Tag Archives: L.A. Times Book Festival Poetry Stage


The 2024 L.A. Times (Poetry) Book Festival

Friday, April 19th, 2024

The report on the ongoing closure of Topanga Canyon Boulevard just came in, and the news is not good: this primary thoroughfare between the coast and the San Fernando Valley will remain shut down until the fall, and it is of course possible that it won’t be long after it opens again that another rainy season will undermine the road, and yet another landslide will require a major repair. I mention this sequestering of a famous area in Los Angeles County because I am certain that there are a handful of people who live in Topanga who would love to attend the L.A. Times Book Festival to hear some of the featured poets this weekend, but whose itinerary will involve a daunting, circuitous loop.

For those not confined by the aftermath of all the rain this winter, however, this weekend offers a chance to enjoy a festival within a festival. The Poetry Stage at the L.A. Times Book Festival (on the University of Southern California campus) will feature over a score of well-known poets, along with an almost equal number of those who are still building their reputations. I don’t expect to be able to attend, due to several factors over which I have little control, but any young poet who would casually find an excuse not to attend would be demonstrating a lack of commitment to the nurturing of her or his imagination. Here is a convocation of voices and poetics that deserves to be overheard, even if you think most of the poets are not representative of the direction you believe your poetry is heading in.

Here is a link to the complete schedule of events:

Schedule » Festival of Books 2024 » L.A. Times

Here are some of the featured poets whose presentations you might especially savor. I hope the list entices you to attend.

Lynne Thompson – “Fretwork” and “Blue on a Blue Palette”
Sarah Maclay (“Nightfall Marginalia”)
Jack Grapes – “The Naked Eye”
Jenny Molberg – The Court of No Record
Maggie Millner – “Couplets: A Love Story”
Airea D. Matthews – “Bread and Circus”
Derrick Brown – “Love Ends in a Tandem Kayak”
Simon Shieh – “Master:Poems”
Dean Radar – “Before the Borderless: Dialogues with the Art of Cy Twonbly”
A, Van Jordan – “When I Waked, I Cried to Dream Again”
Marsha de la O – “Creature”

Nor should you miss the following:
Timothy Donnelly
Elena Secota
Kaveh Akbar
Cyrus Cassells
K. Iver
Lynn Emmanuel
Paisley Rekdal
Kazim Ali
Katherine Coles
Helene Cardona
Kristina Marie Darling

I confess that I’ve never heard of the following poets, but that doesn’t men they aren’t worth listening to. After all, there are about forty to fifty thousand people writing and publishing poetry in this country right now. One could be familiar with the work of two thousand poets, and still only know five percent of what is happening in the country. Let us celebrate — no, let us exult in! — the vast anonymity of American poets.

Elizabeth Metzger
Oliver de la Paz
Saretta Morgan
Shelley Wong
Mag Gabbert
Sam Sax
Angela Aguirre
Mandy Kahn
Tess Taylor
Jacqui Germain
Jubi Arriola-Headley
Tennison S. Black
Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)
Diego Baez
Sofia Aguilar