All events listed below take place online. Please visit the organizers’ websites for details.

Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City

Invisible Child follows eight dramatic years in the life of a girl whose imagination is as soaring as the skyscrapers near her Brooklyn...Wednesday, January 19th, 7:00PM PSTInvisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American CityAndrea ElliottIn conversation with Robin J. HayesALOUD on WORDSWhat if leaving poverty means abandoning your family, and yourself? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Andrea Elliott of The New York Times shares an unforgettable story of a girl whose indomitable spirit is tested by homelessness, poverty, and racism in an unequal America. Elliott’s lastest work, Invisible Child, follows eight dramatic years in the life of a girl whose imagination is as soaring as the skyscrapers near her Brooklyn shelter. Dasani was named after the bottled water that signaled Brooklyn’s gentrification and the shared aspirations of a divided city. As Dasani comes of age, the homeless crisis in New York City has exploded and she must guide her siblings through a city riddled by hunger, violence, drug addiction, homelessness, and the monitoring of child protection services. Out on the street, Dasani becomes a fierce fighter to protect the ones she loves. When she finally escapes city life to enroll in a boarding school, she faces an impossible choice between Read More ...

WeHo Reads: Songs and Signs of Hope and Healing

Online Event Our journey to joy begins with songs, poems, stories, and images from Shonda Buchanan, Peter J. Harris, and Imani Tolliver. During our WeHo Reads 2022 series opener, poets and writers will share songs, poems, and reflections on healing and hope. Shonda Buchanan will open the event with a song and discuss her memoir Black Indian, which explores her family’s legacy of being African Americans with American Indian roots and how they dealt with not just society’s ostracization but the consequences of this dual inheritance. Peter J. Harris will discuss the Black Man of Happiness Project’s See You Campaign, which excavates historical photos of Black men “emanating a sense of joy.” Imani Tolliver will recount her intersectional and sacred journey as a Black queer woman and share excerpts from her memoir-in-verse Runaway. 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 provided by Beyond Baroque and media partnerships with Bookshop.org, Book Soup, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Free

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen

Crystal Cove Auditorium, UCI Student Center 311 W Peltason Drive A, Irvine, CA

Join us for a stirring and provocative evening of fiction, history and commentary with Pulitzer-Prize winning author Viet Thanh NguyenPlease join us for a stirring and provocative evening of fiction, history and commentary with Pulitzer-Prize winning author and scholar Viet Thanh Nguyen, introduced by Professor Linda Vo (Asian American Studies). This event supports our year-long theme, “For a more perfect union?” and contributes to campus-wide discussions of wisdom in the world. How does literature help us reimagine community in a changing world? How is literature a conduit of wisdom that attunes us to ancestors, history, the environment, other people, and ourselves? Viet Thanh Nguyen is a University Professor, Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. His novel The Sympathizer is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The sequel to The Sympathizer, The Committed, was released in March 2021. His other books are Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in General Nonfiction) and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Read More ...

WeHo Reads: Justice and Resilience | A Journey in Poetry

We look to the past with poets Lynne Thompson, Natalie J. Graham, and Lester Graves Lennon and writing prompts from Camari Carter Hawkins.Our journey toward justice and resilience continues during African American History Month. Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson will lead a conversation with Orange County’s first Poet Laureate, Natalie J. Graham, alongside poet Lester Graves Lennon. This discussion and literary reading will focus on incorporating history into poetry and the struggle for justice and peace. Camari Carter Hawkins will also lead the audience through guided journaling prompts.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 with additional support from Beyond Baroque, Bookshop.org, Book Soup, and Los Angeles Review of Books.

