Los Angeles, City of Poets

by Sesshu Foster
FROM: LARB

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailONE DAY, when my brother Paul was 12, he came home wearing a shirt made from the American stars and stripes. My uncle caught him — my uncle owned the East L.A. house we lived in at the time and he reminded us of this fact regularly. He beat Paul to the floor and tore the shirt off. That same year, they put Paul on a Greyhound bus at the old terminal on Sixth and Los Angeles Streets and sent him up to Northern California to live with our dad. After a couple years, Paul was out on his own, moving through a series of hippie communes, Big Sur cabins, and foster homes, where he started reading Allen Ginsberg and the Beats.

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On the Books: Brian Dunlap

by Jefferson Beavers
From: Fresno State MFA Blog

Photo Taken By Scott Dunlap 2When did you attend the Fresno State MFA program, and what genre did you study?

I attended Fresno State from 2010-2013 to study fiction.

What were your first thoughts when you learned that your poetry chapbook, Concrete Paradise, would be published?

Surprise and disbelief, because I’d only sent my manuscript out to four or five publishers in the six months since I began the submissions process. Plus, I thought it was ironic that my first book was a book of poems, considering I always wrote fiction and dreamed of publishing novels, and for most of my life had avoided poetry altogether.

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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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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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Magical Realism Transforms Los Angeles in ‘Tropic of Orange’

On Karen Tei Yamashita’s iconic LA novel.

BY CHRIS DOYLE

From: chireviewofbooks.com

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In support of their publication of Karen Tei

Yamashita’s new work of nonfiction, Letters to Memory, Coffee House Press has reissued three of Yamashita’s novels in beautiful new jackets: Through the Arc of the Rainforest, Brazil-Maru, and Tropic of Orange, which is the subject of this review. Originally published in 1997 and already considered a canonical L.A. novel, its eclectic and feverish prose still speaks with a freshness on contemporary concerns around migration, identity, globalization and apocalypse.

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