Beyond Baroque’s Pre-Thanksgivin November Schedule

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Beyond Baroque, back in the glory days of small press print culture, used to mail out a calendar that one could tape to one’s kitchen wall or refrigerator door. I haven’t received one in the mail for quite a few years, which only serves to remind me of how much older I am than Beyond Baroque. If I had been born in 1968, the year of BB’s founding by George Drury Smith, I would be 55; but I first showed up at its workshop in the Fall of 1971, as the recently appointed poetry editor of BACHY magazine, so you can figure out from there what a tortuous path it’s been.

What is especially impressive about its current programming is how it is keeping in touch with its progenitors. This coming Friday, the reading series will feature Exene Cervenka and Jack Skelley, both of whom had poems in my anthology, POETRY LOVES POETRY. Exene’s journey as a poet is one of the extraordinary parts of Beyond Baroque’s history and I wish I could be there in person to hear her read along with Jack, who at one point also formed a band called PLANET OF TOYS with Beyond Baroque poet BOB FLANAGAN. Exene, of course, was co-founder of the band, X, with John Doe, whose memoir UNDER THE BIG BLACK SUN provides a poignant recollection of a decade that was more both more hopeful and more daunting than many care to acknowledge.

Kim Rosenfeld also started at the Beyond Baroque workshop. My recollection is that she was only 15 years old when she first dropped in and caught everyone off-guard with poems so full of grace and simmering poise that one suspected she had been assigned a muse three times her age. She moved to to New York City, where she has equally impressed her audiences.

Here are the details:
MAXIMUM RETURN: Exene Cervenka, Kim Rosenfeld, Jack Skelley
Friday, November 10, 8:00 PM PST
In person at Beyond Baroque and Live on YouTube

The following weekend is a celebration of poetry that deserves a larger paradigm than “festival.” One would be justified in trying to figure out a way to camp out in the nearby parking lots so that one could stay there round the clock!

I’ll be coming back from giving a reading in Davis, California when this gets underway, so I’m not sure how much of it I will be able to attend, but I hope to see you there for part of it.


SoCal Poetry Festival
November 17-19, 2023
In person at Beyond Baroque and Live on YouTube

The festival opens with Terrance Hayes, Mimi Tempestt, Luis J. Rodriguez, Sesshu Foster, Pam Ward, and Laurel Ann Bogen reading as Beyond Baroque celebrates Wanda Coleman by renaming its theater in her honor. Festival highlights include the debut of original commissioned work by former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, Safia Elhillo, and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, plus readings by Sally Wen Mao, féi hernandez, Dana Gioia, Truong Tran, J. Jennifer Espinoza, Muriel Leung, Katie Ford, Taz Ahmed, and many more.

Other programs include a panel on experimental poetics featuring Michael Davidson, Will Alexander, Diane Ward, and others; a bilingual conversation moderated by Sonia Guiñasca, featuring poets included in Donde Somos Humanos/Somewhere We Are Human Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings; and a reading of Iranian poetry in translation curated by PEN America and featuring Frieda Afary, Sheida Mohamadi, Majid Naficy, and other poets involved in the Woman Life Freedom Movement. Literary showcases have been curated by Graywolf Press, Lambda Literary, Huizache, Air/Light, Tuesday Night Project, World Stage Press, and Inlandia Institute. Amanda Ackerman leads a workshop on plant poetics, while Mimi Tempestt, William Archila, and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo offer generative workshops.


Raquel Baker earned a PhD in English Literary Studies from the University of Iowa, specializing in Postcolonial Studies and 20th- and 21st-century African literatures in English, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Baker is currently an Assistant Professor of Postcolonial and Transnational Literatures at California State University Channel Islands, teaching courses on creative writing and contemporary African literatures. She has published poetry in Africology and The Arrow; fiction in Enculturation, The Daily Palette, The Womanist, and Crux; and nonfiction in Little Village.

The West Coast’s longest-running free poetry workshop welcomes new and seasoned poets to share new work and provide feedback. Please be prepared to share one poem. This Zoom workshop is currently facilitated by James Fujinami Moore. Please sign up for each workshop session at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, and you will be contacted with instructions on how to join the meeting.

James Fujinami Moore’s debut poetry collection is indecent hours (Four Way Books, 2022), winner of the GLCA New Writers Award in Poetry and finalist for the Golden Poppy’s Martin Cruz Smith Award & the Lambda Literary Award in Bisexual Poetry. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Barrow Street’s 4×2, The Brooklyn Rail, Guesthouse, Jet Fuel Review, The Margins, the Pacifica Literary Review, and Prelude. He has received fellowships from Poets House, Bread Loaf, and the Frost Place, and received his MFA from Hunter College in 2016. He lives in Los Angeles.

Comments are closed.