WORDS ON A WIRE: Vickie Vértiz

by Brian Dunlap

author-photo_06-vickie-headshot-2017This past Sunday L.A. poet Vickie Vértiz was interviewed on KETP’s literary program “Words On A Wire.”

Vértiz is the oldest child of an immigrant Mexican family and was born and raised in Bell Gardens, a southeast Los Angeles city. Her writing is featured in the New York Times magazine, Spiral Orb, Huizache, NepantlaOmniverse, the Los Angeles Review of Books,  KCET Departures, and the anthologies: Open the Door (from McSweeney’s and the Poetry Foundation), and The Coiled Serpent (from Tia Chucha Press), among many others. Vértiz’s first full collection of poetry, Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut, was published in the Camino del Sol Series by The University of Arizona Press in September of 2017.

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Mary Torregossa Interview

by Brian Dunlap

L.A. poet Mary Torregossa was featured recently on KPFK’s “Poets Cafe” to discuss her writing and her book My Zocalo Heart, published earlier this year by Finishing Line Press. These poems are about family photos, and the people next door and someone looking for work. Their basically about collecting everyday moments. Click below to listen.

On the Books: Brian Dunlap

by Jefferson Beavers
From: Fresno State MFA Blog

Photo Taken By Scott Dunlap 2When did you attend the Fresno State MFA program, and what genre did you study?

I attended Fresno State from 2010-2013 to study fiction.

What were your first thoughts when you learned that your poetry chapbook, Concrete Paradise, would be published?

Surprise and disbelief, because I’d only sent my manuscript out to four or five publishers in the six months since I began the submissions process. Plus, I thought it was ironic that my first book was a book of poems, considering I always wrote fiction and dreamed of publishing novels, and for most of my life had avoided poetry altogether.

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An Interview With Poet Matt Sedillo

by Brian Dunlap

downloadMatt Sedillo is a hard working poet. Having no connections and little knowledge of the literary world or how to build a literary life, Sedillo’s built his career from the ground up. He was driven to write poetry as his way to speak out against the injustices he saw and experienced as a Latino and what he experienced growing up in the 1980s and 1990s in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Ángeles. The strong armed, racist police policies of former LAPD chief Daryl Gates, such as Broken Windows, terrorized his working class Latino neighborhood. Poetry became Sedillo’s first avenue to speak out against these systemic problems facing people of color in America.

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Naomi Hirahara’s Los Angeles

By Mike Sonksen
From: Los Angeles Review of Books

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailEditor’s note: Naomi Hirahara has been a pillar of the mystery community since she published her first Mas Arai novel in 2004. To commemorate her final Mas novel, I asked Mike Sonksen, a.k.a. Mike the Poet, bard and historian of contemporary Los Angeles, to go on a walk with Naomi and write a profile that would do her justice. It was a huge task, but I believe he succeeded.

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NAOMI HIRAHARA IS one of the most prolific Los Angeles writers of the last few decades. Best known for her Edgar Award–winning seven-book Mas Arai crime novel series, she has also authored several nonfiction titles on Southern California Japanese-American history. Her newest Mas Arai mystery title and the final one of the series, Hiroshima Boy, was just published by Prospect Park Books in March 2018, and in April her latest nonfiction title, Life After Manzanar, was published by Heyday.

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PoetryLA Interview With Sarah Thursday

From: Poetry.LA

10997379_10153123132984168_646731247364234962_nThe most recent interview by Poetry.LA. is of Long Beach Poet Sarah Thursday. She is also the founder/publisher of Sadie Girl Press, which she founded in 2014 to create “print form collections of poetry, art, and beyond,” as the presses website states. As self-declared “poetry advocate,” she hosts readings series, leads workshops, organizes literary events, and promotes poets by publishing their work in chapbooks, anthologies. Her most recent chapbook is Seventeen Poems Not About a Lover from Arroyo Seco Press.

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For writer liz gonzález, a Taco Best Describes her Creative Self

by Palacio Podcast

Liz-Gonzalez-feature-2Long Beach-based writer liz gonzález has a simple and surprising answer when you ask her to describe her creative self. “Taco.” It took me a second to absorb her answer. “Taco?” I asked.

“The taco with, of course, my culture Mexican…and it would be a vegetarian taco with pinto beans de la olla…and then with some other things that aren’t considered Mexican.”

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