By Vera Casaneda
When author Sarah Rafael García’s LibroMobile began taking up space in a Santa Ana back alley off 4th and Spurgeon streets, the purpose was to cultivate diversity through books. The past year has been about how to take up space online to survive.
Continue reading “Literary Arts Festival Spotlights Local and Visiting Artists of Color”
By Mike Sonsken
Over the last three decades, the Los Angeles Poetry community has grown into one of the most diverse and active scenes in this city. Before the pandemic, dozens of readings were held weekly and usually at least four or five simultaneously on the same day in different corners of L.A. County. Nonetheless, in a gentrifying city, with the exception of a few long-term spaces like Beyond Baroque, Skylight Books, Stories or the World Stage, the poetry scene is transitory. Many readings only last a few years before the gallery or coffeehouse hosting it goes out of business or the folks who organize the reading find a demanding job that takes them away from poetry. This is where Hiram Sims comes in.
Continue reading “Poetry Lives Here: The Sims Library of Poetry”
Sad news to report from the L.Á. literary community. It was announced yesterday that L.Á. lost a stanch supporter of literature and L.Á. writers, Chevalier’s Books manager Elizabeth Clare Newstat. She has passed away.
Continue reading “A Sad Day In The Los Ángeles Literary Community”
By Mary McNamara
FROM: Los Angeles Times
Once upon a time, in the hills above Los Angeles, where owls hoot, bear cubs frolic and deer trip daintily down the street, there lived a family with two little girls, named Jessica and Amelia, who loved to read.
Continue reading “America’s Oldest Children’s Bookstore is Struggling in the Pandemic. But There’s Hope”
by Henry E. (Hank) Scott
The West Hollywood City Council last night officially designated Brian Sonia-Wallace as the city’s poet laureate. Sonia-Wallace is the fourth person to assume the position, which was created in 2014.
Continue reading “Brian Sonia-Wallace Is Named West Hollywood’s New Poet Laureate”
by Liz Goldner
Sarah Rafael García, a familiar writer/entrepreneur/celebrity in her hometown of Santa Ana, exudes radiance, energy and success. Yet she attributes her accomplishments in writing, teaching, publishing and recently becoming the owner of a bookstore to acknowledging discomfort in her life. She uses that discomfort — as an out-of-place Chicana — as a major source of motivation.
Continue reading “Chicana Writing Avatar Sarah Rafael García Moves Forward with Her Rolling Bookstore”
by Kristen Farrah Naeem
FROM: Signal Tribune
Jhoanna Belfer, owner of Bel Canto Books, has lined its shelves with the stories she didn’t see as a young reader, featuring main characters of color that the children of Long Beach can see themselves in.
Continue reading “Bel Canto Books in Long Beach Has Stories For Everyone”
By Rebecca Onion
Earlier this month, Octavia Butler’s novel Parable of the Sower made it onto the New York Times’ bestseller lists 27 years after its original publication. The book, one of two in a planned trilogy that was never completed, follows Lauren Oya Olamina, a Black teenager who lives in an environmentally decayed and socially chaotic California in the 2020s—at the time, still a distant, futuristic decade. In Parable of the Sower and Butler’s 1998 follow-up, Parable of the Talents, Olamina leaves the gated compound where she grew up, goes on the road, starts (and loses) her own community, and becomes a leader of people, spreading a set of ideas she calls “Earthseed.”
Continue reading “Why So Many Readers Are Turning to Octavia Butler’s Apocalypse Fiction Right Now”
Asha Grant was always a bookworm. As a little girl growing up in Inglewood, she spent hours poring over stories like Debbie Allen’s “Dancing in the Wings,” Sandra Cisneros’ “The House on Mango Street” and Veronica Chambers’ “Marisol and Magdalena.” Her parents were delighted, but also frustrated by how challenging it was to find stories about young Black children.
Continue reading “She Dreamed of a Black-Owned Bookstore in Inglewood. Now, She’s Going to Run One”