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Poetry and Prose will Abound in West Hollywood During National Poetry Month

Post Date:April 23, 2015 12:20 PM

The City of West Hollywood will celebrate National Poetry Month during April with a variety of events and workshops to celebrate the art of the written word. Steven Reigns, who was selected as the City’s first official City Poet in 2014, conceived of and curated this month’s line-up of happenings.

To kick-off the month, the City has installed 22 lamppost banners on Santa Monica Boulevard, which are the first banners of their kind in the nation to highlight poets and poetry. Each banner features the image of a living, contemporary poet on one side and, on the other side, a line from a poem by that person. The banners each provide a taste of the flavor of each poem and poet.

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“Public art is consumed by more people than any work at a museum. I want big exposure for poetry,” said City Poet Steven Reigns. “The great thing about lamppost banners advertising museum exhibitions is that our streets are lined with great works of art. It prompted me to think this would be the best way to expose mass amounts of people to poets and poetry.”

On Saturday, April 4, 2015, the City will host an autobiographical poetry writing workshop, A Composed Life. Steven Reigns will provide a supportive environment where participants can openly write stories. People who partake in the workshop do not need to like poetry, writing, or reading — and do not need to know the rules of grammar or spelling or have a large vocabulary. All that is required is a willingness to try and to show up. The workshop will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at West Hollywood Library’s Community Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Free validated parking is available in the five-story parking structure. The workshop is free; to RSVP please visit http://bit.ly/Apr4Poetry.

On Thursday, April 9, 2015, the City will offer a workshop, Prose and Poetry Writing for Seniors. This free workshop, also led by Steven Reigns, will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the West Hollywood Community Center at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. For more information, please call (323) 848-6403.

On Saturday, April 25, 2015, the month’s events will culminate in Intersecting and Illuminated, WeHo Lamppost Poet Reading. The event will feature a selection of poets featured on the City’s lamppost banners, including Teka-Lark Fleming, Amy Gerstler, Eloise Klein Healy, Collin Kelley, Michael Klein, Steven Reigns, and Terry Wolverton. It will take place from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s City Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room at West Hollywood Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The event is free; no RSVP is necessary. Free validated parking is available in the five-story parking structure. For more information, please visit /community/arts-and-culture/literary-arts/city-poet/poetry-month.

National Poetry Month, held every April, is the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture. It was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. This is the first year that the City of West Hollywood has recognized National Poetry Month with a series of events.

For more information, please call Michelle Rex, Deputy to Mayor John D’Amico, at (323) 848-6460. For additional information about City of West Hollywood arts events please visit www.weho.org/arts. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

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