WeHo Reads Returns for an Inspiring Fall 2022 Season
We’re back! After a summer hiatus, BookSwell returns with three events on the ROAD TO JOY!
9/20 WeHo Reads: Expansive Vistas and Hidden Corners
The next WeHo Reads event is Expansive Vistas and Hidden Corners on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, at 6 p.m. Artists and writers explore concepts of places, how they’re made, and how we understand, remember, and memorialize them.
Lynell George is a journalist and essayist based in Los Angeles, who tells the city’s story one sentence at a time. Her book, After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame (Angel City Press 2018), is an exploration of the city in text and photography, and she explores the extraordinary creative life of Octavia E. Butler in A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky, published by Angel City Press in 2020. She will be in discussion with Marisela Norte, an American writer, poet, and artist living in Los Angeles and known for poetry that explores the unseen city, including her poetry collection Peeping Tom Tom Girl (Sunbelt Publications 2008). Together, they will explore hidden corners of Los Angeles and the poetry of the city in images and text.
10/5 WeHo Reads: Poets Laureate Across America
There will also be a special October 2022 event featuring a selection of poets from the Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship Program. These poets laureate were all chosen by the Academy to receive a $50,000 award to help support creative work and community engagement projects, and several of them will gather to share about the projects they created.
WeHo Reads: Poets Laureate Across America takes place on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at 6 p.m. In 2020, the Academy of American Poets awarded more than $1 million to 23 poets laureate as part of a year-long Fellowship to support their creative and organizing work. One of these awards went to City of West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace who also serves as this event’s host. This reading brings together a group of these Fellows from across the country in the aftermath of their Fellowships to share what they did, read their writing, and reflect on the state of poetry across the United States.
11/15 WeHo Reads: Light in Our Hearts
Light in Our Hearts concludes the 2022 WeHo Reads season on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 6 p.m.
The culminating event in the series will bring together poets, writers, and artists who live and create at the intersection of joy and hope and reckoning with pain. bridgette bianca is a poet and educator from South Central Los Angeles. Her debut book of poetry, be/trouble, is a powerful love letter to oft-overlooked Los Angeles, one that offers as much danger as it does glamour and as much grit as beauty. traci kato-kiriyama is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer/author, actor, arts educator & community organizer. Her recently published book from Writ Large Press, Navigating With(out) Instruments, is a collection of poetics, micro essays, and notes to self (and other)—a journey of several years, navigating through death moments, past/present tensions of war and violence, trauma and ideation, excavation, and memory. Cassandra Lane is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. Her first book, WE ARE BRIDGES: A Memoir, weaves personal and historical geographies, lineages, upbringings, and upheavals into a complete tapestry, validating her glorious existence as a Black mother. There will also be closing remarks from series opener Shonda Buchanan.
Watch the replay of WeHo Reads: Pride & Joy in the Matrix
We looked for joy in online spaces with Isle McElroy, Patrick Nathan, and Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett and guided writing with Amy Spies.
About WeHo Reads: Pride & Joy in the Matrix
LGBTQ+ authors are taking a hard look at society IRL and virtually, pinpointing the ways we come up short in connecting with and loving each other. Patrick Nathan examines the culture of fascistic images that pervade the online media landscape in his book Image Control (Counterpoint Press 2021). Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett uses short fiction, including his volume of short stories Dark Corners (Running Wild Press 2019), to illuminate the ways we can be marginalized as well as how we can fight back and lose some virtue in the process. Isle McElroy writes about diet culture, masculinity, nonbinary identity, basketball, scammers, books, and body dysmorphia. Their debut novel, The Atmospherians, was published in 2021 (Atria Books). Together, they’ll discuss online spaces, the challenges of creating joy online—is it even possible?—and the role of critique and creativity in shifting culture. A moment of guided meditation and mindful writing will be led by Amy Spies, a writer and teacher in the film, television, and new media industries.
WeHo Reads is a literary series presented by the City of West Hollywood. More information and events at www.weho.org/wehoreads. BookSwell, a literary events and media company dedicated to lifting up writers from historically excluded communities, is producing the WeHo Reads 2022 season. Additional support is provided by UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and Poets & Writers as well as media partnerships with Bookshop.org, Book Soup, and Los Angeles Review of Books.