Browne, Mahogany L. I Remember Death By Its Proximity to What I Love. Haymarket Books, 2021.
Gander, Forrest. Twice Alive. New York: New Directions, 2021.
This reading opens with Lawrence Ferlinghetti reading from his journal about stopping in Salome, Arizona on his way to perform for the Poetry Center. He reads primarily from A Coney Island of the Mind but also includes a performance of Walter Lowenfels's anti-war poem "Where is Vietnam."
Eleni Sikelianos reads from Earliest Worlds (2001), The California Poem (2004), and Body Clock (2008). This reading was given as the final installment of the Poetry Center's "Oh Earth, Wait for Me: Conversations about Art and Ecology" series.
Jane Miller reads from her third collection, American Odalisque (1987), as well as from August Zero (1993), which would be published the following year. She also reads an excerpt from her nonfiction collection Working Time: Essays on Poetry, Culture, and Travel (1992).
Farid Matuk reads poems from My Daughter La Chola (2013). This reading was originally given with Aurelie Sheehan.
Lawson Fusao Inada performs poems that speak to the Asian American experience, particularly around Japanese American internment during World War II and life in mid-century Fresno, California. He reads a selection of poems from Before the War: Poems as They Happened (1971), along with with other poems from the 1970s, including "I Told You So."
Juan Felipe Herrera warmly engages the audience with work that would be collected in books such as Mayan Drifter: Chicano Poet in the Lowlands of America (1997), Notebooks of a Chile Verde Smuggler (2002), and Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (2008), as well as uncollected pieces. Standout performances include "Notes on Other Chicana and Chicano Inventions" and "Suicide in Hollywood / Lupe Velez (Circ. 1923) Serigrafía de una actriz Mexicana," read in Spanish and English. Opening his reading with an invocation to sky, earth, wind, and fire, Herrera encourages audience laughter and participation throughout the evening.
Jane Miller opens her reading with "Miami Heart" and "The Poet," both from Memory at These Speeds: New and Selected Poems (1996). She continues with work from Wherever You Lay Your Head, published in 1999. This reading was originally given with Eleni Sikelianos.
Nanao Sakaki performs poems and songs in the courtyard of the Poetry Center on Cherry Avenue. Asking the audience, "Any questions? I'll answer by my poems," Sakaki addresses themes raised by audience members such as anger, feeling at home, time, walking, and love for the desert and all forms of life.
Camille Dungy discusses climate change and reads from What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (2006), Smith Blue (2011), and a forthcoming manuscript titled Trophic Cascade. This reading was given as part of the Climate Change & Poetry Series.
Poetry Center Summer Resident July Westhale reads from her poetry collection Trailer Trash (2018). She also reads from a new manuscript of poetry titled Via Negativa. This reading was originally given with Felicia Zamora.
Natalie Shapero reads poems from Hard Child (2017) along with other uncollected poems.
Rigoberto González reads from his memoir What Drowns the Flowers in Your Mouth: A Memoir of Brotherhood (2018) and his newest collection of poetry The Book of Ruin (2019).
Poetry Center Summer Resident Lehua M. Taitano gives an interactive reading of poems from her collection Inside Me an Island (2018). She also presents her latest work, a video poem created for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center's "A Day in the Queer Life" project. This reading was originally given alongside Bojan Louis.
As part of the Institute for Inquiry and Poetics, Peter J. Harris, Michael Warr, Luivette Resto, and Luis J. Rodriguez read from and discuss collected and uncollected work, including from their books Bless the Ashes (Harris, 2014), The Armageddon of Funk (Warr, 2011), Ascension (Resto, 2013), Unfinished Portrait (Resto, 2008), Borrowed Bones: New Poems from the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles (Rodriguez, 2016), and From Our Land to Our Land: Essays, Journeys, and Imaginings from a Native Xicanx Writer (Rodriguez, 2020). Diana Marie Delgado leads a conversation to conclude the event.
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo shares new work commissioned by the Poetry Center as part of the Art for Justice series. Informed by Hernandez Castillo's work with youth in detention, these poems and video-text explore the relationship between facts and story as they communicate the pain of the carceral justice system. This reading was also given as part of the Morgan Lucas Schuldt Memorial Reading Series, alongside Marwa Helal.