Recommended Los Ángeles Literature For Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

By Brian Dunlap

apahm-logoFor Asain/Pacific American Heritage Month, Los Āngeles Literature is recommending books about Asian L.Á. written by Asians and books written by Asian Angeleños. This history of the city’s Asian American literature extends at least as far back as the 1920s, as historian Valerie J. Matsumoto chronicles in the chapter “Sounding the Dawn Bell: Developing Nisei Voices” from her book City Girls. Continue reading

Open Letter To Los Angeles City Council Members From Los Angeles Literary Arts Organizations And Allies

FROM: PEN America

NOTE: Los Angeles Literature stands with PEN America Los Angeles and the L.A. literary comminity. Read on to find out why.

WritersEmergencyFundHeader-300x200We write as a coalition of Los Angeles-based literary arts organizations and allies committed to supporting this city’s writers and literary professionals struggling amid the COVID-19 epidemic. We support the prioritization of health and safety measures until the crisis subsides, but request that you include writers and the literary community in forthcoming funding decisions related to recovery from the pandemic, recognizing the essential cultural and economic role they play in our city.

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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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Luivette Resto: A Political Existence

By Alexandria Villegas
FROM: 7500 Magazine

wallcloseIt was approximately 7:00pm on February 27th, 2020 when I sat down with poet Luivette Resto in the small courtyard of Woodbury University’s campus library, empty and silent in the late-night hour. As a slight chill settled in the air, we chatted to the soothing patter of the courtyard fountain, occasionally pausing our conversation as we listened to the droning roar of an airplane flying overhead, courtesy of the nearby Burbank airport. Illuminated by the soft yellow glow of the lights strung above us, we talked about Luivette’s work, her inspiration, goals, and her commitment to living an “unapologetic” life.

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He Made Waves on the River: Lewis MacAdams Passes Away

By Carren Jao
FROM: KCET.org

DSC_8726Without Lewis MacAdams, an avowed poet, Los Angeles might have completely forgotten the river that birthed the city. “There would not be a movement to save or restore the L.A. river without him,” said Joe Edmiston, executive director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. “He was able to provide some romance, some poetry, some vision that you didn’t see.”

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Youth Poet Laurate Amanda Gorman Offers Words of Hope Amind Coronavirous Pandemic

By Brian Dunlap

gorman_-_headshotLos Ángeles native Amanda Gorman, the U.S.’s inaugural youth poet laureate, is offering Americans some words of inspiration to help get through this stressful time. Her words, like all poetry, helps people understand the world around them, to help contextualize and organize discordant aspects of our lives. Former Poet Laureate of Los Ángeles Luis J. Rodriguez says, “Her poetry draws on deep ideas, images, stories and concerns. She exudes confidence in her voice, her presentation and in the social issues she considers paramount.”

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Virtual Arts

By Brian Dunlap

20200318_192101We have seen over the last week, artists and musicians posting videos of them singing, performing or reading from their work or livestreaming their performances and readings. It’s a chance to keep people connected to each other during a time of isolation and sickness. It’s also a chance at self care, something to enjoy and take one’s mind off the worries and stress of the Coronavirus and all its effects.

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