Meet Eric Contreras of Alivio Open Mic in Bell

From: VoyageLA

personal_photo-392-1000x600Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Contreras.

Eric, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Alivio Open Mic was born from the void that existed here in Southeast Los Angeles. There was a lack of spaces that promoted artistic expression and voices here in our community. Each time I wanted to listen to spoken word, engage with artists, enjoy artwork, or share my poetry, I found myself leaving my community of Bell. After finding myself one too many times on the 5 freeway, the 710 freeway, the 10 freeway, and the 101 freeway, I began to think, “Why do I always have to extract myself from my community to enjoy art?” This thought fermented inside of my mind until I ended up doing something about it.

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Long Beach’s Grassroots Poetry And Literary Scene Is Underground No More

By Mary Anne Perez
From: Long Beach Press-Telegram

LPT-L-WRITERS-0802-TR03.jpgThe Friday night crowd clapped, hooted and snapped their fingers for each poet who stood up to read their work at Fox Coffee House. The poets read from their phones, mostly, expressing loss, frustration with societal expectations and anger at injustice.

One fantasized about dealing with a mechanical friend.

“Time does not stop simply because your friend is a robot,” one man read.

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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.

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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.

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Love is the Message

By Jason Toney
From: misterjt.com

I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE LOS ANGELES.
— JONATHAN GOLD

 

askmrgoldsil2-thumb-520x315_400x400We were standing in the non-fiction, cultural studies aisle of Book Star on Ventura Boulevard when a woman came around the corner and sternly said, “No laughing!” We blushed and then, she smiled.

“Sometimes when I do that, it’s to teenage couples that are smooching in the stacks,” she explained. I revealed that just before we had been looking at “adult books” like 101 Sex Positions and, yes, laughing like school children that were getting away with something.

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FRANCESCA LIA BLOCK IS A LOT MORE THAN WEETZIE BAT

THE BELOVED WRITER ON DEFYING EXPECTATIONS AND TRYING NEW THINGS

By Zan Romanoff

From: Lithub

Francesca-Lia-BlockI can’t help myself: I dress up to go see her. It’s 9 am on a Thursday morning when I leave my house, 50-some degrees in Los Angeles and so windy that palm trees are curved and swaying, my car trembling with exertion on the freeway.

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