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Celebrating Poetry Month in LA

Lilac
April is National Poetry Month. | Photo by faria! via LAist's flickr pool.
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APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing  

Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain...

T.S. Eliot might not have been a big fan of April, as you can see from those lines in his great modernist poem, The Waste Land, but the Academy of American Poets went ahead and picked it anyway to celebrate National Poetry Month. Sign up on Poets.org to receive a poem a day to celebrate the month, featuring verse from new poetry books published this spring, or download a pretty cool iPhone app that lets the animated poetry and text flow on your handheld screen.

A number of poetry month-related events are going on around LA, and here are a few to get you started:

  • [Aloud] at the Central Library features a couple of poetry events. Tomorrow night, there’s a reading with Ralph Angel, Carol Muske-Dukes and Cecilia Woloch; and on April 13, there’s a reading by Christ Abani, Doug Kerney and Peggy Shumaker.
  • At Vroman’s on Saturday at 5 pm, five poets -- Linda Dove, Michael O'Keefe, Corrie Greathouse, Jo Anne Kurman and Rae Hawkins-- will present their newest works: In Defense of Objects, Swimming from Under My Father, Portraits: Invisible Ink on Parchment, Dream for Sale, and Dances by the Moonlight, respectively.
  • Skylight Books hosts author and educator Terry Wolverton who will give a free two-hour workshop that explores the anatomy of a poem. “Using poems drawn from Best American Poetry 2009, participants will discuss not only their meaning, but how their construction contributes to their meaning. Please pre-register by Friday by calling (323) 661-5954.
  • Hen House Studios presents local poet/musician Ellyn Maybe, who’s doing a Thursday night poetry rodeo residency at Pier 212 Cafe in Venice on April 15, 22 and 29.
  • Diesel bookstore (with locations in Malibu and Brentwood) is releasing 30 poetry videos in 30 days on their website.


We'll post other poetry events in our daily Pencil This In columns throughout the month.