Literary History: American Sonnets: PolyVocality and Code Switching With Wanda Coleman and Terrance Hayes

Literary History: American Sonnets: PolyVocality and Code Switching With Wanda Coleman and Terrance Hayes

By Mike Sonksen
FROM: Pleaides: Literature in Context

IMG_2685-300x225The recipient of both the National Book Award and MacArthur Genius Grant, Terrance Hayes is undoubtedly one of the most progressive Poets writing today. His latest book, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin  recently published by Penguin Poets is more contemporary than tomorrow. Composed during the first six months of the Trump presidency, Hayes meditates on America’s past, present and future with deep insight, sarcasm and compassion in 70 American sonnets. (More on what makes an American Sonnet in a few paragraphs.).

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Literary History: The Fearless Invention of One of L.A.’s Greatest Poets

Wanda Coleman’s work tallies and transcends the difficulties of being a black woman in a profession that hardly pays.

By Dan Chiasson
FROM: The New Yorker

200518_r36471Wanda Coleman wrote in “My Love Brings Flowers,” a poem from 1983. “Make clothes ten years old fashionable / rejuvenate one fake sable coat.” Coleman, who died in 2013, was one of the great menders in American verse: she found the extra wear in old forms like the sonnet and rummaged for new forms in everyday material, like aptitude tests, medical reports, and want ads. Poets sometimes brag about their fearsome powers of transformation; Coleman, beset by hardship for much of her life, kept her boasts closer to the bone. “I scrape bottom,” she wrote, and yet her poetry drew on deep reserves. Given Coleman’s almost chaotic originality, it is touching to encounter her stark admissions of debt: “I borrow from friends.” At a moment when many of us are learning—and teaching one another—how to make a face mask out of a sock or a bra, Coleman’s poetry might be just the model of inspired, ecstatic thrift we need.

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Literary History: Why L.A. Is The Perpetual Dark Heart of Crime Writing

By Jeffery Fleishman
FROM: Los Angeles Times

downloadLos Angeles is a madman’s prayer wrapped inside a murderous dream.

It’s homeless on sidewalks and hustlers in the hills. It’s laborers and housekeepers, and billboards of lust, dystopia, apes, robots, Chewbaccas, Kim and Kanye, and Lady Gaga’s newest thing. It’s clear skies, no mosquitoes and laser-sculpted people with money, hedgerows and sins. A crime writer can make of it what he or she wants, like “Westworld” or a lover who gives you a kiss and a key, and one day changes the locks.

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Literary History: OBITUARY: Hisaye Yamamoto

By Nichi Bei
From: Nichi Bei

Los Angeles Literature Note: This obituary of Los Ángeles writer Hisaye Yamamoto was published February 23, 2011 in Nichi Bei. Yamamoto was an important writer and Nisei writer, one of the first to get national recognition by publishing short stories in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar. Yamamoto was one of many little known Asian/Japanese writers and Asian women of color to emerge from Los Ángeles in the aftermath of WW II. Her short stories are set mostly in and around Los Ángeles.

YamamotoLOS ANGELES — Hisaye Yamamoto, a pioneer in Asian American literature, passed away on Jan. 30, 2011 in Los Angeles at the age of 89.

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Los Angeles Literature Events 10/07/19 – 10/13/19

downloadSamantha Power & The Education of an Idealist at USC’s Bovard Auditorium

In collaboration with Visions and Voices and other campus organizations, USC’s Speakers Committee presents acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning author, former US Ambassador to the UN and Obama cabinet member, Samantha Power, who will discuss her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist, which chronicles her transition from outside activist to government insider and explores the impact one person can have on the world.

NOTE: This ticketed event is free to USC students and faculty and their guests, so check website for details.

Where: Bovard Auditorium, USC

Date: Tuesday the 8th

Time: 6:30 pm – 10 pm                 

Address: 3551 Trousdale Pkwy., Los Angeles, CA 90089


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Los Angeles Literature Events 9/16/19 – 9/22/19

downloadRachel Cline & The Question Authority at Chevalier’s Bookstore

Join us to hear author Rachel Cline, present and sign her new book, The Question Authority, which was featured in a list of upcoming thriller novels dealing with the topic of the #MeToo movement from Publishers Weekly.

Nora Buchbinder—formerly rich, and now broke—would be the last woman in Brooklyn to claim #MeToo, but when a work assignment reunites her with her childhood best friend, Beth, she finds herself in a hall of mirrors. Was their eighth grade teacher Beth’s lover or her rapist?

Where: Chevalier’s Bookstore

Date: Monday the 16th

Time: 7 pm                                   

Address: 126 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004


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Facundo Bernal’s Poems Spotlight Early Chicano Life in L.A. Long Before Border Walls

By Alex Espinoza
FROM: L.A. Times

la-1553218495-skqvu0dmdl-snap-image.jpegAs the president issues the first veto of his tenure after Congress rejected his declaration of a national emergency to fund his wall, it’s hard to imagine that the dynamics along the U.S.-Mexico border were once different, when people shuttled back and forth between the two nations. Facundo Bernal marks such a moment in “Palos de Ciego,” his manuscript of poetry translated to English for the first time by Anthony Seidman as “A Stab in the Dark” for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

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Watts Poetic

In 1967, the Watts Prophets arose from the ashes of the Riots to offer a voice for the voiceless. Over a half-century later, Amde Hamilton is still creating change.

By Sam Ribakoff

WattsThere used to be a lot more trees on this stretch of 103rd Street, but most of them were cut down so police helicopters could watch Watts’ residents from the sky. Amde Hamilton, 78 years old, still moves down these streets that he grew up on with a glide you can imagine him having in the late ‘60s, when he formed the Watts Prophets with Otis O’Solomon and Richard Dedeaux.

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