Edgar Allan Poet, volume 3


Dear Apryl & Danny,
I received the anthology yesterday at my English Dept. mailbox. Superb job. Frankly, it’s the most astute, comprehensive anthology of L.A. poetry between 1950 and 2015 because it finally gets one essential thing right: to be blunt, unless an L.A. anthology includes the Venice West scene, it’s a “Photoshopped” version of this city’s poetic genealogy. “Cropped.” “Manipulated.” Your anthology breaks on through to the other side of the pre-Beyond Baroque scene in Venice and gives it equal weight with a plethora of subsequent scenes. Bravo, and about damn time this kind of editorial intervention happened. One would have thought an anthology featuring Stuart Z. Perkoff, John Thomas, Wanda Coleman, Frank T. Rios, S.A. Griffin, Laurel Ann Bogen, Scott Wannberg, Harry Northup, Holly Prado, Michael C. Ford, Gail Wronsky, franceYe, Richard Modiano, Ellen Maybe, Luis J. Rodriguez and Brendan Constantine would have long been available; but such is not the case. I myself was not able to summon such a range of poets in my pair of L.A. anthologies, so I truly understand what a challenge you faced. Of course the usual skeptics will ask: Does your anthology bring every pertinent poet on stage? No, there are many waiting in the wings, but I dare every future editor of such an anthology to leave out the poets I’ve just named and still have the hubris to claim that it’s a significant anthology of L.A. poetry. To omit even one of these poets would be a mortal error. Your project undertook a more daunting task than I suspect you knew awaited you, one that has defeated many others. My applause. My standing ovation, in fact.
—Bill Mohr, editor of The Streets Inside: Ten Los Angeles Poets (1978) and “Poetry Loves Poetry: An Anthology of L.A. Poets (1985), and author of Holdouts: The Los Angeles Poetry Renaissance 1948-1992.