Kick-off of 1/13/2019 Writers Resist LA reading at 50 years strong Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center in Venice, CA, included remarks by Beyond Baroque Director Richard Modiano, event organizers Lynne Thompson and David St. John as well as Natalie Green of PEN CENTER USA and Spencer Windes of the ACLU of Southern California.
What follows is a few thoughts on the presentations of the list of impressive wordsmiths in alphabetical order:
Robin Coste Lewis - raised the idea that 'hope' alone is not enough. To turn hope into a verb, to "do hope," is called for in these challenging times.
Eileen Cronin - is giving herself permission to step back from fervent disability rights advocacy, as she has in the past, to make room for the muse of fiction to take residency in a novel she is currently writing.
Geoff Dyer - focused on the need to be vigilant about exploitation which results in the theft of labor and land.
Marsha de l O - rallied around the idea of unique opportunities which emerge when all hell breaks loose. In this way a living hell possesses freeing and positive aspects.
Janet Fitch - reminded us of the lessons of history. The social foment and underlying issues of growing inequality, which lead to the Russian Revolution 100 years ago, are unfortunately alive and well today.
Lynell George - told a chilling true story of 'folding money' into a young couple's hands at the door of a nightclub in LA about 60 years ago to keep them from entering as a way enforce segregation. It was these funds that were used to help keep the middle class dream alive.
liz gonzalez - talked about how the U.S. could be read as 'us.'
Brian Ingram - used his time to highlight how populations are in near constant migration in an enlarged view of immigration.
Mark Irwin - moved with a reading of his poetry.
Dana Johnson - read movingly from MLK's letter from jail.
Jim Natal - reminded us of what we need to know is often hiding in plain sight.
Alicia Partnoy - relayed how she was warmly welcomed into the US in 1979 upon release from an Argentinian concentration camp's Dirty War and how wrongly refugees are treated today.
Sherman Pearl - also read from his fine poetry, light with an undeniable edginess.
Steven Reigns - therapist and Poet Laureate of West Hollywood spoke about the wide divergence of his first 'job' teaching cotillion with the horror of the 'job' that youths of color and gender non-conformity communities have just to stay safe and simply live.
Joseph Rios - reminded us that books are dangerous to oppressors.
Mona Simpson - spoke poignantly about doing more and doing better.
Phil Taggart - is the Poet Laureate of Ventura, California, using his voice in the war of words.
Amy Uyematsu - is a great example of the middle-essence passage from high school math teacher to poet activist.
Vanessa Angelica Villareal - reminded us that power doesn't tend to transfer peacefully.
Tara Fass, LMFT #35078, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, California. She treats adults and couples dealing with a broad range of issues from navigating the legacy of divorce in one's life, to the quarter life crisis and conscious aging. Together we attempt to make meaning [...]