by Brian Dunlap
It begins every Wednesday at 7:30 pm. Early arrivals step to the mic, sharing a poem in progress to receive much needed feedback. Then they provide feedback to others. V. Kali, author of Hymn (World Stage Press), sits next to the donation box and front entrance and welcomes attendees as they arrive. As host, V. has been a warm presence each week for years, her long beautiful natural hair a thing of legend. As the crowd grows, the list of open mic readers expands before the feature grabs everyone’s attention. Murmurs of “mmm hmm” and “that’s right” arise from the crowd. After, it’s the community-the open mic readers’-turn at the mic. It’s their chance to bring down the house.
By Brian Dunlap
Sunday at the Hollywood Hotel was a time to build community. 13 writers and active participants in the Los Ángeles literary community came together to discuss creating, nurturing and sustaining the community that means so much to them. Also, they came together to remind everyone, they too are writers, by sharing their work.
This was another edition of “The Table Reading Series”, created by Los Ángeles novelist Natasha Deón. It began last year with “the goal to help raise up the next generation of writers and readers to be actively engaged in the writing community; to invest in them, give them a space to begin, to reach new or estranged writers in Los Angeles, and to provide fresh outlets for writers and fans to engage and contribute to the vibrancy of the Los Angeles literary community.”