Literary History: Los Ángeles’ Nisei Literary Community Before WWII

By Brian Dunlap

download (1)On the night of October 7, 1934, in Los Ángeles, “11 Nisei writers and poets, seven women and four men,” gathered to discuss the creation of a literary organization for second generation Japanese Americans. Prolific columnist and poet Mary Oyama said, “for the first time ever, creative Nesei writers sat down together at one table.”

Continue reading

Advertisements

Speaking up for ALOUD at the Central Library

 la-1540419725-umgoitiqti-snap-image

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the reopening of the Los Angeles Central Library after a cataclysmic fire and phoenix-like rebirth. It is also the 25th anniversary of ALOUD, the library’s landmark program of conversations and performances that has played a crucial role in reviving the image of the city center as a cultural destination Continue reading

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.

¤

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.

Continue reading

Literary History: Poetic Research Bureau

bureau_pic2by Brian Dunlap

Located between commercial art galleries and tawdry Chinatown gift shops, the Poetic Research Bureau fosters a living room type atmosphere where poets and other wordsmiths share their words. This Chinatown literary space hosts a plethora of poetry reading year round. A place where L.A. poets, writers and others go to read.

Continue reading

Fifty Years of Beyond Baroque: 1968–2018

By Johanna Drucker

From: LARB

downloadFOR HALF A CENTURY, Beyond Baroque, the literary arts center in Venice, has provided a venue for an eclectic array of voices from diverse communities. Its program flyers and press releases have featured punk poets and New Age mystics, as well as gay, feminist, Black, and Latinx lyricists, storytellers, songsters, and activists. While creating an essential platform for Los Angeles and Southern California writers, Beyond Baroque has also attracted high-profile figures of international renown like Patti Smith, Tom Waits, Jack Hirschman, Dennis Cooper, and Viggo Mortensen. If Southern California shows up on the literary map of late 20th-century America, it is in some significant part because of Beyond Baroque’s tireless activity and advocacy. And the prevailing spirit of inclusiveness in its programming can be attributed to George Drury Smith, who founded the institution in 1968.

Continue reading

Santa Monica Review To Celebrate 30th Anniversary

by Grace Singh Smith

From: SMC In Focus

LEADThis year—fall 2018—marks the 30th anniversary of Santa Monica Review (SMR). The national literary arts journal published by Santa Monica College (SMC) showcases the work of established authors alongside emerging writers, with a focus on West Coast fiction and nonfiction; it happens to be the only nationally-distributed literary journal at a community college.

Continue reading