Southern California Poetry Festival

7:00pm - Opening Reception

8:00pm - Anne Waldman, Janice Lee, and Justin Desmangles celebrate Will Alexander

The 2018 SoCalPoFest opens with a reading and discussion that celebrates the work and influence of one of the region's singular poets, Will Alexander. Legendary experimental poet Anne Waldman joins Alexander and interdisciplinary author, curator, and editor Janice Lee for a reading. A wide-ranging discussion focused on Alexander's work and the avant-garde in language will follow, moderated by radio host and Before Columbus Foundation chair Justin Desmangles.

Saturday, November 17th

10:00am-12:00pm - Workshop with Kimiko Hahn:

"The Sensationally-Short Poem"

In this generative workshop, you will write a number of poems, two of which will be workshopped. Towards that end, I will present various kinds of prompts. Revision possibilities will guide participants to try new craft options. By the end of the workshop, I predict you’ll have produced a gem. 

10:00am-12:00pm - Workshop with Janice Lee:

"Co-Dependencies: Affected Bodies & the Poetic Languages of Personhood"

“What really exists is not things made but things in the making.” - William James

How are the frames of reference and relationships between and of living beings (plant, animal, human) activated? That is, how do different bodies and worlds articulate each other, or, how do we learn to be affected? This workshop will explore notions of personhood and interspecies communication through exercises in seeing, writing, breathing, and sensing.

12:00pm - 2:00pm - SoCal Literary Showcase:

Kaya Press:
​Sesshu Foster
Kenji C. Liu
Vickie Vértiz

Red Hen Press:
Kim Dower
Eloise Klein Healy
Edoardo Ponti

Jack Jones Literary Arts:
Frank Johnson
Joseph Rios
B.A. Williams

2:30-4:00pm - Poetry Film Festival, hosted by Pedro Paulo Araujo of Maraca:  

Poem/Poet/Film maker/Production Company​:

“Turkey Teacher”- Barbara West, David Mai
“Christian Parents” - Doug Manuel, Mike Gioia, Blank Verse Films
“You Can Call Me “Ma’am”” - Francesca Bell, Mike Gioia, Blank Verse Films
“Opposites Game” - Brendan Constantine, Mike Gioia, Blank Verse Films
“Small Shoes” - Maggie Smith, Kate Dolan, Motionpoems
 “You’re Dead, America” - Danez Smith, Jovan Todorovic, Motionpoems
“The Ayes Have It” - Tiana Clark, Savanah Leaf, Motionpoems
“In Between Words” - Lilian Mehrel, Sheldon Chau, City Odes
"Never Say Never Say Never" - Patrick James Errington, Adele Myers, FilmPoem
“The Entropy of Forgiveness” - Angelica Paversky, Merissa Victor  
“Anyone Can Buy a Seat in the Cinema” - Laura Seymour, Maggie Clark
“Threshold” - Ocean Vuong, Michelle Cheripka, Visible Poetry Project
“Misery” - Sarah Stoat, Marie Craven
“Where Are the African Gods?” - Abbey Lincoln, Rodney Passe`, Nowness
“Elephant” - Elizabet Velasquez, Connie Chavez
"Rock the Bells" - Rachel Kann, Brad Cooper
“The Hidden” - Leland Hickman, Pedro Paulo Araujo, Maraca

4:30-6:30pm - ReVerse: Beyond Baroque in Retrospect

A reading and discussion focused on the poems and poets shaped by Beyond Baroque over 50 years. Laurel Ann Bogen, Bill Mohr, Pam Ward, Dennis Phillips, Suzanne Lummis, Jack Skelley, and S.A. Griffin share memories of Beyond Baroque and read poems by Wanda Coleman, Dennis Cooper, Michelle Serros, David Trinidad, Bob Flanagan, Michelle T. Clinton, Akilah Oliver, Paul Vangelisti, and many more. 

Poet's Potluck Dinner Break

8:00pm - The NEW Series: Kimiko Hahn, Morgan Parker, and Vanessa Angélica Villarreal

Three poets read original work commissioned for the festival on the theme of "Writing the Future." Followed by a discussion with the authors moderated by Victoria Chang

Sunday, November 18th

10:00am - 12:00pm - Morning Workshop with Peter J. Harris: 

"UnSilenced… summoning ecstatic insight by ‘diving’ into personal/social Vertigo …"

Participants explore how their creative and artistic practices energize their dive into personal/social Vertigo to achieve “composure in the crossroads,” and to “dance with disorientation,”* in order to forge from ecstatic insight poetry of witness, resistance, testimony, and whole living. Participants bring: drafts of two poems; and one poem by another writer; poems should address challenging personal circumstances or social issues in language that summons ecstatic insight.

10:00am - 12:00pm - Morning Workshop with Jeffrey Schultz

“A Robust Ignorance: Navigating the Turns of Image and Abstraction"

 As a category, image has generally come to be considered so central to the art of poetic composition that many poets take its centrality for granted, a position that risks slipping passively into dogma. Meanwhile, the moment to moment realities of our lives are structured more and more every day by abstractions and virtualities. This workshop will explore the tensions and points of rupture between images and abstract ideas with the end goal of leaving us better equipped to address the enormous and complex forces—for instance climate change, globalization, and all manner of other social, legal, and historical structures of thought—that have at this moment become so decisive to the questions of human history and the possibilities for a human future.

11:00am - 2:00pm - Youth Programming with Nicelle Davis:

"Young Writers Workshop, for ages 10-17"

This is a hands-on workshop. Writers will generate new works of visual and textual art. We will examine how the techniques used in collages can be applied to the craft of poetry. Poetry, like collage, requires multiple layers to suggest countless realities. By learning and executing the techniques used in other art forms, a treasury of poetry can be unearthed from a poet’s subconscious. By actively seeking to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain during the creation process, writer’s block can be obviated. Through positive feedback and constructive criticism of the work made in class, every participant will acquire editorial skills.


Writers interested in participating in the open mic can practice reading their poem and learn how to best present their work to an audience.

2:00pm - 4:00pm - SoCal Literary Showcase:

Gunpowder Press:
Nan Cohen
David Starkey
Chryss Yost

PEN America:
F. Douglas Brown
​Alicia Partnoy
Nancy Lynée Woo

Marvin Artis
Nancy Miller Gomez
Dave Harris
Taylor Mali

4:00pm - 5:00pm - LAMBDA Literary Reading
Ryka Aoki
Charles Jensen
Tommy Pico
Margaret Rhee

Dinner Break

6:00pm - Reading for the Best American Poetry 2018
Brendan Constantine
Dana Gioia
Mandy Kahn
Ilya Kaminsky
Nate Klug
Jessica Piazza
Aaron Poochigian

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