Poets on the Beat: A Conversation on Politically Engaged Poetry

Thu Oct 12 2023 at 07:00 pm to 09:00 pm

Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center | Los Angeles

Beyond Baroque Literary | Arts Center
Publisher/HostBeyond Baroque Literary | Arts Center
Poets on the Beat:  A Conversation on Politically Engaged Poetry
Join us for a gathering of poets who will discuss the power of language amidst global challenges like climate change and rising inequality.
About this Event

Capital & Main and Beyond Baroque present Poets on the Beat: a conversation on politically engaged poetry.

The panel discussion features California poets commissioned to write short essays that link poetry to contemporary social and political themes. Each article harnesses the poetry of the past and present to provide new perspectives on topics such as climate change, growing inequality, the immigrant experience and police violence. The series, which launched in June and runs through November, is available at Capital & Main.

Poets on the Beat includes essays from Shonda Buchanan, Suzanne Lummis and former Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson, who are participating in this panel discussion moderated by Capital & Main journalist and series editor, Jessica Goodheart.

The conversation will expand on the political topics explored in the essays and include readings of poems that speak to the issues that they write about. After the discussion, a Q&A with the audience will follow.

Before the readings, enjoy a reception outdoors with light refreshments and live music. Reception starts at 7:00 PM. The main event will take place in Beyond Baroque’s theater at 8:00 PM.

Though three of the commissioned authors will not be present at the event, the essays by former Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez, Sesshu Foster and California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick are available on Capital & Main’s website accompanied by a short video by each poet.

About the authors

Suzanne Lummis was born in San Francisco and grew up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her collections include Idiosyncrasies (1984), In Danger (1999), and Open 24 Hours (2014), which received the Blue Lynx Poetry Prize from Lynx House Press. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, New Ohio Review, Hudson Review, Antioch Review, Plume and the New Yorker. She is the co-editor of The Pacific Coast Poetry Series from Beyond Baroque Books, and the editor of its first publication, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond. Lummis was a 2018-19 City of Los Angeles Fellow, an endowment from the Cultural Affairs Department allowing mid-career visual artists and writers to complete major projects.

Award-winning author and educator, Shonda Buchanan has freelanced for the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle, Indian Country Today, Westways Magazine, Sisters of AARP and The International Review of African American Art. Buchanan is also published in Tab Journal, Inlandia Institute’s The Black Experience Anthology, the Mississippi Review, Urban Voices: 51 Poems from 51 American Poets, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, Art Meets Literature: An Undying Love Affair, phati’tude Literary Magazine, Red Ink, Strange Cargo: An Emerging Voices Anthology, Step into a World: A Global Anthology of New Black Literature, Arise! magazine, Def Jam Poetry’s Bum Rush the Page, Geography of Rage: Remembering the Los Angeles Riots of 1992 and Rivendell. She is the author of the memoir Black Indian.

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.

About the moderator

Jessica Goodheart is a poet and senior reporter and special assignments editor at Capital & Main, a Los Angeles-based publication covering inequality and climate change. For Capital & Main, she has reported on low-wage work, the housing crisis and politics, earning recognition from organizations like the California Journalism Awards and the LA Press Club. She is the editor of “Poets on the Beat,” a multimedia collaboration between Capital & Main and the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center. Goodheart’s poetry has been published in Rattle, The Antioch Review, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, The Best American Poetry and other publications. Her poetry book, Earthquake Season, was published by Word Press.

About Capital & Main

Capital & Main is an award-winning investigative news publication that reports on inequality and climate change in California and across the country. Our mission is to produce powerful, fact-based journalism that contributes to progress on the greatest challenges of our time. Capital & Main’s stories are co-published in a wide range of national and regional outlets, including USA Today, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Fortune, Fast Company, Newsweek, The American Prospect and many others. Our coverage is frequently cited by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Politico and other leading publications. In the past five years, Capital Main has won more than 200 awards, including a Best in the West prize and several awards from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. Capital & Main’s climate and environmental reporting has been honored by the Southern California Journalism Awards and the California Journalism Awards, among others.

This event is free & in-person at Beyond Baroque. Masks are encouraged while inside our center.

Event attendees are expected to behave in a respectful and considerate manner while in our space. Beyond Baroque reserves the right to remove individuals from our events, virtual or otherwise, if they are not respecting the space, fellow attendees, or performers.

This is a free event, so seating is limited. Please arrive early.


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

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


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