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Poets Cafe
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Category: Spoken Word
Location: North Hollywood
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June 28, 2017 04:04 PM PDT

Host: Richard Modiano
Guests: S.A. Griffin, Henry Mortensen

Poems by Scott Wannberg, Edited by S.A. Griffin

Scott Wannberg was a rare, generous, wise, hilarious, pure, beat, psychedelic, raw, tender, curious, sweetly subversive and truly honest man. His poems are exactly the same. Full of be-bop lyrical intensity, existential blues song wisdom, country song heartache and jagged fragments from never made John Ford movies, Scott's glorious, wild, unpredictable visions remain a constant source of truth, laughter and inspiration for me. —Dave Alvin

The Official Language of Yes!, a book of poetry by the late Scott Wannberg, was released by Perceval Press in 2015. Edited by Scott's close friend S.A. Griffin, the book contains mostly unpublished poetry, as well as drawings and handwritten notes: a celebration of a great artist, and a truly great person. Forward by Henry Mortensen, Introduction by S.A. Griffin, Preface by Viggo Mortensen.

June 21, 2017 03:30 PM PDT

Joseph Fasano is the author of three books of poetry: Vincent (Cider Press, 2015); Inheritance (2014), a James Laughlin Award nominee; and Fugue for Other Hands (2013), which won the Cider Press Review Book Award and was nominated by Linda Pastan for the Poets' Prize, "awarded annually for the best book of verse by a living American poet." His recent writing has appeared in The Yale Review, The Southern Review, Boston Review, The Times Literary Supplement, Measure, Field, Tin House, American Literary Review, American Poets Magazine, The Missouri Review, and RATTLE, which awarded him their RATTLE Poetry Prize for his poem "Mahler in New York." His work is included in the anthologies Poem-a-Day: 365 Poems for Any Occasion (Abrams, 2015) and The Aeolian Harp (Glass Lyre Press, 2016), and it can be found online from the Academy of American Poets' poem-a-day-program, Verse Daily, and the PEN Poetry Series. He teaches at Columbia University and Manhattanville College.

May 02, 2017 05:03 PM PDT

Editor-In-Chief Pam Uschuk discusses 358 page TRUTH TO POWER: WRITERS RESPOND TO THE RHETORIC OF HATE AND FEAR, featuring writing by 118 of America's top writers confronting social issues including racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, attacks on the natural world, police brutality, corporate and political greed, and advocating for human rights, the arts, people with various disabilities, national health care, and truth replacing public lies. All profits from this book go to the ACLU, Standing Rock Sioux Water Protectors, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood and Friends of The Earth.

April 04, 2017 09:10 PM PDT

Los Angeles's second Poet Laureate Luis Javier Rodriguez is also a novelist/memoirist/short story/children's book writer as well as a community & urban peace activist, mentor, healer, youth & arts advocate, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

He has 15 books in all genres, including the best-selling memoir, "Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A." His latest memoir is the sequel, "It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing." His latest poetry book is "Borrowed Bones" from Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press. Luis is founding editor of Tia Chucha Press, now in its 28th year, and co-founder/president of Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. And he's co-convener of the Network for Revolutionary Change.

Luis is dedicated to a clean, balanced, abundant, cooperative, healing world. No more capitalist private property relations, exploitation, war, or inequities. "In essential things, unity; in nonessential things, liberty. In all things compassion."

"I met a fella named Luis Rodriguez, a writer and a poet, who had a ... cultural center in Los Angeles. These are people I've known and worked with for a long time. These are the people trying to fill the holes that should long ago have been filled by government. Those are the people who give me optimism. They're relentlessly hopeful, and they face it all on the front lines on a daily basis.”--Bruce Springsteen from Rolling Stone magazine, November 15, 2007

March 28, 2017 05:13 PM PDT

Poet, translator, and filmmaker David Shook was raised in Mexico City. He earned a BA at the University of Oklahoma and an MSt at Oxford University. In his debut collection, Our Obsidian Tongues (2013), Shook explores the violence and hunger of everyday life, steeping his poems in lush imagery and sensory detail. His translations include Mario Bellatin's Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose for Fiction (2012), Oswald de Andrade's Cannibal Manifesto (2011), and Robert Bolaño's Leave Everything, Again,” a manifesto appended to his novel The Savage Detectives (2008, translated by Natasha Wimmer). Shook’s short documentary lm, Kilometer Zero, records the poetry of Equatorial Guinean poet Marcelo Ensema Nsang. Shook has also collaborated with cartoonist Tom Neely, filmmaker Ben Rodkin, book artist Laura Peters, and musician Adrian Wong. In 2013, Shook began to raise funds for a Poetry Drone, which would deploy poems printed on biodegradable, seed-embedded papers over populated areas. He has served as the editor of Molossus and Phoneme Media and as a contributing editor to World Literature Today and Ambit. His honors include a Pushcart Prize nomination and an English PEN Translation Residency for Poetry Parnassus. Shook lives in Los Angeles.

