by Isabel Gómez
“IT’S THE BROKEN PARTS that matter” claims Vickie Vértiz, in a note to her poem “Nahuatl — A Revenge,” which features what she calls “imperfect” translations from the indigenous Nahuatl language into English. Vértiz’s imperfect translations recall what theorists Emily Apter and Jacques Lezra, following Walter Benjamin, call “untranslatables”: philosophical concepts that both invite and prevent transfer between languages, words that call out to be reinvented in their new language context precisely by resisting translation. In Vértiz’s poems, Latinxs living in California share “untranslatable” experiences that take place between English and Spanish. Her poems transform displacement and a polluted cityscape into sources of resistance and aesthetic restructuring. The visually and sonically rich setting of these poems may be polluted — by toxic air, water, and soil; toxic masculinity and white supremacy — but Vértiz celebrates what her community grows in this toxic ground and voices their untranslatable experiences.
Congratulations goes out to Los Ángeles poet Vickie Vértiz. Her poem “Already My Lips Were Luminous” has been published in the New York Times Magazine. The poem opens her new collection of poems Palm Frond With Its Throat Cut and sets the entire collection in motion. As Vickie Vértiz said in an Instagram post: “Aquí nomas, my poem from Palm Frond in the @tmagazine. Thank you so, so much Terrance Hayes, and to @MatthewZapruder for the encouragement.”
Los Angeles – Several hundred people gathering in Leimert Park Village in front of the iconic Vision Theater, Saturday, October 14, 2017.
The diverse crowd gathered on this beautiful day in Southern California to celebrate the first book launch from TSEHAI’s imprint, the Harriet Tubman Press: Voices from Leimert Park Redux: a Los Angeles Poetry Anthology.
by Brian Dunlap
“It’s official…” Los Angeles poet and Cave Canem fellow F. Douglas Brown said today, “Writ Large Press will publish ICON, poems centered around my namesake, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and the Harlem Renaissance painter Jacob Lawrence.”
Los Angeles poet Kelly Grace Thomas announced today that her manuscript BOAT/BURNED has been accepted by YesYes Books.
As she said in her face book post, “My DREAM press!!!! So excited for this new chapter.” Los Angeles Literature couldn’t be happier either.” She is the 2017 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor from Rattle and a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Kelly also works to bring poetry to unserved youth as the Manager of Education and Pedagogy for Get Lit: Words Ignite. She is the co-author of Words Ignite: How to Explore, Write, and Perform Classic and Spoken Word Poetry and helped develop Get Lit’s UC approved year-long curriculum.