Fifteen years later, we remember 9/11 with a poem written in 2001 in New York by L.A. journalist and musician Solvej Schou, reverberating with the grief, confusion and sadness she felt at the time of the tragedy.
Welcome to “Life’s Rich Pageant,” a month-long celebration of dazzling, provocative, whimsical, bold and resonating stories. Come on!
WE WERE THRILLED by the HUGE response to our launch party and reading at The Last Bookstore. VIEW photos and WATCH videos of the event and readings and more here!
A selection of poems by Lisa Mecham deftly explores the haze of infidelity, deflections that bring us back to ourselves and the anguish of facing a partner’s mental illness.
Read a haunting excerpt from GRACE, the debut novel by Natashia Deón universally hailed as a new, essential slave novel, and a revealing Q&A with the author on how her work delving into our country’s dark past relates to Black Lives Matter, sex and love.
In a pulsing excerpt and personal Q&A, John Doe, from X, recreates an unforgettable night at the Whisky a Go Go and reflects on his journey from the early days of punk L.A.
A searing series of narrative prose poems by Ashaki M. Jackson offer observations from her childhood and document the painful commonness of devaluing Black lives.
“‘I’m talking to you, zebra. Hey, zebra!’ I look away, walking as fast as I can toward the cafeteria. ‘Get out of here, ugly.'” A wrenching and hopeful reflection of growing up mixed-race, then and now.
An excerpt from Deanne Stillman’s epic MUSTANG, with excerpts from the just-released audio version, narrated by Anjelica Huston, John Densmore, Frances Fisher, Wendie Malick and Richard Portnow.
“Early one mornin’ the sun was shinin’ /
I was layin’ in bed /
Wonderin’ if she’d changed at all /
If her hair was still red.”
A first-look excerpt from Chris Morris’ candid memoir, “Together Through Life: A Personal Journey with the Music of Bob Dylan,” published on Dylan’s 75th birthday.
“Southern California was the perfect place for show business to sink its shallow roots in the era of silent film. Of course, at the time they weren’t actually known as ‘silent films,’ since there was no other kind of film. They were instead called ‘no-talkies.’”
After a traumatic adolescence and seeking shelter in a “safe” life that no longer fit, writer Bernadette Murphy found her way back to her true self through risk taking. In a riveting excerpt and Q&A, she describes crossing paths with her childhood idol character, The Fonz, in a surprising way.
“I never told you that I saw you kissing her, that I watched you do it without hesitation, inching closer to her instead of backing away. I watched long enough to see her curl her fist under her chin to get more comfortable, the gesture natural and familiar, as if she had done it before.”
The temptations against staying clean start the moment Dean gets a ride out of rehab.
“I realized I was surviving on isolation, wounded and harboring, and that that does not make for very good love. Sometime after the bridge, I began to realize that I already knew everything I needed to know.”
The art of Los Angeles isn’t just in our museums, it’s in our murals, our family’s artifacts and where we take cover, as Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo reveals.
Lauren Eggert-Crowe disarms us, brings us closer, unveiling heartbreak and beauty.
“From beneath the mattress of the top bunk we retrieve the gold tube of lipstick, found rolling like a lost toy on the rear floorboard of his car.”
Robin Rinaldi’s crafted, riveting and honest memoir, recently released in paperback, follows her self-ascribed, year-long open marriage project she felt compelled to undertake at the apex of midlife. The experience profoundly changed her, as a woman, writer and wife.
In his acclaimed debut novel just released in paperback, author Christopher Noxon depicts the flawed transition for an ad exec-turned-househusband to a Hollywood powerhouse wife, and the machinations of the L.A. lifestyle.
“I was 8 when my mom, brother and I rode the maiden voyage of the California Zephyr Dome-line train from our hometown in San Francisco to Los Angeles to start our new life. During the following years, I’d go to bed conjuring the youthful hope of that train ride so that my dreams could make it so.”
“I wept and screamed until finally I saw the path opened wide before me — freed from the attachment that had caused me suffering. I didn’t need a baby to be happy.”
