Poetry Road Trip: 30 Poets, Four Cities, This Week

From: Labloga.com

by Michael Sedano

handsofthepoetBilling themselves as Las Lunas Locas, thirty women from Los Angeles begin a caravan Thursday, driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco to launch a four-city poetry tour with readings also in Sacramento, Oakland, and Fresno.

Save the date! If you’re in the neighborhood, the readings will offer memorable work in a unique peripatetic ambiente.

Six of the women held a fund raiser in El Sereno’s popular Holy Grounds Coffee and Tea shop. What a genuine delight to see old friends and enjoy sparkling conversation with gente I’ve heard read at Avenue 50 Studio, and meeting others for the first time. The conversation and amistad were free. For a donation, a poet would create a poem on a now-ancient manual typewriter.

Organizer Karineh Mahdessian had asked if I wanted a formalist work. I’d raised the formalist issue at a free verse-dominated La Palabra reading the previous week. I answered not exactly; I wanted something “in the style of Jesus” in as much as we were standing on Holy Grounds.

Melanie González was at the machine and took my offhand remark as a prompt. She rolled a sheet into the platen and began composing on-the-fly. Using mostly two fingers and striking the keys hard  like a percussion instrument until the fingers began to bleed a bit, almost, Melanie worked swiftly and confidently.

Iris de Anda’s typing machine misbehaved and didn’t move the inked ribbon. Melanie pulled the poem off the machine and read it aloud before presenting it to me. I complained I couldn’t read the wondrous work. Iris checked it out then rendered the machine first aid. Read Rest of Article Here

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