Gatsby's End of Summer Lovin' Poetry Party + Open Mic
Celebrating the Release of Alexis Rhone Fancher's new collection Enter Here
+ Open Mic
Featured Poets Gerald Locklin & Cynthia Atkins
Thursday August 3rd @ 7pm
The latest collection of poems by award-winning author and photographer Alexis Rhone Fancher. “Lust, longing, urban noir, and the emotional ravages and physical heat that colliding souls can’t help making, are all artfully packed into these lyrical narratives by a poet who refuses to hold back” (Michelle Bitting, poet and author of The Couple Who Fell to Earth).
“Mixing heartbreak and hilarity, these poems deliver an emotional wallop with the ease of a woman rolling down her nylons” (Pam Ward, author of Want Some Get Some and Bad Girls Burn Slow).
“Alexis Rhone Fancher is not merely a detailed chronicler of our socio-physical interactions—she is by far the most exciting, articulate, and convincing storyteller in contemporary verse” (Gerald Locklin, poet and fiction author of 100+ books).
“Any self-styled critic who characterizes Alexis Rhone Fancher’s written work as only sexy stanzas would be making an egregious mistake. Far more accurate to portray her poetry as grainy, gritty, noir images by a female version of Henry Miller’s bitter observation of the dirty word ‘relationships,’ or Georges Bataille’s eccentric business of the creative woman at times catering to the psycho-sado fantasies of her lover, or Stephen Schneck’s nightmare world of sensual dreams, but with an added dose of infectious humor” (Michael C. Ford, music journalist, playwright, Grammy-nominated spoken-word artist, and Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet).
“I write about women like me, women who own their sexuality and take responsibility for their choices. It may seem I’m writing about sex, but really, I’m writing about power. Who has it. How to get it. How to wield it. How to keep it” (from “Featured Fem” Alexis Rhone Fancher, interviewed by The Fem literary magazine, 17 June 2016).
Alexis Rhone Fancher reads from her new, erotic collection; Enter Here, (KYSO Flash Press), the follow-up to 2014’s How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen & other heart-stab poems. Alexis is the author of three books of poetry, including State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies. Her poems are published in Best American Poetry, 2016, Rattle, Plume, Glass, decomP, Nashville Review, and elsewhere. Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.
Gerald Locklin, poet extraordinaire, has published over 100 books of poetry, including Poets and Pleasure Seekers, Children of a Lesser Demagogue, The Case of The Missing Blue Volkswagen, and The Death of Jean Paul Sartre and Other Poems.
Cynthia Atkins is the author of Psyche’s Weathers, In The Event of Full Disclosure, and Still-Life-With-God, (forthcoming, Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Apogee Journal, BOMB, Cultural Weekly, Del Sol Review North American Review and Verse Daily, among many others.
Featuring Poets Cynthia A. Briano, Richard Garcia, Charles Harper Webb, Suzanne Lummis and Elena Karina Byrne
Saturday June 17th @ 5pm
Cynthia Alessandra Briano is Director of the Rapp Saloon Reading Series First Fridays in Santa Monica. She is also Founder of Love On Demand Global, which creates custom-ordered poetry for charity. She is recipient of the Lois Morrell & J. Russell Hayes Poetry Prize, a finalist in the James Hearst Poetry Prize, and has been published in the North American Review and These Pages Speak, a creative writing textbook. She attended Swarthmore College and studied Global Sustainability and Creative Writing at UCLA Ext. She has served as Literary Programs Director and Poet-In-Residence at Self-Help Graphics & Art, and has taught creative writing, speech, and English literature in Thailand, the Philippines, and the Getty Villa. Cynthia is a College Counselor and an Editorial Consultant. She is at work on her first collection of poetry, The Moving Parts Dismantled. www.rappsaloon.org www.loveondemand.org
Elena Karina Byrne, author of Squander (Omnidawn 2016), MASQUE (Tupelo Press, 2008), and The Flammable Bird , (Zoo Press 2002), former 12 year Regional Director of the Poetry Society of America and Executive Director of AVK Arts, is an editor, the Poetry Consultant / Moderator for The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Literary Programs Director for The Ruskin Art Club, and one of the final judges for the Kate/Kingsley Tufts Prizes in poetry.