Marina Muhlfriedel invites us to shed the past, if just a moment.
The voices in Nikki San Pedro’s poems search for soothing in the chaos of L.A.
Three intense, crafted poems, on love for men and words, from C. Russell Price’s acclaimed new debut, TONIGHT, WE FUCK THE TRAILER PARK OUT OF EACH OTHER.
Ridesharing may be an oversaturated market, but as Jonathan Tipton Meyers discovers, drivers and passengers are yearning for the same thing on the streets of Los Angeles: real, human connection.
When writer Matt Powell came back to L.A., he embarked on a noble, dying Angeleno tradition: the backbreaking, exhilarating thrill of driving and resuscitating a classic car. There was one problem — he didn’t know shit about cars.
“We prostitutes were all pretty women. We all had metaphorical thick curls of red hair — a head full of beautiful flourishes — and confidently unconfident smiles.”
“Indie — as in work for free?” I asked, but I didn’t wait for her answer. “You’re going to have to pay your own way back to L.A.”
Beck Black is the frontwoman for her disco-meets-punk-meets-glam-meets surf-meets Goth-meets-Blues-meets rock band at the forefront of the L.A. underground scene.
Los Angeles-based singer and guitarist Lynda Kay’s voice and songs are tethered to a familiar time that is imbued with emotion and style but connected to a place within us that tugs at the heartstrings of a challenging life.
L.A. noir-inspired drama hits Miami streets in Alex Segura’s mystery series. A peek into the world of a down-and-out journalist turned accidental PI, and a Q&A with the author, ARCHIE MEETS RAMONES comics creator by day, crime writer by night.
In his brazen debut novel, Matthew Binder evokes the romance and revulsion of the image of the debaucherous, celebrated author, grasping to make life work off page.
“As the Magic 8 Ball says:
‘All signs point to yes’
That you stole my Klonopin
I’m talking evidence not voodoo.”
“How did I get here? I was standing in a Capitol Records recording studio holding Sinatra’s microphone in my hand. I had dreamed about doing this all my life but I never really thought it would happen.”
William Cass explores a tense familial situation for a divorced couple with kids amid a city propped up on all sides by ennui and detachment, where a character’s drive for a T-ball game and a Creamsicle fogs his own humanity.
“When I pictured New York, I must have envisioned something like Wilshire and Fairfax, only with more people walking around, a shootout in progress and some meatball saying ‘fuggedaboutit’ while my wallet was nicked.”
Karen An-hwei Lee shows us the angels that fly and float through our city. Her assured writing trusts us with the complexities of racism in the judicial system and shows us how far we’ve come and how far we’ll go.
Poetry by Richard King Perkins II evokes the hardship of poverty, the beauty of pleasure and the emptiness of a couple out of sync.
Lydia K. Valentine’s pantoum takes us to the spaces between the spaces.
A personal piece inspired by the words and people that do not exist in Confucius’ Analects.
“No sunscreen. No seat belts. No helmets, knee pads, cell phones or parents. Just free-wheelin’ with nary a care in the world.”
“Now here she stood, on a balcony overlooking Adams Boulevard at a party on a warm Thursday night in June. If her flight hadn’t been delayed she would already be halfway around the world.” LAX to India.
“At 4:15 a.m., January 17, 1994, I was asleep in my bed. At 4:20 a.m., I was awake, terrified and confused about how I had ended up feet from my bed on the floor of my closet.”
Ed Ahearn on a child’s wish to fly, and a man’s knowledge of being tethered to earth, for now.
Rachel Toles’ poetry reaches beyond obligations of intimacy.
Mike Sonksen, aka Mike the Poet, tunes into the heartbeat and history of Los Angeles.
“Sometimes you don’t have the touch.
Now the best tenderness is whatever you try
when it’s not enough to say how could you have known.”
Ruth Nolan shows us the layers of our lives and our loves in a roadtrip across the ocean of the desert.
“The priest rushed out of the entrance and raised both of his hands to the sky. He was a swan flapping its wings as his long white robe dangled from his hairy forearms. A group of old women pointed judgmental fingers at Raphael’s car.”