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WeHo Reads/National Poetry Month - Be the Change: Poetry and Social Change

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West Hollywood City Council Chambers

625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

West Hollywood, CA 90069

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Join the City of West Hollywood's Arts Division for a National Poetry Month event curated by City Poet Laureate Charles Flowers

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Join the City of West Hollywood as its WeHo Reads program celebrates National Poetry Month.

Inspired by Gandhi's message of "You must be the change you want to see in the world," join West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Charles Flowers for a reading and discussion about poets as agents of social change, and how poetry can play a role in our most critical discussions (race, immigration, homelessness). Featuring Morgan Parker, Verónica Reyes, and Brian Sonia-Wallace.

Following the reading, there will be a small reception and books will be available for purchase. For more information about WeHo Reads visit www.weho.org/wehoreads. For more information about the City of West Hollywood's arts programs visit www.weho.org/arts.

WeHo Reads Celebrates National Poetry Month

Be the Change: Poetry and Social Change

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 7pm

City Council Chambers

625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

West Hollywood, CA 90069

Charles Flowers is the City of West Hollywood’s third City Poet Laureate. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University, where he took his first poetry workshop with Mark Jarman and won the Academy of American Poets College Prize. He later worked with Garrett Hongo to receive his MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon. His poems have appeared in Puerto Del Sol, Barrow Street, Indiana Review, and Assaracus. He was the founder and editor of BLOOM, a journal for LGBT poetry, prose, and art, which Edmund White called “the most exciting new queer literary publication to emerge in years.” Over the course of ten issues, BLOOM published such poets as Adrienne Rich, Reginald Shepherd, Eileen Myles, Rafael Campo, Minnie Bruce Pratt, and Mark Doty, and over 150 other poets. Charles has served as Associate Director of the Academy of American Poets, Executive Director of the Lambda Literary Foundation, Deputy Development Director at the ACLU of Southern California, and most recently as Deputy Director of Arts for LA, the regional arts advocacy organization.

Morgan Parker is a poet, essayist, and novelist. She is the author of the poetry collections Magical Negro (Tin House 2019), There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Tin House 2017), and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015). Her debut young adult novel Who Put This Song On? was released by Delacorte Press on September 24, 2019. A debut book of nonfiction is forthcoming from One World. Parker is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a Pushcart Prize, and has been hailed by The New York Times as “a dynamic craftsperson” of “considerable consequence to American poetry.”

Verónica Reyes is Chicana feminist poet from East Los Angeles. From the barrio, she’s a proud alumni of Garfield High, Belvedere Jr. High, and Hammel Street School. She earned her MFA from University of Texas at El Paso and BA from CSU Long Beach. Reyes is the author of Chopper! Chopper! Poetry from Bordered Lives (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press 2013): winner of Best Poetry from 2014 International Latino Book Awards, Golden Crown Literary Society Awards, and Lambda Literary Finalist. Her poetry scripts the lives of her communities—Mexican American, brown queers, marimachas, immigrants—and contributes to the growing narrative of Chicana/o/x literature. She has received grants and fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragdale Foundation, and Montalvo Arts Center. Her work has appeared in journals, such as Calyx, Feminist Studies, and The Minnesota Review. Reyes is a lecturer in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) program in Liberal Studies Department and the Department of English at Cal State LA.

Brian Sonia-Wallace is the founder and convener of #PridePoets, started in conjunction with the City of West Hollywood’s One City One Pride initiative, and grown from Brian’s business RENT Poet, which brings poets on typewriters to events to write custom poems. Brian has written for tech companies and governments, toured nationally and internationally, and been the Writer-in-Residence for everyone from the Mall of America to Amtrak to the Boston Harbor Islands. His first book of essays, Dust Bowl Nation, tracks his journey to find humanity at the margins of America through poetry, and is forthcoming from Harper Collins in 2020. Brian lives in Los Angeles, and believes that typewriter poetry is inherently queer, blurring the lines between public and private, intimacy and stranger, permanence and ephemerality.

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West Hollywood City Council Chambers

625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

West Hollywood, CA 90069

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