From: L.A. Mayors Office
Award-winning poet is nationally recognized as a major figure of contemporary literature
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that Robin Coste Lewis, winner of the National Book Award, is the new Poet Laureate of the City of Los Angeles.
As an official ambassador of L.A.’s arts community, Lewis will promote and celebrate the written word, and represent the city’s rich literary scene.
“Los Angeles is fortunate to be represented by such a powerful artist. She will push boundaries and challenge us to rethink our perspectives.”
The Los Angeles Poet Laureate Program is a collaboration between the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL). Its aim is to enhance the presence and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts in Los Angeles, and to engage Angelenos who have limited exposure to poetry and other forms of expressive writing.
“The role of the L.A. Poet Laureate is two-fold: first, to celebrate and curate an ever-widening cross-city appreciation for poetry of all kinds, from all cultures and nations; second, to celebrate the rich and diverse history of Los Angeles poetry,” said Lewis. “Poetry is high art, sure, but it is also an exceedingly accessible cultural game that anyone can play. From the elderly to prisoners, I try at all times to remind my students that the only difference between a great poet and a lousy one is practice. Poetry isn’t rocket science. It’s merely love.”
A native of Compton, Lewis is the author of the award-winning collection Voyage of the Sable Venus. She is a writer-in-residence and provost’s fellow at the University of Southern California. A finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the California Book Award, she has published poems in The New Yorker, The Best American Poetry, Lambda Literary Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond. Read Rest of Press Release Here