Performance poet and educator Kooky Tuason seems tireless and continually
inspired to pursue her craft. Passionate with language, Tuason has been an
advocate of performance poetry for over a decade, helping popularize spoken
word as an art form through various engagements such as workshops, stage
performances and other mediums.
With her dedication, she introduced spoken word poetry to the mainstream,
bringing the once unappreciated form to the mainstream with three studio
albums: Romancing Venus Vol. 1 (2005), Romancing Venus Vol. 2 (2006), and
Bigkas Pilipinas (2007).
The two-volume Romancing Venus records has set the pace for future
developments, forming a women’s collective composed of artists, writers, and
musicians who advocate creative expression as a means of therapy and healing.
The records have already spurred an extension, Romancing Venus Radio
breathing new life on air.
Her previous radio show Bigkas Pilipinas, on the other hand, has helped pave
the way for spoken word to reach curious listeners across the nation. The show
has been nominated for the KBP Golden Dove Awards and Catholic Mass Media
Awards for Best Culture and Arts Program, running for over 2 ½ years through
Jam 88.3’s waves, and influencing a whole generation of poetry lovers.
Aside from playing a great selection of poetry on air, the influential show gave
both poets—already recognized and published, and non-poets, ordinary folks
from different fields—the chance to express themselves. This show, which “made
everyone a poet,” as observed by one journalist, has opened new ground for the
popularization of poetry.
Having studied performance poetry through the British Council, Tuason’s work
involves conducting spoken word workshops and performing in schools,
universities, bars, embassies, and other venues, attracting people hungry for
words to find and express themselves with.
With several ventures into new media, crafting music videos such as “Eve 2”
directed by Marc Misa, and “Holdap” directed by Sonny Lim Jr.; as well as
collaborations with international artists and writers through the In Transit: Manila
Meets Toronto spoken word album, the first poetry collaboration recorded and
produced between the Philippines and the Philippine diaspora, Kooky Tuason
has continued to explore her versatility as an artist and a poet.
Her current projects include Thinking Man’s Classroom, an alternative web show
with outside-the- box topics and quirks; Picket Lines, a book of women with lines
of poetry written on their bodies promoting female empowerment. Her newest
work, TRICKS! is a visual and performance art show that mixes spoken word,
musical acts and live art.
Recognized both here and abroad, she has performed at The Hyderabad Literary
Festival in Hyderabad, India as well as The ASEAN Literary Festival which was
held at Jakarta, Indonesia among others.
Tireless and inspired, Tuason recently released her first graphic novel, Eve of the
Grey published by Blender and Southversive a collaboration album with South-
based spoken word artists.