David Ulin on the Rapidly Changing Landscape of Los Angeles

The Former LA Times Book Critic in Conversation with Paul Holdengraber

By Lit Hub
FROM: Lit Hub

los-angeles-echo-parkIn this episode of A Phone Call With Paul, Paul Holdengraber speaks with David Ulin, writer, and former book critic of the Los Angeles Times, about the dramatic changes in Los Angeles, the literature of the city, and his work on Joan Didion.

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Facundo Bernal’s Poems Spotlight Early Chicano Life in L.A. Long Before Border Walls

By Alex Espinoza
FROM: L.A. Times

la-1553218495-skqvu0dmdl-snap-image.jpegAs the president issues the first veto of his tenure after Congress rejected his declaration of a national emergency to fund his wall, it’s hard to imagine that the dynamics along the U.S.-Mexico border were once different, when people shuttled back and forth between the two nations. Facundo Bernal marks such a moment in “Palos de Ciego,” his manuscript of poetry translated to English for the first time by Anthony Seidman as “A Stab in the Dark” for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

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Los Ángeles at Ground Level: Letters To My City by Mike Sonksen

By Brian Dunlap
FROM: Lit Pub

downloadThe poet Mike Sonksen knows more about Los Ángeles than almost anyone. It began when he was a kid, his father and both grandfathers introducing him to the sprawling city by taking him on destination drives. Due to his father’s love of architecture, having, “taught me about…Frank Lloyd Write from an early age,” Sonksen “had a natural interest in maps and geography.” Those drives fostered that interest, dipping in and out of distinctly planned and inhabited neighborhoods that made up the patchwork quilt of, not only the city, but Los Ángeles County.

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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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