LISTING LITERARY LOS ANGELES: PART 1

By Mike Sonksen
FROM: Entropy

IMG_4267Documenting literary Los Angeles is my lifelong project. It started early in my childhood. I grew up going to bookstores across Los Angeles. From the early 1980s, I remember my dad driving us to the Bodhi Tree on Melrose. I remember going to Acres of Books in Long Beach and many other Used Bookstores now long gone. Most of them have been gone so long that I cannot even remember their names. (I still go to the Iliad in North Hollywood.)

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Voices From Leimert Park and Voices From Leimert Park Redux

By Brian Dunlap

downloadNOTE: This is the third book in Los Angeles Literature’s Black History Month series highlighting the L.A. literature written by black authors.

There are two poetry anthologies that capture the black literary talent from the headquarters of black creativity in Los Ángeles, The World Stage in Leimert Park. The anthologies, Voices from Leimert Park and Voices from Leimert Park Redux, were published 11 years apart in 2006 and in 2017. They both capture the stories, ideas and perspectives of black Los Ángeles and beyond in a myriad of poetic forms and angles.

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In The Not Quite Dark

By Brian Dunlap

31179356NOTE: This is the second book in Los Angeles Literature’s Black History Month series highlighting the L.A. literature written by black authors.

The story collection In The Not Quite Dark by Los Ángeles native Dana Johnson is about race, specifically blackness, gentrification, love and class in L.A. Many of these stories take place downtown and weave the city’s history into their narratives.

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If He Hollers Let Him Go

By Brian Dunlap

downloadNOTE: In honor of Black History Month, Los Angeles Literature is highlighting the city’s literature written by black writers. They have all left an indelible mark on the city of Angels. In the first installment, Los Angeles Literature is highlighting If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester Himes.

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Los Ángeles Writers Publish in 2018

by Brian Dunlap

41R0p7VEIAL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_As 2018 draws to a close, it’s been another year of publishing success for Los Ángeles writers and the Los Angeles literary community. As the months went by, writers published novels, essay collections, poetry collections, edited anthologies or announced their books had been accepted for publication in 2019 and even 2020. Congratulations to all these scribes and for penning important works. Some of these books, such as Erica Ayón’s Orange Lady, which recounts the author’s experience as an immigrant growing up in South Central Los Angeles, where her family sold oranges on the street in order to survive, and Lynell George’s essay collection After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame, focused on Los Angeles beneath-the-surface, both the past and the here-and-now, explores who and what L.A. is from different personal lived experiences. Showing how the political is personal.

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An interview with Daniel Acosta Regarding His Young Adult Novel, “The Iron River”

by Daniel A. Olivas
FROM: La Bloga

9781941026946_p0_v1_s550x406Daniel Acosta was born in Monterey Park, California, and grew up in Iron River’s Sangra neighborhood, across the street from the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks until his teens. After graduation from San Gabriel Mission Grammar School, he spent his high school years in Compton, California, at the Catholic Claretian Junior Seminary.

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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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