Please enjoy these readings on our first ever virtual poetry "stage" produced in partnership with Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center.
Be sure to scroll through the entire page, as there are several readings from so many talented poets available to view including Yusef Komunyakaa, Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award-Winner, local L.A. poets Sesshu Foster, William Archila and Yesika Salgado, 2020 L.A. Times Book Prize finalists Victoria Chang, Anthony Cody and Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and many more. Stay tuned to this page for additional poets being added!
William Archila, author of The Art of Exile, 2010 International Latino Book Award, and The Gravedigger’s Archaeology, 2013 Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize, has been published in American Poetry Review, AGNl, Conjunctions, Colorado Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Magazine, and the anthologies The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext, Theatre Under My Skin: Contemporary Salvadoran Poetry, and The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the US. He was featured in Spotlight on Hispanic Writers, Library of Congress. He was also selected for The Fifth Annual Debut Poets Round Up” in Poets & Writers.
Ellen Bass is co-author of the best-selling The Courage to Heal (HarperCollins 2008), which has sold more than one million copies and has been translated into nine languages. She has also published several volumes of poetry, including The Human Line (Copper Canyon, 2007), and her poems have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies, including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, and The New Republic. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she lives in Santa Cruz, and teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University.
Victoria Chang’s books include OBIT, Barbie Chang, The Boss, Salvinia Molesta, and Circle. Her children’s picture book, Is Mommy?, was illustrated by Marla Frazee and published by Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster. It was named a New York Times Notable Book. Her middle grade novel, Love Love will be published by Sterling Publishing in 2020. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. She lives in Los Angeles and is the program chair of Antioch’s Low-Residency MFA Program.
Cortney Lamar Charleston
Cortney Lamar Charleston is the author of Telepathologies, selected by D.A. Powell for the 2016 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, and Doppelgangbanger (Haymarket Books, 2021). He was awarded a 2017 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and he has also received fellowships from Cave Canem and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Winner of a Pushcart Prize, his poems have appeared in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Granta, The Nation and elsewhere. He serves as a poetry editor at The Rumpus and on the editorial board at Alice James Books.
Anthony Cody is a CantoMundo fellow and MFA candidate at Fresno State University. His poetry has appeared in Gulf Coast, Ninth Letter, Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly, and The Boiler, among others. "Borderland Apocrypha" his first collection from Omnidawn is a finalist for the 2020 L.A. Times Book Prize in Poetry.
Megan Dorame is a Tongva poet who lives and writes in Santa Ana, California. She holds a BA in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma and works to reclaim and revitalize the Tongva language. Her work has appeared in The Ear, Dryland, and The Offing, among others. Dorame is working on a collection of poems inspired by the complicated history of her people.
Martín Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His new book of poems is called Floaters (2021). Other collections of poems include Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016), The Trouble Ball (2011), and Alabanza (2003) He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019). His honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. A former tenant lawyer, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Sesshu Foster taught composition and literature in East L.A. for 35 years. He's also taught writing at the University of Iowa, the California Institute for the Arts and the University of California, Santa Cruz, Occidental College and Pomona College. His most recent books are World Ball Notebook, winner of the American Book Award, and City of the Future, winner of the CLMP Firecracker Award. ELADATL: A History of the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines, a novel co-written with artist Arturo E. Romo, published by City Lights in 2021.
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is a poet whose work examines culture, religion, history, and family. She is a finalist for a 2020 L.A. Times Book Prize in Poetry for "The Age of Phillis," and is the author of four other books of poetry, including The Glory Gets, and the recipient of the 2018 Harper Lee Award for Literary Distinction, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation through the Library of Congress. An elected member of the American Antiquarian Society, she teaches creative writing at the University of Oklahoma where she is a professor of English.
Allison E. Joseph
Allison Joseph is author of six poetry collections, most recently, My Father’s Kites: Poems (Steel Toe Books, 2010). She grew up in Toronto and the Bronx. She teaches at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and is Director of the Young Writers Workshop at SIUC, which she founded in 1999: a four-day summer program for high school students. In 1995, she was one of the founding editors of Crab Orchard Review as the magazine’s poetry editor and has also worked as editor-in-chief since August 2001.
Yusef Komunyakaa’s numerous books of poems include Thieves of Paradise, a finalist for the National Book Critics Award; The Chameleon Couch, a finalist for the National Book Award; Neon Vernacular: New & Selected Poems 1977–1989, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; and his forthcoming Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth: New & Selected Poems 2001-2021; Komunyakaa’s prose is collected in Blue Notes: Essays, Interviews & Commentaries. He also co-edited The Jazz Poetry Anthology. And he served as New York State Poet 2016-2018.
Jasmine Mans is a Black American poet, artist from Newark, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison, with a B.A. in African American Studies. Her debut collection of poetry, Chalk Outlines of Snow Angels, was published in 2012. Mans is the resident poet at the Newark Public Library. She was a member of The Strivers Row Collective.
Jenise Miller is a Black Panamanian writer, poet, and urban planner based in Compton. Her work explores art, local history, and geographic mapping and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, KCET Artbound, Boom California, Cultural Weekly, Dryland Literary Journal, and the Acentos Review. She was recently named one of six contemporary Panamanian authors to know by the Latino Book Review. A Pushcart-nominated poet and Voices of Our Nations Arts (VONA) alumna, she writes about the places and community that raised her in the poetry chapbook "The Blvd."
Martha Ronk is the author of 12 books of poetry and one book of short stories, Glass Grapes. Her most recent poetry books include Transfer of Qualities, long- listed for the National Book Award and Vertigo, winner of the National Poetry Series. She has had several artist residences at Djerassi and MacDowell, won a National Endowment Grant, and the Lynda Hull Poetry Award. Her PhD is in Renaissance literature and she has been a faculty member at Occidental College in Los Angeles and at Otis College of Art and Design. Her book Silences was a finalist for the 2019 Big Other Book Award for Poetry.
Yesika Salgado is a Los Angeles based Salvadoran poet who writes about her family, her culture, her city, and her fat brown body. She has shared her work in venues and campuses throughout the country. Salgado is a two time National Poetry Slam finalist and the recipient of the 2020 International Latino Book Award in Poetry. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Teen Vogue, Univision, CNN, NPR, TEDx, and many digital platforms. She is an internationally recognized body-positive activist and the writer of the column Suelta for Remezcla. Yesika is the author of the best-sellers Corazón, Tesoro, and Hermosa, published with Not a Cult.
Michael Wasson is the author of the forthcoming collection Swallowed Light, as well as This American Ghost (YesYes Books, 2017). He earned a BA from Lewis-Clark State College and an MFA in creative writing from Oregon State University. Wasson is the recipient of a Native Arts & Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship in Literature, the Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry, the Vinyl 45 Chapbook Prize, and the Joyce Carol Oates Commencement Award in Poetry. In 2019 he was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He is nimíipuu from the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho.