The Novel That Shows Us How to Face Our Past to Change Our Future

Lessons for current activists and allies from Nina Revoyr’s 2003 literary crime novel “Southland”

By Vallarie Wallace
FROM: Electrict Literature

3788114656_0ada14285f_k-e1591824424154After several grueling hours of protesting against systemic injustice (no one can prepare you for long hours on your feet, long hours screaming for recognition of your humanity), we stood with our signs tucked safely under our arms as the organizer introduced some parting words. The speaker was an older Black man, the weariness of the movement evident in his face and in the way he leaned against a streetlamp for support. But his passion was clear in his speech as he declared that we were not the first to fight for our rights, and we will not be the last: he was protesting in the streets back in his early adulthood, the same way we were today. It was then that I looked at the faces of the people around me; some couldn’t be older than sixteen, and some as old as the speaker, or older. It was in the aftermath of being surrounded by these people, all aligned in our goal for the abolishment of the systemic injustices that cause Black oppression, that Nina Revoyr’s literary crime novel Southland came to mind.

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The Need For Racial Equality Hits the L.Á. Literary Community

By Brian Dunlap

20200615_194431The United States is now in the midst of its strongest push for racial equality since the Civil Rights era. Civil unity and protests sprung up instantly after George Floyd’s death at the hands of police last month in Minneapolis. The calls for police reform have been loud and wide, including calls for justice for Breonna Taylor who was killed by Louisville police as she slept.

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No Los Angeles Literature Events 6/08/20 – 6/14/20

By Brian Dunlap

no Because life interceded, there will be no list of Los Ángeles literary events this week. Check out Facebook Events for any local virtual literary event to support your local literary community. However, this list of L.A. literary events will be back next week.

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Los Angeles Poet Society Call For Submissions

By Brian Dunlap

20200605_203723During this time of social unrest, the country visibly upset over the continued killing of innocent black men and wemen at the hands of police, the Los Angeles Poet Society has issued a submissions call for social justice poems. On Facebook they announced:

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Recommended Los Ángeles Literature For Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

By Brian Dunlap

apahm-logoFor Asain/Pacific American Heritage Month, Los Āngeles Literature is recommending books about Asian L.Á. written by Asians and books written by Asian Angeleños. This history of the city’s Asian American literature extends at least as far back as the 1920s, as historian Valerie J. Matsumoto chronicles in the chapter “Sounding the Dawn Bell: Developing Nisei Voices” from her book City Girls. Continue reading

It’s Time to Take California Back from Joan Didion

The first lady of West Coast letters needs to share that honor with the Mexican diaspora

By Myriam Gurba
FROM: Electric Lit

yannick-van-der-auwera-LpGt-TarYMk-unsplash-scaled-e1589216653613Amado Vazquez, a Mexican botanist, named an orchid after Joan Didion. While that was a chic gesture, I don’t think of her as an orchid. I think of her as an onion. She’s very white, very crisp, and she makes people cry.

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Youth Poet Laurate Amanda Gorman Offers Words of Hope Amind Coronavirous Pandemic

By Brian Dunlap

gorman_-_headshotLos Ángeles native Amanda Gorman, the U.S.’s inaugural youth poet laureate, is offering Americans some words of inspiration to help get through this stressful time. Her words, like all poetry, helps people understand the world around them, to help contextualize and organize discordant aspects of our lives. Former Poet Laureate of Los Ángeles Luis J. Rodriguez says, “Her poetry draws on deep ideas, images, stories and concerns. She exudes confidence in her voice, her presentation and in the social issues she considers paramount.”

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Will The Coronavirus Outbreak Lead to New L.A. Crime Fiction? The Jury Is Out

By Mria L. La Ganga
FROM: L.A. Times

download.jpeg-8Steph Cha doesn’t expect much in the way of good crime fiction to spring from the coronavirus outbreak. She has lots of reasons, not least of which is that the pandemic has put a damper on crime from Los Angeles and New York City.

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Two Interviews With Viva Padilla and Nikolia Garcia of Dryland: A Literary Journal Based in South Central Los Angeles

By Brian Dunlap

UntitledIn the last two weeks, local literary journal Dryland: A Literary Journal Based in South Central Los Angeles, has been featured on the Podcasts’ Órale Boyle Heights ep 32: Dryland and The Badass Bookworm Podcast. Dryland was founded 5 years ago in 2015 by South Central native Viva Padilla and now includes South Central native and Compton Resident Nikolai Garcia as Assistant Editor.

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Review: Writing in Didion’s Honor — And Her Shadow

By Nathan Deuel
FROM: Los Angeles Times

Slouching_Towarda_Los_Angeles_3D_1000xJoan Didion is inescapable, an icon, and so essential to California’s story of itself that some even call her Los Angeles’ first public intellectual. It requires a certain bravery to tackle her legacy.

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