About Me

Detail of Humpback Whale sculpture at Monterey Bay Aquarium. First appeared in Killer Whale Journal.  Photo by Sharon Suzuki-Martinez

Sharon Suzuki-Martinez

Sharon Suzuki-Martinez won the Washington Prize for her latest book, The Loneliest Whale Blues (The Word Works, 2022), and the MVP Prize for her first book, The Way of All Flux (New Rivers Press, 2012). She has a micro-chapbook, A Glimpse of Birds over O’odham Land (Rinky Dink Press, 2021).

She is a poet, essayist, photographer, Kundiman fellow, a Pushcart nominee, and a Best of the Net finalist. She grew up in Hawaii, earned a PhD in English at the University of Arizona, and now lives with her husband, David Martínez in Tempe, Arizona, on the traditional homeland of the Akimel O’odham.

Career Highlights

Selected Honors

*  The Washington Prize from The Word Works for poetry book manuscript. 2021.

Pushcart nomination by Rinky Dink Press for poetry micro-chapbook. 2021.

*  Best of the Net nomination by Rising Up Review for essay, “Writing on the Wall.” 2019

Best of the Net finalist for Okay Donkey Magazine poem, “Last Night in Antsville.” 2018.

Full-Tuition Scholarship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. 2017.

*  Arizona Commission on the Arts—Professional Development Grants, 2013 and 2017.

Full-Tuition Scholarship from Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference. 2017.

Editor’s Choice Award for “The True Lives of Cells” from Algebra of Owls journal. 2016.

*  Tempe Community Writing Contest winner. 2016.

*  Pushcart Prize nomination of book by New Rivers Press. 2013.

*  MVP Prize from New Rivers Press for poetry book manuscript. 2010

*  Kundiman Poetry Retreat Fellowship, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 2008.

*  Artist Residency, Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Red Wing, MN, 2007.

Selected Readings

SUNY Adirondack Writers Project

Sundress Academy for the Arts

Fourth Sundays: Poetry at Claremont Library

Caffeine Corridor Poetry Series

Tucson Festival of Books


The Loft Literary Center

Birchbark Books

Changing Hands Bookstore

Tempe Center for the Arts

Selected Literary Community Service

Founder and Curator (2013-17) The Poet’s Playlist poetsplaylist.tumblr.com/

Associate Editor (2014-15) Kore Press (Open Submissions)

Judge (2012) 7th Ave. Streetscape Public Art Project Phoenix, AZ

Poetry Editor (2009 – 2011) BAP Quarterly bapq.net


PhD in English University of Arizona, Tucson, 1996

MA in English University of Hawaii, Manoa, 1987

BA in English University of Hawaii, Manoa, 1985