WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa 2024

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. PT

Celebrate National Poetry Month and lounge with a poet at the City’s 2nd annual Poetry Spa Day!

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 | 6 – 8 p.m. PT

RSVP on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/weho-reads-poetry-spa-tickets-775875684057?aff=bookswellweb

This is an in-person event that will refresh and renew your soul through creative intersections with poetry, poets, and poetic “treatments.”

Join the fun and relaxation at the Respite Deck of the City of West Hollywood’s Aquatic and Recreation Center at West Hollywood Park. From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., explore poetry at “spa stations” such as Feng Shui Poetry, Poemaroma (essential oils), Lotus Poetry (origami), and other poetic experiences. At 7:30 p.m., gather at the steps to hear all the poets share their words. 

Poetry Spa is a concept created by Brian Sonia-Wallace during his term as 2020-23 West Hollywood City Poet Laureate. This year’s event is curated by current West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng, and the spa stations and poets include:

  • Terry Wolverton, author of eleven books, including her latest, Season of Eclipse, hosts the Poemaroma spa station.
  • A. K. Toney is a griot, writer, musician, and educator who hosts the Listening Libations spa station where attendees get to mix poetry with soothing sounds.
  • Brian Sonia-Wallace, author of Poetry of Strangers hosts the Poetry Bath spa station.
  • Pride Poets members Timothy Nang will host the Lotus Poetry spa station and Jose Rios will host the Poetry Bingo spa station.
  • West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng, author of Braided Spaces, hosts the Feng Shui Poetry spa station which guides attendees through the Five Elements.

This event is open to the public and free to attend; RSVPs are requested at www.weho.org/wehoreads.

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 2023 season. Additional support is provided by UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and Poets & Writers, as well as media partnerships with Book Soup and the Los Angeles Review of Books.


Terry Wolverton

Terry Wolverton is author of twelve books of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, including Embers, a novel in poems, Insurgent Muse: art and life at the Woman’s Building, a memoir, and Season of Eclipse, a novel. She has also edited sixteen literary compilations. Terry has received a COLA Fellowship from the City of Los Angeles, a Publishing Triangle award for nonfiction, and a Fellowship in Poetry from the California Arts Council, among other honors. She is the founder of Writers At Work, a creative writing studio in Los Angeles, and Affiliate Faculty in the MFA Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles.

For more info, visit terrywolverton.net/TerryWolvertonBooks.html.

A. K. Toney

In a few words, A.K. Toney is a griot, musician, and educator. Toney is writing his first book along with a double-album chronicling his life as an ethnographer through the experiences of an urban griot. As the Neo Griot, Toney uses musical accompaniment with poetry to provide call and response with listeners as a tool of engagement for participation. He is a founder and the Literacy Coordinator of Reading Is Poetry, LLC.

For more info, visit aktoney.com.

Brian Sonia-Wallace

Brian Sonia-Wallace (RENT Poet) uses dialogue at typewriters to bridge communities, and has been a full-time poet-for-hire for a decade. He was the Poet-in-Residence for the Mall of America, Amtrak Trains, and the National Parks, and most recently completed a term as Poet Laureate for the City of West Hollywood. Brian’s work appears in such places as The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and American Poets, and he is the author of the memoir The Poetry of Strangers: What I Learned Traveling America with a Typewriter (Harper Collins) and two books of poetry: Maze Mouth and I Sold These Poems, Now I Want Them Back. Brian curates regular poetry installations for The Getty, is a host for 90.7 KPFK’s Poet’s Cafe, and teaches at the UCLA Extension Writers Program. The motto of his company, RENT Poet, which brings poets on typewriters to events, is “everyone deserves a poem”.

For more info, visit rentpoet.com.

Timothy Nang

Timothy Nang, a Cambodian American poet born in Long Beach’s Cambodia Town, emerged from small beginnings to share stories that illuminate the complex nature of the Cambodian American experience. Through their poetry, Timothy focuses on overcoming hardship, shedding light on trauma, resilience, and the intrinsic beauty that exists within us all.

Jose Rios

Jose Rios is a poet and educator living in the hills above the high desert of Palmdale, California. He is a West Hollywood Pride Poet, and his poems are found in Catamaran and San Pedro River Review. He’s been part of two exorcisms, the longtime host of Southern California’s only biweekly birdless cockfight, and the last person to have seen the Taco Bell chihuahua alive.

Jen Cheng

Jen Cheng is the Fifth West Hollywood City Poet Laureate, the author of Braided Spaces, and a multidisciplinary storyteller who amplifies under-represented voices. Jen is the founder of Palabras Literary Salon, celebrating BIPOC poets and writers, and a 2023 California Arts Council Fellow. Jen blends East-West cultural influences in a new form, Feng Shui Poetry. With stories for tween audiences, mystery detective fans, and queer love, Jen is a cross-pollinator. She is a filmmaker with a documentary project celebrating LGBTQ Elders.

She can be found on Twitter/IG @JenCvoice or her website: www.JenCvoice.com