2018 Featured Event: Reading — Voices from Leimert Park

Voices from Leimert Park Redux is a symphony of diverse voices echoing the collective heartbeat of a community. In 2006, Voices From Leimert Park revealed one of the best kept secrets of the Los Angeles literary scene: African-American and other writers of color were producing nationally known and respected poetry, fiction, and nonfiction within the Leimert Park literary community.

Voices from Leimert Park Redux, again under the editorial direction of Shonda Buchanan, embraces radical new voices and melds them with the well-seasoned tonality of Griots at home, on street corners, and in libraries. Listen to the Voices from Leimert Park Redux and realize that you have just entered that safe place where truth is still being created with every honest breath.

Voices from Leimert Park Redux

Fast-forward ten years, and although many of the older voices have moved on to literary and academic achievements, new voices have arisen beneath the sinew and tendon of soothsayers and wordsmiths whose legacy is traced back to the legendary Watts Writers Workshop. This new collection is as vibrant as the smell of patchouli on your skin and as honest as any James Baldwin quote, but certainly this one: “All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.” Listen to the Voices from Leimert Park Redux and realize that you have just entered that safe place where truth is still being created with every honest breath.

“These poets are memory catchers. Our moments are measured by their worthiness to memory. Poets work to capture the life force in our moments. Our stories, wisdom, and enlightenment are embedded in our memories. The tears, the laughter, the things the heart sees and the mind feels are our teachers. Spend time with these voices, as their craft is to put music into each word and whose job is to know thyselves.” —Kamau Daáood, Performance poet, educator & community arts activist

Editor, Shonda Buchanan

Shonda Buchanan is an award-winning author, professor, former magazine editor, and an Education Specialist for the U.S. Department of State.

She has taught poetry, fiction, narrative nonfiction, composition, magazine writing and edited, and research for the last 15 years. An award-winning poet and fiction author, her expertise includes Contemporary America, African American, and American Indian Literature, Comparative Literature, as well as Women’s Literature and canonical texts.

Shonda is an Eloise Klein-Healy Scholarship recipient a Sundance Institute fellow, Jentel Residency fellow, and a PEN Center Emerging Voices fellow. She has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Community Foundation, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Literary Editor of Harriet Tubman Press, Shonda edits books by and about African American people, culture, and heritage. Shonda has lectured, participated on panels, and has taught workshops at numerous colleges and universities; and has presented at U.S. public libraries, organizations, bookstores, high schools, middle schools, and conferences.

Holding a B.A. and M.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Shonda’s first collection of poetry, Who’s Afraid of Black Indians?, explores the complexities of bi-raciality and the intersection between Blacks and Native Americans.

LA Events

2/23/2018 Stories Books & Cafe @ 8:00 PM:

A reading from Voices from Leimert Park Redux, featuring poets Derek Brown, Imani Tolliver, October Blu, Peggy Dobreer, and Regina Higgins