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California poetry has looked to the future, as well as to its complex past and our own remarkable present, as way of understanding our place at the edge of the continent. California is about the magic of the land and the promise of possibility—yet the question remains, for whom? Seven contemporary California poets celebrate the widely diverse poetry and fiction of seven distinguished earlier California writers, hoping to provide a lens through which to experience these visions of a life lived in the harsh clarity of a Western light.

Join us for a reception in the Library courtyard immediately following this program.

 

 

William Archila

William Archila is the author of The Art of Exile, which won an International Latino Book Award in 2010 and was honored with an Emerging Writer Fellowship Award by The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. His poems have appeared in AGNI, American Poetry Review, Notre Dame Review, The Georgia Review, among others, and have been featured in Poetry Daily. His book was featured in “First Things First: The Fifth Annual Debut Poets Roundup” in Poets & Writers. His second book The Gravedigger’s Archaeology won the 2015 Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize and was featured in Poets & Writers’ Page One.


Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang‘s third book of poems, The Boss, published by McSweeney’s, won the PEN Center USA Literary Award and a California Book Award. Her other poetry books are Salvinia Molesta and Circle. She has also published a children’s picture book, Is Mommy?, published by Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster. She lives in Southern California.


Brendan Constantine

Brendan Constantine’s work has appeared in FIELD, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, Zyzzyva, and Ninth Letter, among other journals. His most recent collections are Birthday Girl With Possum (2011 Write Bloody Publishing) and Calamity Joe (2012 Red Hen Press). He has received grants and commissions from the Getty Museum, James Irvine Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He currently teaches poetry at the Windward School and regularly offers classes to hospitals, foster homes, & with the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project.


Percival Everett

Percival Everett is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California and the author of nearly thirty books, including Assumption, Erasure, I Am Not Sidney Poitier, The Water Cure, Wounded, Glyph, three collections of short fiction, and two books of poetry. He is the recipient of the Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Believer Book Award, and the 2006 PEN USA Center Award for Fiction. He has fly-fished the West for over thirty years and lives in Los Angeles.


Jenny Factor

Jenny Factor is an archaeologist of object and mind; she is also a feminist, a mother, and a dog-lover. Her poem collection, Unraveling at the Name (Copper Canyon Press), was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Factor’s poems and reviews have appeared in more than a dozen anthologies, including The Best American Erotic Poems (Scribner, 2008). Factor received her MFA in Literature from Bennington College, and her B.A. in Anthropology from Harvard College. She serves on the Core Faculty at Antioch University Los Angeles, the only MFA program with a dual focus on literature and the pursuit of social justice.


Piotr Florczyk

Piotr Florczyk is a poet, essayist, and translator. He was born and raised in Kraków, Poland, and moved to the United States at the age of sixteen. In addition to his new books East & West and Anna Swir’s Building the Barricade, he has published poems, translations, essays, and reviews in many journals, including The American Scholar, Boston Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The New Yorker, Notre Dame Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Pleiades, Poetry International, Slate, The Southern Review, Threepenny Review, Times Literary Supplement, West Branch, and World Literature Today. He is one of the founders of Calypso Editions, a cooperative press. After earning his M.F.A. from San Diego State University in 2006, he taught poetry and literature undergraduate and graduate courses at Antioch University Los Angeles, Cecil College, Claremont McKenna College, University of California-Riverside, University of Delaware, University of San Diego, and San Diego State University. Piotr and his wife Dena, who met as competitive swimmers, live in Los Angeles, where he studies in the Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing Program at University of Southern California.


Brynn Saito

Brynn Saito is the author of The Palace of Contemplating Departure, winner of the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award from Red Hen Press and finalist for the 2013 Northern California Book Award. Her second collection, Power Made Us Swoon, will be published in 2016. Brynn co-authored, with Traci Brimhall, Bright Power, Dark Peace, a chapbook from Diode Editions. Her work has been anthologized by Helen Vendler and Ishmael Reed; it has also appeared in such journals as Virginia Quarterly Review, Ninth Letter, and Poetry Northwest. Born in Fresno, CA, Brynn now lives and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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