Wednesday, April 26, 2023 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. PT
Self-care is a radical act.
The ARC – Respite Deck, West Hollywood Aquatic and Recreation Center (ARC), 8750 El Tovar Place, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Come lounge with a poet at our inaugural Poetry Spa Day at the respite deck of the new West Hollywood Aquatic and Recreation Center. From 6 – 7:30 p.m., guests will receive a menu of services to have individual, one-on-one experiences with former West Hollywood Poet Laureates and special guests, ranging from cucumber poetry facials to poetry speed dating. At 7:30 p.m., we gather at the steps at sunset to hear all the poets share their words in a ritual closing and celebration of National Poetry Month.
Kim Dower has published four highly acclaimed collections of poetry, including the Gold Ippy Award winning collection Sunbathing on Tyrone Power’s Grave. She has been nominated for four Pushcarts, is widely anthologized, and teaches writing workshops for Antioch University, the West Hollywood Library, and UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. Charles Flowers graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University and received his MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon. His poems have appeared in Puerto Del Sol, Barrow Street, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, and Assaracus. Steven Reigns is a Los Angeles poet and educator and was appointed the first Poet Laureate of West Hollywood. His newest collection A Quilt for David was published by City Lights in September 2021 and is the product of ten years of research regarding dentist David Acer’s life. Brian Sonia-Wallace is the author of the memoir The Poetry of Strangers (Harper Collins, 2020). His other publications include the chapbook, I sold these poems, now I want them back (Yak Press, 2016), a chapter on poetry-as-placemaking for Art & The City (Routledge, 2018), and writing in The Guardian, LitHub, and Rolling Stone. Jen Cheng is a founding member of the Pride Poets team as part of a City of West Hollywood Arts Grant funded project, writing and performing pop-up poetry during June 2019 “One City One Pride” events and ongoing Pride celebrations of the last three years. Since falling in love with the art of typewriter poetry, Jen has a collection of dog humor poems and enjoys writing for birthday parties, corporate events, and other LGBTQ events. Linda Ravenswood is the 2022 Edwin Markham Prize in Poetry recipient and the founding Editor in Chief of The Los Angeles Press. An Oxford Poetry Prize winner (2022), Linda is happy to be published by Eyewear London / The Black Spring Press Group (January 2023) and FlowerSong Press (forthcoming 2023).
WeHo Reads is a literary series presented by the City of West Hollywood. BookSwell, a literary events and media company dedicated to lifting up writers from historically excluded communities, is producing the WeHo Reads 2023 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.