Post by Tatianna Giron
When one thinks of February approaching, the most common association is the looming date of Valentine’s Day. As we approach the month, it is either met with groans (from the cynics who believe V-Day is a consumerist black-hole) or with cheers (from the romantics who believe V-Day is a consumerist black-hole but rejoice in it). But there are a lot more things to look forward to in February—for example, an amazing plethora of poetry readings. The list below only contains seven of them, but here’s to hoping it will also help you associate the month with more than just roses and chocolates.
1. Flypoet All-Star Spoken Word & Music Showcase
Flypoet runs a monthly showcase that features both performance poets, spoken word artists, performance art, and live music from L.A. Artists. It runs the first Friday of every month. This February’s showcase features renowned spoken word artists such as Ebony Stewart, Louis Conphliction, and Christopher Michael.
Location: 218 S La Brea Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301
Date & Time: Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Tickets: $20 at door
For More Info: http://www.flypoet.com/next-show.php
2. Poetry Reading by Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo is a poet of the Muscogee (Creek) nation, whose poetry is influenced by First Nation storytelling and histories, as well as feminist and social justice critiques. As a result, her poetry often includes references to indigenous myths and symbols, and centers around the Southwest and Southeast, but also the need for remembrance and transcendence. The 2018 Jean Burden Reading at Cal State LA is honoring Joy Harjo for a poetry reading, Q&A, and book sales/signing.
Location: Golden Eagle Ballroom, California State University, Los Angeles, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032
Date & Time: Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. (arrive at 5:30 p.m. for buffet supper)
Tickets: no tickets/reservations needed
3. Poetry Reading by Ching-In Chen
Ching-In Chen is a genderqueer and multi-genre author of the novel-in-poems The Heart’s Traffic, and most recently, Recombinant. They have been awarded fellowships from Can Serrat, Millay Colony for the Arts, the Norman Mailer Center, and Imagining America. Chen’s poetry has been featured at poetry readings across the country, including Poets Against Rape, Word from the Streets, and APAture Arts Festival: A Window on the Art of Young Asian Pacific Americans. Chen is a senior editor of The Conversant and poetry editor of Texas Review. They currently teach creative writing and world literature at Sam Houston State University.
Location: The Forum, Goldsmith Campus, 9045 Lincoln Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Date & Time: Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
For More Info: https://www.pw.org/literary_events/chingin_chen
4. An Evening of Spoken Word
Beyond Baroque often hosts readings by talented and inspirational poets, and this reading is no exception. As the flyer states, “Sentenced to 36 years as a juvenile offender, Gonzalo found his poetic voice inside the prison walls. Gonzalo’s poetry is raw and organic from the ground up, revealing the beauty found in the depth of the Dark Time of the Soul. Join us in honoring one man’s journey inside the beast where he ultimately found redemption.”
Location: 681 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA, 90291
Date & Time: Feb. 9 at 8 p.m.
Tickets: RSVP required. Reserve tickets here: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E253261&id=47
For More Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/221864311690944/
5. Rattle Poetry Series feat. Brendan Constantine and Rayon Lennon
Rattle is an American poetry magazine based in LA. Every second Sunday Rattle presents a reading featuring poets from the current issue at the Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse. This month’s issue features Brendan Constantine and Rayon Lennon.
Brendan Constantine was born in Los Angeles. His collections of poetry include Letters To Guns, Birthday Girl With Possum, and Calamity Joe. Brendan tours regularly, bringing his poetry and workshops to theaters, schools, libraries, correctional facilities, and community centers across the nation. His fourth collection, Dementia, My Darling, was published in the spring of 2016.
Rayon Lennon was born in Jamaica and immigrated to Connecticut, at age 13. He works as a clinical therapist with adolescents struggling with substance use and mental health. His work has been published in Main Street Rag, StepAway Magazine, Folio, African American Review, Connecticut Review, Callaloo, and others. His first book of poems, Barrel Children, is a finalist for the 2017 Connecticut Book Award for best book of poetry.
Location: Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 1010 Foothill Blvd, La Cañada Flintridge, CA, 91011
Date & Time: Feb. 11, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: not required, free admission
6. Literary Uprising
Antioch University hosts annual poetry readings. This year features faculty member Victoria Chang, author of the recently released Barbie Chang and The Boss, and MFA Alum Reader Kirsten Imani Kasai, author of the novel, The House of Erzulie, and the series, Ice Song and Tattoo. Also reading are students Danton Stone and Lisa Croce.
They promise wine and soft drinks, appetizers, and books for sale. Free parking passes are available.
Location: Antioch University, 400 Corporate Pointe, Culver City, CA, 90230, Room A1000
Date & Time: Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.
Tickets: Free admission
7. Voices from Leimert Park Redux Anthology
Stories BooksandCafe is a bookstore located in Echo Park that caters to the larger literary community of Los Angeles. They host an array of events, from book release parties, comedy shows, live music, and community meetings. Voices from Leimert Park Redux is a poetry anthology that encapsulates the diverse writings of the Leimert Park area. It features African-American writers and other writers of color embracing new radical voices; one of the vehicles for their voices is this spoken word performance. The poets have been confirmed for this reading, but more details are TBA.
Location: 1716 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Date & Time: Feb. 23 at 8 p.m.
Tickets: Free admission
For More Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/322309301617627/