Lambda Literary Celebrates LGBTQ Books and Writers

by Catherine Womack
From: L.A. Times

la-1530647545-evjdcfxsg8-snap-imageIn 1995, Sue Landers needed a job. The 24-year-old was pursuing her MFA in poetry at George Mason University in Washington, D.C., and needed to support herself while she was in school.

She was also a recently out queer woman.

Continue reading

Advertisements

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.

Continue reading

Critic at Large David Kipen on El Segundo in literature

by David Kipen

From: Los Angeles Times

VBCPDWHJIZDH3NAKXWDPJKWA24News flash: Next year the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is moving to Venice Pier.

Kidding. Kidding.

The Times announced plans last week to relocate from its storied 1st Street home downtown to El Segundo, just south of LAX and across the street from — but not in — the city of Los Angeles. This move has historic ramifications for both El Segundo and Los Angeles, the latter a town famously cloven along a razor-wired border that, somehow, nobody has ever quite pinpointed.

Continue reading

Fifty Years of Beyond Baroque: 1968–2018

By Johanna Drucker

From: LARB

downloadFOR HALF A CENTURY, Beyond Baroque, the literary arts center in Venice, has provided a venue for an eclectic array of voices from diverse communities. Its program flyers and press releases have featured punk poets and New Age mystics, as well as gay, feminist, Black, and Latinx lyricists, storytellers, songsters, and activists. While creating an essential platform for Los Angeles and Southern California writers, Beyond Baroque has also attracted high-profile figures of international renown like Patti Smith, Tom Waits, Jack Hirschman, Dennis Cooper, and Viggo Mortensen. If Southern California shows up on the literary map of late 20th-century America, it is in some significant part because of Beyond Baroque’s tireless activity and advocacy. And the prevailing spirit of inclusiveness in its programming can be attributed to George Drury Smith, who founded the institution in 1968.

Continue reading

Artist Interview with Poet Laureate John Brantingham

From: Treehouse Arts

Hanging-RockI first came across John Brantingham’s work when he sent in a poetry submission to TreeHouse Arts, which I quickly accepted (you can view that publication here). Obviously, I liked his work, but what truly caught my attention was that in his bio he mentioned that he spends summers “living off the grid in a tent in the High Sierra, teaching poetry and writing for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.”

Continue reading

Cyclical Time, Slaughter, and Colonial Violence in Sesshu Foster’s Atomik Aztex

by Maia Gil’Adí

From: American Horror Stories Site

51k44v73w7l-_sx258_bo1204203200_I assigned Sesshu Foster’s Atomik Aztex (2005) as an incentive to begin work on the fourth chapter on my dissertation. In all honesty, I was using my students and our in-class discussions as a sounding board for my own ideas about this complicated novel. Unlike other readings this semester (besides Beloved, perhaps), Atomik Aztex is particularly difficult. It is formally and thematically challenging, implementing postmodern stylistics in conjunction with surrealism, Gonzo “journalism,” and the satirical, which can be baffling for readers.  Foster’s mixing of the “low-brow” and “high-art,” popular and consumer culture, Anglo-American and indigenous cultures also present a challenge for readers. My own interest in this book emerges from Foster’s “performance” of Chicanx in this novel and the possibilities that emerge from reading intra-ethnically and across racial and national boundaries.

Continue reading

PROFILE OF A MODERN-DAY POET IN L.A.: MIKE THE POET

by ASTRID
From: L.A. Taco

IMG_9023“Los Angeles is not Baywatch or the Beach Boys, it is getting carne asada tacos from a taco truck and bacon wrapped hot dogs at two in the morning.”

These are the words of Mike Sonksen, a poet, historian, activist, teacher, husband, and father better known as Mike the Poet. The nickname was given to Mike at the age of 23, by a friend who noticed he always carried a notebook. “You know Mike, you’re not Mike Sonksen, you’re Mike the Poet.”

Continue reading