Friday, June 12, 2015

Southern California readings from Long Beach to Beyond Baroque

I'm excited to have an upcoming reading at Beyond Baroque in Venice (Thursday July 30th). I'll go into more of the details soon. The only other time I had a reading in Southern California was for last year's Long Beach Poetry Festival. That was my first reading outside of Arizona and it was a great time. I met lots of wonderful people and poets, so they set the bar pretty high.

Fortunately, my book came out on the same press (NYQBooks) as Clint Margrave who was one of the LB PoFest organizers, so I ended up on his radar. I love Margrave's first book The Early Death Of Men but I also remember sharing his essay PANIC ON THE STREETS OF POETRY: IN SEARCH OF VERSE THAT SAYS SOMETHING TO ME ABOUT MY LIFE with all of my friends. 

The Long Beach community was more receptive and supportive than I could have hoped.
I was thrilled to have a spot at their table with so many excellent books.

The headliner for this festival was East Coast poet Joe Weil.
I already had his recent selected poems collection The Great Grandmother Light so I was familiar with his writing, but hearing these poems in his own voice made everything even better. He's a fiery passionate speaker with all the intensity of Godfellas-era Joe Pesci which seemed perfectly in sync with the tone of his words on the page.

A few of the other poets who left a lasting impression:

I didn't speak to John Tottenham, but his poems stuck in my head on the drive home and I shared his work with many of my Arizona friends. Here's one of my favorites with bonus animation:

I did get to talk with Danielle Mitchell who runs The Poetry Lab and learned that we had some mutual friends and we both had work in the debut issue of Four Chambers Magazine. She also blogged a recap of the fest on her site ( ) and it made my day/year/eon to see that she liked my book.
She read a bunch of prose poems and I especially loved the one for her brother that I tracked down at Connotation Press:

Kevin Ridgeway is another poet I've kept in touch with. His chapbook from Arroyo Seco Press sold out before I could get one at that Long Beach Fest, but I finally got one a few months later. Here's a review of another recent chapbook by Kevin, Riding Off Into That Strange Technicolor Sunset

I also remember asking Elder Zamora if the "suit poem" he read was published anywhere. It wasn't at that time, but I was happy to see it eventually turn up online:

So, like Cool J, I'm looking forward to "Going back to Cali, stylin, profilin
Growlin, and smilin, while in the sun."

Oh, and keep your eyes out for this year's Long Beach Poetry Festival on October 10th. I'm sure they'll have another amazing lineup.

No comments:

Post a Comment