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A Reading with Fellows of The Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities

September 9 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

A night of poetry & prose inspired by the city of Angels; featuring Cody Sisco, Dana Johnson, Timothy Steele, and more LAIH fellows.

The Los Angeles Institue for The Humanities and Beyond Baroque invite you to a night of poems, short stories, and non-fiction. Eight LAIH fellows will share their unique perspectives on the city they call home. Readings by Cody Sisco, Dana Johnson, Timothy Steele, Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, Josh Kun, Lynne Thompson, Shonda Buchanan, and Peter J. Harris.

Join us at 7 pm for a reception on the outdoor patio with food, refreshments, and music provided by LAIH.

Readings will begin promptly at 8 pm.

Ticket purchase: Tickets will be available at the Beyond Baroque bookstore on the day of the event, but we recommend registering in advance through Eventbrite. Masks are required while inside our center. No one will be turned away for lack of funds!

Livestream: If you can’t join us in-person the event will be live-streamed on Beyond Baroque’s YouTube channel at the scheduled time of the event.

Reservation Policy: Please RSVP if you are planning to attend this event. We accept walk-ins, but priority will be given to people that have registered. Limited seating is available; we recommend arriving early.

About the authors

Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. She is also the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel Elsewhere, California. Both books were nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, The Paris Review, and Callaloo, among others, and in several anthologies. Her most recent project was Trailblazer: Delilah Beasley’s California. Johnson is a professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Cody Sisco is an author, editor, publisher, and literary community organizer. His LGBT psychological science fiction series includes two novels thus far, Broken Mirror and Tortured Echoes. He is a freelance editor specializing in genre-bending fiction and an editor for Running Wild Press. In 2017, he co-founded Made in L.A. Writers, an indie author co-op dedicated to the support and appreciation of independent authors. His startup, BookSwell, is a literary events and media production company dedicated to lifting up marginalized voices and connecting readers and writers in Southern California and beyond. He serves as a Co-Executive on the Board of Governors for the Editorial Freelancers Association and as a board member at APLA Health.

Peter J. Harris, Altadena Poet Laureate Editor in Chief (2022-2024), is the author of Safe Arms: 20 Love & Erotic Poems (w/an Ooh Baby Baby moan), with Spanish translations by Francisco Letelier (FlowerSong Press), and SongAgain (Beyond Baroque Books). In 2015, his book of poetry, Bless the Ashes (Tia Chucha Press), won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and his book of personal essays, The Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My ‘Unalienable Right,’ won the American Book Award. Harris is founding director of The Black Man of Happiness Project, a creative, intellectual, and artistic exploration of Black men and joy. He writes the blog WREAKING HAPPINESS: A Joyful Living Journal:

Shonda Buchanan Pushcart Prize nominee, a USC Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow, and a Department of Cultural Affairs City of Los Angeles (COLA) Master Artist Fellow, Shonda Buchanan is the author of five books, including the award-winning memoir, Black Indian, winner the 2020 Indie New Generation Book Award. She currently serves as President of the Board of Trustees at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, and is a recipient of the Brody Arts Fellowship from the California Community Foundation, a Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and several Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grants. Shonda is currently a Writing Instructor for First Year Seminar and a Senior Lecturer for the Department of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University, and recently completed a collection of poetry about Nina Simone and is working on her second memoir and a novel. Shonda lives and writes in her adopted home on Tongva and Chumash land in Los Angeles, California.

Timothy Steele has published several collections of verse, most recently Toward the Winter Solstice. He is also the author of two prose books about poetry—Missing Measures and All the Fun’s in How You Say a Thing—and has edited The Poems of J.V. Cunningham. His honors include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing from Stanford University; a Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Lynne Thompson is Los Angeles’ 2021-22 Poet Laureate and a 2022 Poet Laureate Fellow of the Academy of American Poets. Thompson is the author of three collections of poetry: Beg No Pardon, Start With A Small Guitar, and most recently Fretwork, winner of the 2019 Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize. The recipient of multiple awards and fellowships including several Pushcart Prize nominations, Thompson sits on the Boards of Cave Canem and the Los Angeles Review of Books and recently completed her term as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Scripps College. Her recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Best American Poetry, New England Review, Black Warrior Review, Massachusetts Review, The Common, and Copper Nickel, among others.

Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn is the 2022 L.A. Press Club SoCal Journalism Awards (Race & Culture) finalist for her LMU Magazine article, “Crowning Achievement,” highlighting the issues Black people face in the workplace for wearing naturally textured hairstyles. The previous year, Janice was selected as a Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation 2021 Summer Writers Non-fiction Fellow. A former columnist for the Associated Press, Janice has been published in more than 60 consumer and trade publications including the Los Angeles Times, Ms. Magazine, Shondaland, Essence, EMMY, USA Today and the Los Angeles Review of Books where was a senior editor and director of special projects. In addition to her work in journalism, Janice is an author, editor, screenwriter and social justice advocate. She is an alumna of Loyola Marymount University and the University of Southern California where she received an MA. She’s currently the Associate Director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at USC where she is also an adjunct instructor at the Annenberg School’s Specialized Journalism graduate program.

Josh Kun is an author and editor of several books including Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America, Songs in the Key of Los Angeles, The Tide Was Always High: The Music of Latin America in Los Angeles, Double Vision: The Photography of George Rodriguez, and The Autograph Book of L.A.: Improvements on the Page of the City. As a curator and artist, he has collaborated with The Los Angeles Public Library, California African American Museum, The Grammy Museum, SFMOMA, Prospect New Orleans, among many others. His next book, Beats Across Borders: A Migrant Songbook, will be published by MCD Books/FSG. He is interim Dean of the Thornton School of Music at USC, where he is a Professor in the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and Chair in Cross-Cultural Communication. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, a Berlin Prize, and an American Book Award.

About The Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities

The Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities was founded in 1998 to create an intellectual center for our city by bringing together academics, authors, historians, architects, artists, curators, journalists, and poets. Its membership seeks to reflect a genuine “town and gown” composition, an eclectic and cosmopolitan association. The Institute’s broad purpose is to stimulate a cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas. The Institute aims to be international, urban, and inclusive in its outlook, avoiding viewpoints predictably to the right or left. It seeks to integrate intellectual life with the active civic life of the city and to reflect the diversity that is so palpably a hallmark of Southern California as it continues through the twenty-first century. LAIH is sponsored by the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Science at the University of Southern California, which contributes to office and meeting rooms and generously underwrites a portion of the Institute’s annual budget.


Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center
681 Venice Blvd, Venice Beach
Los Angeles, CA 90291 United States

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