Lynne Thompson, the new Poet Laureate of Los Angeles

Wednesday night, February 24, 2021 — 9:30 p.m.

Suzanne Lummis just called me on the phone to announce that Lynne Thompson has been appointed the new Poet Laureate of Los Angeles. I am very delighted to learn this news. Last June, the W – E Bicoastal Poet of the Pandemic Poetry Reading Series featured her along with Laurel Ann Bogen and Alexis Rhone Fancher.

Here is my brief introduction for Lynne at that zoom reading:

“Lynne Thompson, who was born, raised, and thoroughly educated in Los Angeles, turns familial history into a poignant cross-examination of the politics of identity. Thompson’s documentary poetics enjoins the eminent domain of irony to accentuate and contextualize accounts of personal memory so that they remain viscerally pertinent to the always already festering crisis of this nation’s patrimony. Along with Bogen’s and Fancher’s poems, every future anthology of American poets will have to reckon with her writing. I present Lynne Thompson.”

Eloise Klein Healy, Luis J. Rodriguez, and Robin Coste Lewis were the previous laureates. I can’t think of a better successor than Lynne Thompson. I have been fortunate enough to hear Lynne read several times and cherish even more the memory of reading with her at an event organized by the Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, Kim Dower (“Route 66 through the Eyes of Poets” / Wednesday, April 25, 2018). In addition to Lynne, that event included such fine poets as Brendan Constantine, Elena Karina Byrne, Yvonne M. Estrada, and Laurel Ann Bogen.

Best of luck, Lynne. The poets of Los Angeles wholeheartedly support your appointment!

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