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WEST HOLLYWOOD’S CELEBRATING APRIL WITH POETRY, PROSE, RHYME

THROUGHOUT APRIL, POETRY, PROSE, RHYME AND VERSE WILL ABOUND IN WEST HOLLYWOOD ~ DURING THE CITY’S CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL POETRY MONTH ~ “POETRY IN LIGHTS” ELECTRONIC BILLBOARDS AND LAMPPOST BANNERS WILL SPOTLIGHT WORK BY CONTEMPORARY LIVING POETS ~ POETRY MONTH EVENTS, PROJECTS AND WORKSHOPS ARE ALL CURATED BY CITY POET STEVEN REIGNS

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West Hollywood, CA: Throughout the month of April, the City of West Hollywood is celebrating National Poetry Month, the largest literary event in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets saluting poetry’s vital place in our culture. City Poet Steven Reigns has curated a full calendar of events, workshops, and projects to take place in West Hollywood.

Beginning on Friday April 1 and continuing through the end of the month, the City will have a digital public art project, “Poetry In Lights,” that will be displayed intermittently on two electronic—one at West Hollywood Gateway (7100 Santa Monica Boulevard) and one at 1OAK (9039 W. Sunset Boulevard)—that scroll through portraits of 22 contemporary living poets alongside choice excerpts from their work.

Lamppost poetry banners will enliven Santa Monica Boulevard from Sweetzer Avenue to Westbourne Drive, each featuring a poet and a line from a poem to provide a taste of the individual poet’s artistry. In addition to Reigns, the diverse group of featured lamppost poets includes Laurel Ann Bogen, Bryan Borland, Chiwan Choi, Peggy Dobreer, Blas Falconer, Alexis Rhone Fancer, Aaron Samuels, Lynne Thompson, Lawrence Wilson, and Cecilia Woloch. For related images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lb80zufsu4vlpkm/AADfTUfB_Vvd-VEWbRvY3VoRa?dl=0

Also for the duration of the month, free bookmarks representing four poets from the banners will be distributed at West Hollywood Library, City Hall, and other locations throughout the city.

“This year, my final year as City Poet, my focus has been to introduce poetry to more people. Especially to those who might not consider poetry relevant,” says Steven Reigns. “I read an article where the writer claimed poetry is dead. Poetry will be at that journalist’s funeral. I mean every sense of that. Poetry will still be alive. It is also what is read at funerals and what mourners pen to express their grief. Poetry is powerful and I want to share it with as many people as possible. I’m pleased the West Hollywood Gateway’s donation has helped make that happen for Poetry In Lights. Alex Bazley at West Hollywood Gateway understood what I was trying to do and generously worked with me to make it happen. Eric Hanson is a great graphic designer who created the visuals to showcase the poets.”

The event calendar kicks off on Sunday, April 3 at 4PM at Book Soup (8818 W. Sunset Blvd.) with a book release party for poet and West Hollywood resident Kim Dower. She will read from her collection Last Train to the Missing Planet; admission is free. The following day, Monday April 4, the City Council will proclaim April National Poetry Month at its regular 6:30PM City Council Meeting in the West Hollywood City Council Chambers (625 N. San Vicente Boulevard). Steven Reigns will be in attendance.

Reigns

Reigns will lead two free writing workshops during the month. The Senior Moments Writing Workshop takes place Monday, April 11 from 2-4PM in the West Hollywood Library Community Room (625 N. San Vicente Boulevard). Reigns has taught senior writing workshops for a decade, and he will encourage novice to experienced participants to generate work for the Senior Moments annual publications. The event is sponsored by The City of West Hollywood’s Social Services Division. To RSVP email: croskin@weho.org.

On Thursday, April 21, Reigns will conduct the free WeHo Arts Poetry Writing Workshop at 7:30PM in the West Hollywood Library Community Room. Perfect for first timers or prolific poets, Reigns intends for a supportive environment where people will learn to write poetry without doubt or blocks—all that’s needed is a willingness to try, and pen and paper. Presented by the City of West Hollywood through WeHo Arts, the event requires no RSVP.

Red Hen Press presents Jason Schneiderman, Brendan Constantine, & Katherine Coles, a second event at Book Soup, is scheduled for Monday, April 25, 2016 at 7PM. Each author will read from their respective collections.

National Poetry Month, held every April, was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. 2016 marks the second year that the City of West Hollywood has recognized National Poetry Month with a series of events, projects, and programming.

Steven Reigns (www.stevenreigns.com) is a West Hollywood-based poet, educator, and was appointed the first City Poet of West Hollywood in October of 2014. Alongside over a dozen chapbooks, he has published the collections Inheritance (Sibling Rivalry, 2011) and Your Dead Body is My Welcome Mat (Burning Page Press, 2001). He holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of South Florida, a Master of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, and is a nine-time recipient of The Los Angeles County’s Department of Cultural Affairs’ Artist in Residency Grant. He edited My Life is Poetry, featuring his students in the first-ever autobiographical poetry workshop for LGBT seniors, and has taught writing workshops around the country to LGBT youth and people living with HIV.

Steven Reigns residency as City Poet ends in fall 2016. Poets interested in nominating themselves to be the next West Hollywood City Poet may apply here: http://www.weho.org/residents/arts-and-culture/opportunities

For complete information on Poetry Month in West Hollywood, including bios of featured writers:
http://weho.org/residents/poetry-month-2016 or contact Mike Che, Economic Development and Cultural Affairs Coordinator at mche@weho.org

To learn more about the City of West Hollywood and its arts projects:
www.weho.org/arts
#wehoarts #poetryinlights #lamppostpoetry

Comments
One Response to “WEST HOLLYWOOD’S CELEBRATING APRIL WITH POETRY, PROSE, RHYME”
  1. I love that this is getting attention! This poem and line is based on an event that happened in 2010: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1304365/Baby-humpback-whale-dies-Cornish-coast-mistaking-buoy-mother.html

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