Her book reviews and poetry publications, among others, include the Pushcart Prize XXXIII, Best American Poetry, Poetry, Yale Review, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, TriQuarterly, Denver Quarterly, Slate, OmniVerse, Diode, Verse, Black Renaissance Noire, the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day and forthcoming in BOMB. Elena just completed a collection of essays entitled, Voyeur Hour: Meditations on Poetry, Art & Desire. www.elenakarinabyrne.com
Richard Garcia won the 2016 Press 53 Award for Poetry for Porridge. He is the author of six books of poetry, and his poems have appeared in many journals, such as The Georgia Review, Crazyhorse, The Cortland Review and Ploughshares. His work is also included in many anthologies, among them, The Best of the Prose Poem, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, and Best American Poetry 2005. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, the Mudfish Prize from Mudfish Magazine, the Greensboro Award from the Greensboro Review, the Cohen Award from Ploughshares, and the Georgetown Prize from the Georgetown Review. He was poet-in-residence at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles for twelve years, where he conducted workshops in art and poetry for hospitalized children. He teaches at the Antioch University Los Angeles MFA in Creative Writing program. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife, the poet Katherine Williams, and their dog Max. www.richardgarcia.info
Suzanne Lummis’ poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, Antioch Review, Ploughshares, New Ohio Review, Plume, The American Journal of Poetry and The New Yorker. Her most recent collection, Open 24 Hours, won the Blue Poetry Prize and was published by Lynx House Press in 2014. Previous full-length collections include In Danger (Roundhouse Press/Heyday Books) and Idiosyncrasies (Illuminati). Suzanne edited Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Poetry Series/Beyond Baroque Books), noted in The Los Angeles Times as one of The Ten Best Books of 2015. She is the recipient of Beyond Baroque’s fifth George Drury Smith Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Award. An influential teacher in Los Angeles, she leads private workshops and has taught for many years through the UCLA Extension Writers’ program where she evolved courses in poetic craft, the persona poem, and the poem noir (“Poetry Goes to the Movies”). Lummis is the director of The Los Angeles Poetry Festival, which she founded with poet Sherman Pearl, and through which she produced nine citywide multi-literary events between 1989 and 2011. In the 70s, during CSU Fresno’s now legendary era, Suzanne studied with Philip Levine, Peter Everwine and Charles Hanzlicek, and received an MA in English with a Creative Writing focus. www.suzannelummis.com
Charles Harper Webb, M.F.A., Ph.D. has published eleven books of poetry, including Reading the Water, Liver, Tulip Farms & Leper Colonies, Hot Popsicles, Amplified Dog, Shadow Ball: New and Selected Poems, and What Things Are Made Of. His latest collection, Brain Camp, was published in 2015 by the University of Pittsburgh Press. A Millions MFAs Are Not Enough, a collection of essays on the craft of poetry, was published in 2016 by Red Hen Press. Webb’s awards in poetry include the Morse Prize, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Felix Pollock Prize, and the Benjamin Saltman Prize. His poems have appeared in many distinguished journals and anthologies, including American Poetry Review, Paris Review, Iowa Review, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Tin House, Poets of the New Century, Best American Poetry, and The Pushcart Prize. A former professional rock musician and psychotherapist, he is the editor of Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology, and recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award, a fellowship from the Guggenheim foundation, the CSULB Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, and the CSULB Distinguished Faculty Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award. www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/charles-harper-webb
Poetry Reading Martina Newberry Reads from her new collection: Never Completely Awake
Alex Frankel reads from The Status Report
Sunday June 4th @ 5pm
Martina Reisz Newberry’s most recent book is NEVER COMPLETELY AWAKE (due out in late 2017 from Deerbrook Editions). She is also the author of WHERE IT GOES (Deerbrook Editions). LEARNING BY ROTE (Deerbrook Editions) and RUNNING LIKE A WOMAN WITH HER HAIR ON FIRE: Collected Poems (Red Hen Press). She has been awarded residencies at Yaddo Colony for the Arts, Djerassi Colony for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Disciplinary Arts. Passionate in her love for Los Angeles, Martina currently lives there with her husband, Brian, a Media Creative.
Born in San Francisco. Educated in New York. Taught in Barcelona, Spain. He now lives in the quiet hinterlands near El Sereno and Highland Park. Hosts his own poetry event in Old Pasadena. Alex is the author of "The Status Report", containing 49 mainly humorous poems and a few strange pictures.
Mother's Day Poetry Reading Featured Poets Reading from their New Books: Judy Kronenfeld & Karen Greenbaum-Maya
Sunday, May 14th @ 3pm
In her fourth book of poems, Judy Kronenfeld re-invokes and searches for her swiftly receding first-generation urban past and the lives of her dead—particularly her working-class immigrant parents—with love, terror, realism, and humor. Childhood memories illuminate puzzles, almost heal, tantalize with mystery. They recast themselves in imagination and dreams: her dead parents play Scrabble in their Bronx kitchen, though neither can spell. Kronenfeld explores vulnerability: not quite belonging to the worlds she rises into, or the America of her adulthood; moments when we cannot ask for what we most need. With precision, wit, and inventive metaphor, she bodies forth the role of attentiveness in love and art, casts a wry eye on the relation of young and old, and on politics and power. She casts a clear, yet not unmoved eye on endings—others’, and her own. And sometimes, the ever-present present transcends the flow of time.
Karen Greenbaum-Maya is a retired clinical psychologist, former German major, occasional photographer, and two-time Pushcart nominee. She earned her B.A. from Reed College in 1973 (German Language and Literature) and her Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology in 1982 (Clinical Psychology). Besides her professional activities, she reviewed restaurants for the Claremont Courier for five years, sometimes in heroic couplets, sometimes imitating Hemingway. She has managed a congressional campaign, has sung in a local opera company, and has developed cookie recipes for commercial use. She returned to poetry in 2008, and her work appears frequently in journals and anthologies. She co-hosts Fourth Sundays, a monthly poetry series in Claremont, California, and “Garden of Verses,” an annual day-long reading of nature poems in Claremont’s Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden. Kattywompus Press publishes her two chapbooks, Burrowing Song (2013) and Eggs Satori (2014).
Judy Kronenfeld is a poet, writer, scholar, and retired teacher of English and Creative Writing (Lecturer Emerita, Creative Writing Department, UC Riverside). She is a first generation American--an ex-New Yorker transplanted decades ago to Southern California. Her poems explore the vicissitudes of aging, its sorrows and mysterious blessings, with humor and fearlessness. These poems pay a nearly photographic attention to the particular and the domestic, and to psychological landscapes from the densely urban East to Western desert solitudes and beyond. Here the personal may rub up against the political and historical--cause for both anger and compassion. Almost the literary equivalent of pebbles placed on grave-markers, these poems cherish and celebrate our brief moment in time, our families, our memories, and the language that allows us to hold on to them.
Open the Book of Knots and their Untying, and you will find yourself pleasantly tangled in the complicated worlds of Karen Greenbaum-Maya. You'll find yourself within concentric circles of past and present, countries, languages and foods, exotic and ordinary. You'll meet relatives eccentric and sad, the rich and famous, and strange strangers. The poems in Book of Knots are crafty and intelligent, and the same poem can be at once heartbreaking and hilarious, wacky and profound—enjoy!