Wave Staff Report
WEST HOLLYWOOD — The city is celebrating National Poetry Month in April with several events, including a poetry spa day, and public exhibitions honoring poets and the art of poetry.
The celebration began April 3 at the City Council meeting when the council issued a proclamation for National Poetry Month, which was presented to City Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace.
On April 7, Poetry Walk, a public art installation, will be installed on the traffic median of Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny and Almont drives. The temporary installation displays poetry next to pre-existing empty concrete plinths where sculptures are usually displayed.
The poetry excerpts are from current and former city poet laureates including Sonia-Wallace, Steven Reigns, Kim Dower and Charles Flowers; and Tonya Ingram, a young poet who died last December.
The city’s lesbian speaker series will focus on poetry from 7 to 8 p.m. April 25 in the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.On Tuesday, April 25, 2023 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The city’s WeHo Reads series from 6 to 8 p.m. April 26 will feature a poetry spa day at the West Hollywood Aquatic and Recreation Center, 8750 El Tovar Place.
Participating poets will include former city poet laureates Kim Dower, Charles Flowers and Steven Reigns; current poet laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace, Jen Cheng and Linda Ravenswood.
Throughout the month, the city will honor living poets by featuring selections of their poetry on street pole banners along Santa Monica Boulevard. Currently there are 47 poets honored, and each year the West Hollywood city poet laureate selects two additional poets to honor. This year’s honorees are Dorothy Randall Gray and Charles Jensen.
Gray is a teacher, poet, global activist and author of the bestseller, “Soul Between The Lines: Freeing Your Creative Spirit Through Writing.”
Jensen is the author of the poetry collection “Nanopedia” and six chapbooks of poems.
The city began its poet laureate program in 2014. The poet laureate serves as an ambassador of the city’s vibrant literary culture and leads the promotion of poetry in the city, including assisting with its annual celebration of National Poetry Month.
For more information, contact Mike Che, the city’s arts coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.