2 Local Poets: ‘The Spirit of Activism Has Always Been in LA Poetry’

By Steve Chiotakis
FROM: Greater L.A./KCRW

Southern California may not get the credit it deserves for its strong literary community and a great spoken word scene. However, poets Shonda Buchanan and Mike Sonksen tell Greater LA the poetry community could be the most diverse scene in the city of Los Angeles.

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Poet Bridgette Bianca on Connecting Through Spoken Word

By Steve Chiotakis and Courtney Kocak
FROM: Greater L.A./KCRW

180bf296-6ede-47f6-b8f2-f12d2dbffc25 (1)Poet Bridgette Bianca recently performed at Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen in South LA. She breaks down one of her pieces, touching on her life and work, and her part in a growing local community of young African American writers.

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Passing Of A Los Ángeles Poet Holly Prado

By Brian Dunlap

IMG_7437-Version-2-531x350I learned yesterday that Los Angeles poet Holly Prado died last week at age 81. I never met her, and the only poems of hers that I’ve read were those included in the L.A. poetry anthology Wide Awake, but of course I knew of her. In the course of compiling my webite’s list of weekly events I’d notice her name, usually as part of a reading at Beyond Baroque. She was one of the old guard and began publishing poems in the early 1970s. In compiling my list of local literary presses for Los Angeles I stumbled upon the press/publishing cooperative she co-founded with her husband, the poet and actor Harry Northrup in 1990.

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My Lit Box 3rd Anniversary

By Brian Dunlap

20190507_204749On April 28, My Lit Box celebrated its third birthday at Hilltop Coffee & Kitchen in View Park-Windsor Hills. I arrived early, before the tables and chairs had been arranged and the microphone plugged in. The space was lively, black friends in conversation, white friends in conversation, hipsters sitting at the back counter completing work on their laptops.

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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.”

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The World Stage and Literary Black Los Ángeles

by Brian Dunlap

25532286_728380960698600_6061884366904609104_oIt 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.

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