Empowering Diverse Writers, Innovaatively

By Agatha French

From: Los Angeles Times

IMG_6178Kima Jones is the founder of Jack Jones Literary Arts, a not-yet-3-year-old, three-person L.A.-based book publicity company whose clients are primarily women of color. Jones is a savvy media strategist and creative force, already counting a Pulitzer Prize winner (Tyehimba Jess’ poetry collection “Oilo”) among her campaigns.

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New Open Mic in Pomona

by Brian Dunlap

downloadFriday was the second edition of the open mic Poetry y Pan at Café con Libros in Pomona, hosted by poets and educators Irene Sanchez and Matt Sedillo. The Reading began shortly after 7:30 pm, the Arts District coming to life with music and food. Next door it sounded like a band was playing a familiar Green Day song, kicking off the weekend.

The feature Besskepp had yet to arrive and in the back sat a pink box of pan for readers and audience alike. The population inside the two-month-old lending library appeared close to 15. When things kicked off Matt Sedillo made quick introductions, then announced the first open mic reader.

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Remembering Michele Serros: A Writer’s Journey

by Daniel Cano

From: Labloga

IMG_1676In the spring of 2015, I received a telephone call from the Santa Monica College Foundation asking if I would present the SMC distinguished alumna award to writer Michele Serros, who had been a former student of mine.

“Of course,” I replied, sadly. I knew Michele had been fighting cancer, and she was putting up a courageous battle.

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Janet Fitch explains what it took to go back to Russia 100 years ago in ‘The Revolution of Marina M.’

By Janet Fitch

From: The Los Angeles Times

THODAAZUKFCZXDXUELOYIIIZOQMy new novel debuts on the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, which is also the historical moment of the book. It didn’t take me quite 100 years to write “The Revolution of Marina M.,” but 11 years was long enough.

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by Tanja M. Laden

From: L.A. Weekly

eso-won-tanja-ladenOriginally a planned community built in the 1920s, Leimert Park has since become the epicenter of African-American culture in Los Angeles. It’s also home to a beloved independent bookstore that’s been around since the late 1980s, owned and operated by James Fugate and Thomas Hamilton. Eso Won Bookstore occupied four other locations before landing in Leimert Park in 2006; by all appearances, it’s here to stay. Offering a browsing soundtrack of soothing jazz, the shop specializes in both legendary and up-and-coming African-American writers and poets, with books on everything from the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Panthers to cookbooks, children’s books and graphic novels. Eso Won takes its name from the African spelling of the city of Aswan, Egypt. Roughly translated, it means “water over rocks,” representing the continuous flow of knowledge over a firmly established community — just like the one that’s come to define Leimert Park.


Myriam Gurba’s “Mean” Explores Growing Up A Queer “Molack” In California: BUST Interview

by  Bri Kane

From: Bust

meanWhen you read Mean by Myriam Gurba, you’re going to laugh, and cry, at some really gross and mean things – but that’s kinda the whole point. Mean is a very introspective book, exploring Gurba’s childhood, adolescence, and early adult life. By analyzing her own memory, Gurba forces the reader to do the same. She describes the book as a “novel that is memoiristic,” meaning not exactly a memoir, but not exactly fiction — it blends the two genres through memory, analysis, and retrospection.

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BEST NEW BOOKSTORE Other Books, Comics and Zines

From: LA Weekly


Other Books, Comics and Zines offers an exquisitely curated selection of new and used books with an anarcho-queer-feminist–third world–radical-indigenist edge. The sparely decorated, spacious store, sandwiched unassumingly between an El Pollo Loco and a Mexican craft-leather shop, offers bare cement floors, bare white walls, bare light bulbs and unobtrusive, comfortable chairs and sofas for reading. Books are cerebral up front, transgressive in the rear. Shelves are unlabeled but well organized in the areas of art, photography, cultural studies, radical activism, poetry and philosophy. Other Books has a superb selection of Latin American Boom and post-Boom lit and crit, and a subspecialty of East Asian lit and poetry. Here you will find both James Baldwin’s complete works and his FBI file. Head to the racks in the back for comics, graphic novels, at least one coloring book (Cunt Coloring Book) and fanzines, including the series The Life and Times of Butch Dykes featuring Gertrude Stein and Gloria Anzaldúa and Feminist Pornographic Collective Consciousness, an intersectional feminist porn zine. It’s a punk-rock bookstore for a punk-rock part of town.