Southern California Poetry Festival
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In partnership with
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.

The Poetry Foundation works to raise poetry to a more visible and influential position in our culture. The Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry. 

Established in 2003 upon receipt of a major gift from philanthropist Ruth Lilly, the Poetry Foundation evolved from the Modern Poetry Association, which was founded in 1941 to support the publication of Poetry magazine. The gift from Ruth Lilly allowed the Poetry Foundation to expand and enhance the presence of poetry in the United States and established an endowment that will fund Poetry magazine in perpetuity.

Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center 
hosts this year’s Southern California Poetry Festival in celebration of its 50th anniversary, and in recognition of its long history of nurturing the poets and poetry of Los Angeles.

Founded in 1968, and housed in the original Venice City Hall building in Venice, California, Beyond Baroque is a nonprofit public space dedicated to cultivating new writing and expanding the public’s knowledge of poetry, fiction, literature, and art through cultural events and community interaction. The Center offers a diverse variety of poetry programming including readings, workshops, seminars, residencies, and collaborations between poets and artists working in other media. The Center also houses a bookstore that specializes in poetry; the Mike Kelley Gallery, which specializes in text and language-focused visual art; and a 50,000 volume archive of small press and limited-edition publications that chronicles the history of poetry movements in Los Angeles and beyond.

Few literary spaces have done more to cultivate innovative art from cultural outsiders, or to shape emerging artistic movements. Across five decades Beyond Baroque has nurtured the Venice Beats, cradled the Los Angeles punk scene, and provided crucial support to a series of seminal LA poets that include include Wanda Coleman, Dennis Cooper, Will Alexander, Amy Gerstler, David Trinidad, Harry Northup, Lee Hickman, Manazar Gamboa, Jeffery McDaniel, and many others.

Beyond Baroque celebrates its anniversary with the festival, and with a gala on November 10 that honors Will Alexander and Viggo Mortensen. For more information please visit

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In 2022, the Southern California Poetry Festival found a permanent home at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center. Please visit for current information about the festival.