Adam O’Riordan was born in Manchester in 1982 and read English at Oxford University. In 2008 O’Riordan became the youngest Poet-in-Residence at The Wordsworth Trust, the Centre for British Romanticism. His first collection In the Flesh (Chatto and Windus) won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2011. He is Lecturer in Poetry Writing at the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

March 07, 2017 08:40 PM PST

Joy Harjo's name carries an astounding history of literary, musical and social activism, deeply informed by the spirit, her Creek Nation ancestry and drawn from the natural world. Joy has said that "every event has a place of power located somewhere within it." What is the power within our current chaotic events? How does an event like Standing Rock engage us into further action and awareness? In this half-hour program Joy Harjo shares several poems from "Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings," a "marvelous instrument that veins through a dark lode of American History" (Yusef Komunyaka), calling the spirit back to its true path on this earth.
World Literature Today says "This is not merely a book of poetry. These are instructions for the soul, a song to lead the reader home... [Harjo is] the first lady of American Indian Poetry."
Joy Harjo is an internationally known performer and writer of the Mvskoke /Creek Nation, the author of ten books of poetry and a memoir, Crazy Brave. A critically acclaimed poet, her many honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Josephine Miles Poetry Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

January 31, 2017 02:44 PM PST

KPFK - Poets Cafe M.C. Ford in Conversation with Phil Proctor Guest host Michael C. Ford talks with Firesign Theatre alumnus Phil Proctor about the political humor written by members of the group that was often an influential part of their performances. They also talk about the early days of KPFK and their beginnings there.
Michael C Ford was born on the Illinois side of Lake Michigan. His debut spoken word vinyl LANGUAGE COMMANDO earned a Grammy nomination in 1986. His book of Selected Poems EMERGENCY EXITS was honored by a 1998 Pulitzer Prize nomination. His CD FIRE ESCAPES was bankrolled in 1995 by New Alliance: produced at Sonora by Michael Campagna who also composed and orchestrated most of the charts. He concluded a recording project: a verbal rhapsody video which pays an important tribute to both the art and the history of percussion; collaborating with DOORS co-founder John Densmore at the drum kit.
Born in Indiana in 1940 and raised in New York City, Phil Proctor became known as a member of the Firesign Theatre and its two man offshoot, Proctor and Bergman. Like many musicians and comedians of the '60s, Proctor's interest in comedy began with listening to Bob and Ray, among other comedians, on the radio, and by making his own tapes on a reel-to-reel recorder his parents bought for him. From 1958 to 1962, he attended Yale as a drama major, where he met future Theatre member Peter Bergman, and the two became friends. Proctor acted in several college productions, some scripted by Bergman, and the two eventually made their way to Los Angeles, where they began working with Phil Austin and David Ossman on Radio Free Oz, a late-night freeform radio show broadcast from KPFK. As part of Firesign Theatre, Proctor became known for characters such as Ralph Spoilsport, Pastor Rod Flash, and Clem, the hero of I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus. With Bergman, Proctor released three further comedy albums, TV Or Not TV, What This Country Needs, and Give Us a Break, all during the '70s, after the Firesign's releases became more sporadic. Through the '80s and '90s, Proctor did work for television and radio, among them providing voices for a NPR production of War Of the Worlds, based on the 1938 radio play, and an adaptation of Tom Lewis's book Empire of the Air.

January 24, 2017 01:45 PM PST

We caught three-time United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky on the day of one of our nation's most monumental marches. CNN had just published one of his poems on their Opinions page, a statement on the importance of literary commentary and action in our times. There's much to love in this 30-minute interview as Pinsky chats about his passion for poetry in the hands and through the breath of every-day Americans. Poetry as an instrument in life and in the challenging days ahead.

Producer: Marlena Bond
with host: Lois P. Jones

Robert Pinsky‘s new book of poems is At the Foundling Hospital (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). His Selected Poems appeared in 2011. Pinsky has described his 2013 book Singing School as a combined anthology and manifesto. His best-selling translation The Inferno of Dante was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Prize. His other awards include the William Carlos Williams Prize, The Lenore Marshall Prize, the Korean Manhae Prize, the Italian Premio Capri and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pen American Center. As Poet Laureate of the United States, he founded the Favorite Poem Project, featuring the videos at www.favoritepoem.org and a summer Poetry Institute for K-12 Educators. He performs with pianist Laurence Hobgood on the spoken word CDs PoemJazz and House Hour, from Circumstantial Productions. Pinsky is William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at Boston University and has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the only member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters to have appeared on both The Colbert Report and The Simpsons.

January 19, 2017 06:40 PM PST

Los Angeles poet Alexis Rhone Fancher is the author of How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen and other heart stab poems, (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), and Enter Here (forthcoming in 2017). She is published in Best American Poetry 2016, Rattle, Slipstream, Rust+Moth, streetcake, Hobart, Cleaver, Public Pool, H_NGM_N, Fjords Review, The MacGuffin, Poetry East, and elsewhere. Her photographs are published worldwide, including spreads in River Styx, HeArt Online and Rogue Agent, and the covers of Chiron Review, Witness, and The Mas Tequila Review. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of The Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly, where she also publishes a monthly photo essay, “The Poet’s Eye,” about her on-going love affair with Los Angeles. Find her at: www.alexisrhonefancher.com

January 03, 2017 08:34 PM PST

Mandy Kahn is the author of the poetry collection Math, Heaven, Time. In January of 2016, former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser featured a poem from the collection, “At the Dorm,” in his syndicated newspaper column American Life in Poetry. Kahn collaborates with composers to create works that feature poetry in tandem with classical music and has had readings and signings at Colette (Paris), Motto (Berlin), Shoreditch House (London), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), Printed Matter (New York) and Art Center College of Design (Pasadena). She was one of several librettists who wrote the text for the critically acclaimed opera-in-cars Hopscotch; her libretto for the project was subsequently quoted in The New Yorker. Kahn also works as an essayist, and is coauthor, with Aaron Rose, of the nonfiction book Collage Culture: Examining the 21st Century’s Identity Crisis, which features graphic design by Brian Roettinger. Collage Culture was simultaneously released as a record which paired readings of the book’s texts with a score by the band No Age.

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