WeHo Reads: How We Gather | A Celebration of Women Who Submit

We celebrate Women Who Submit’s new anthology GATHERING with editors and contributors.In response to Safer at Home in March 2020, Women Who Submit (WWS) began weekly, virtual Saturday check-ins where members shared space for creativity and self-care. Over the months members wrote together, cried together, and danced together. While WWS exists to empower its members’ efforts to share their writing with the world, this time brought in new needs beyond staying accountable and productive. And from this shared space came the theme for their 2nd anthology, Gathering, recently published by Jamii Press, which captures the essence of this collaborative online space from the creation of the editorial team to the stories, poems, essays, and plays published in its pages. This event will feature a performance of “Ahoy, Women Who Submit,” a collaborative poem created during Saturday check-ins and published in Gathering; a collaborative writing prompt facilitated by Hazel Kight Witham; as well as a panel talk with the Gathering editorial team and contributors to the anthology. Joining the event will be Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera, Noriko Nakada, Flint, and more. A moment of healing at the start of the event will be led by Thea Pueschel.WeHo Reads is a Read More ...

WeHo Reads: Trans | Future | Poetics

Our journey ascends to where poetry meets science fiction meets activism“Poetry is a weapon loaded with future” — Gabriel CelayaFor National Poetry Month, this event will bring together two established and two emerging trans poets in a reading and dialogue about the future and the intersections of science fiction and poetry, activism and language. Curated and hosted by West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace, readers include Ryka Aoki, LA-based poet and author of the new sci-fi novel Light from Uncommon Stars, Harry Josephine Giles, Scottish poet and author of Deep Wheel Orcadia, in conversation with young poets and organizers Simba the Poet (Nashville) and Ava Dadvand (from Los Angeles, currently writing and studying at Yale).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 with additional support from Beyond Baroque, Bookshop.org, Book Soup, and Los Angeles Review of Books.

WeHo Reads: Explorations Beyond Borders

The road to joy takes us across boundaries with Lisbeth Coiman, Myriam J. A. Chancy, Teresa Mei Chuc, and Sehba Sarwar.Even before the pandemic, writers and artists worked across borders to share their lives, passions, and sorrows. This event brings together poets and authors with an international perspective on joy, justice, resilience, and healing. Sehba Sarwar, author of Black Wings (Veliz Books 2019), is a transnational writer, workshop leader, artist, and community activist tackling gender, displacement, and border issues. Teresa Mei Chuc is a poet, editor, and teacher whose heritage, history, and writing transcend decolonization. She served as 2018-2020 Altadena Poet Laureate and is the author of Invisible Light (Many Voices Press 2018) and Keeper of the Winds (FootHills Publishing 2014). Lisbeth Coiman is a bilingual writer, educator, cultural commentator, and rezandera from Venezuela whose collection Uprising / Alzamiento was released in 2021 (Finishing Line Press). Myriam J. A. Chancy is a Haitian-Canadian/American writer born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and subsequently raised there and in Canada and whose novel What Storm, What Thunder was released in 2021 in Canada (HarperCollins Canada) and the United States (Tin House).WeHo Reads is a literary series presented by the City of West Hollywood. More information Read More ...

WeHo Reads: Pride & Joy in the Matrix

We look for joy in online spaces with Alex McElroy, Patrick Nathan, and Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett and guided writing with Amy Spies.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. Alex 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 Read More ...

WeHo Reads: Expansive Vistas and Hidden Corners

We examine our surroundings and find joy in searching the city with Lynell George and Marisela Norte.Do we take note of our surroundings as they shape-shift around us? How do we remember places that vanish? How do we preserve memories as fragile as morning fog?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. 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. Together, they will explore hidden corners of Los Angeles and the poetry of the city in images and text.BookSwell will organize a photography contest based on prompts provided by the authors.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 with additional support from Beyond Baroque, Bookshop.org, Book Soup, and Los Angeles Review of Books.

WeHo Reads: Light in Our Hearts

Our journey’s last step leads us toward light with bridgette bianca, Cassandra Lane, and traci kato-kiriyama and close with Shonda BuchananThe culminating event in the Road to Joy 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 (Writ Large Press, 2020), 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 (Feminist Press, April 2021), weaves personal and historical geographies, lineages, upbringings, and upheavals into a complete tapestry, validating her glorious existence as a Black mother.A moment Read More ...

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