playwrights, and actors. 

She received her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from California State University, Long Beach (2005) and her PhD in Comparative Literature from UCLA (2012). Her specializations include Latin American literatures and cultures, with a special focus on Caribbean literatures and cultures and, in particular, Cuba; Latino literatures and cultures; Translation Studies; and Maghrebian literatures and cultures. Her research focuses on links between Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Arab world, with a special focus on Cuba and North Africa; postcolonial studies; translation studies; and transglobal trends. She is a UC-Cuba Affiliate Scholar since 2012 and contributing member of UC-Cuba Educational Initiative since 2008. From 2015-2016, she was Visiting Assistant Professor of Hemispheric American Studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona,

She is Associate and Literary Editor at Cuba Counterpoints, a new journal dedicated to dynamic analysis and commentary on Cuban affairs.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters.


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