Sunday, December 21, 2014

La Palabra at Avenue 50 Studio


Please join us for a very special La Palabra Reading, when we welcome:

Los Angeles Poet Laureate, Luis J. Rodriguez

Acclaimed poet and community activist, Peter J. Harris,

and front-man of popular Los Angeles-based urban punk-folk group Las Cafeteras, Hector Flores! 

Avenue 50 Studio
131 N Avenue 50
Highland Park, CA

December 21


Friday, December 19, 2014

La Última Noche

Sergio Julián de Oliveira

Rudy Calderón

   Tenemos el gran gusto de invitar a todos aquellos de habla Hispana a que vengan a presenciar el talento de Sergio Julián de Oliveira (actuando un monólogo de Roque Dalton y Jose González "La Vida y Últimos Momentos del Poeta") y Rudy Calderón (autor de 14 libros entre ellos El Colibrí, Candela y Mexican-American: My Hybrid Bloodque estarán deleitando a la comunidad del Este del Valle de San Fernando en el Centro Cultural Tia Chucha's en la ciudad de Sylmar.

   Presenciaremos poesía, música, actuación aparte que estaremos despidiendo a Noches de Canto y Poesía por lo que queda del año 2014. Como siempre tendremos el micro abierto para aquellos que quieran compartir una historia, poema, anécdota, memorias y lo que deseen compartir. El escenario es todo suyo.

DONDE: Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore: 13197 Gladstone Ave, Unit A, Sylmar CA 91342
CUANDO: Viernes 19 de Diciembre (cada primer y tercer Viernes de cada mes) a partir de las 8PM
POR: el gran anfitrión  Alejandro Molina, autor de Vive Pez.

Underground Writers

Alejandro Molina visits EastSide Cafe for their Underground Writers Open Mic

John Martinez sharing a poem about his dad... 

Our gracious host, poet and writer extraordinaire Iris de Anda

Pictures and article courtesy of Victor Sotomayor, LA Poets Society Director of Outreach (pictured above)

Once again I am in awe of the talent that comes through Eastside Cafe's door in El Sereno where poets, musicians and artists convene every third Thursday of the month to share beautiful words that leave such an imprint in the young members that come to share a poem, a song, a Facebook page or rant about the Holidays.

   There were a lot of raw emotions felt last night and I, for one, am fortunate to say that I have found salvation to my depression and anxiety for places like these, places like EastSide Cafe where one can express himself without the fear of not being politically correct or being judged or misunderstood. Thanks to Iris De Anda (author of Codeswitch: Fires from Mi Corazón) for creating an open forum for poets, writers, musicians and the audience that keeps on coming every third Thursday of the month. Much love and good luck on the following year that's upon us! Support our local artists! Que viva Eastside Cafe! Que viva la revolución de Amor!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

LAPS Goes Deep Underground

The Writer’s Underground Open Mic is hosted by Iris de Anda, author of Codeswitch: Fires From Mi Corazón.


Join Iris and poets and friends of El Sereno tonight for the last the writers underground open mic of 2014!  Such a successful year of building community, sharing poetry & music, & expressing ourselves on the mic. Some people got up to share for the first time, others are veterans. We have no features because the feature is YOU. Stay tuned in 2015 as we continue in 2015 with a new logo & new energy.


WHERE: Eastside Cafe 5469 Huntington Dr N, Los Angeles, California 90032

WHEN: Today at 8PM (Third Thursdays)

WHAT:  Poetry, music and any art your heart desires!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Los Angeles Poet Society Holiday Party plus 5 Years of SoapBox Poets Open Mic!

We have a lot to celebrate this month! Not only is it that happy time of year in which mankind is super humble, super loving, and comes back to simple humanity in the holiday season, but it's also a time of giving and living for the purpose of making life blissful for everyone you come in contact with! Ahh holiday bliss!

The LAPS is excited to host its 1st "official" Holiday Party this December 14th at the iconic beauty that is Beyond Baroque! We're going to have a huge celebration of giving, sharing our Arts, and enjoying some time with each other!

It's time for holiday cheer and beautiful art! Join the Los Angeles Poet Society and the SoapBox Poets for LAPS Holiday Party, plus celebration of 5 years of SoapBox Poets!

FREE ENTRY gets you some holiday cheer, poetry and music, & food!  2-4pm at Beyond Baroque!
Address: 681 Venice Blvd. Venice, CA

Join the "White Elephant" gift exchange and share your holiday poems. (not mandatory)

We are also accepting donations of:
- Cash which will be given to help support Beyond Baroque
- Unwrapped Toys which will be given to support the Tots of St. Joseph Center
- Non-Perishable Foods which will be given to support the Venice Beach Food Bank
- Gently used clothing, blankets which will be given to support the families of St. Joseph Center

Give forward, show your smiles and lend some love!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from your Los Angeles Poet Society!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Answering the Call of My Ancestors

Closing Art Reception - RAH Azul 

Join us at Tia Chuchas for a night with RAH Azul as he takes us on a journey into the forgotten lives and ways of our ancestors. RAH Azul will use his paintings, Aztec dancing with danza groups Temachtia Quetzalcoatl, Axolotl, Xochiyaoyotl, song and poetry to share the stories of the beautiful Mexica (Aztec) culture. Bringing all the artistic elements together to explore the mythology and philosophy that was never written in the history books.

Mexica (Aztec) Dance by Temachtia Quetzalcoatl, Axolotl, and Xochiyaoyotl. All Danzantes (Aztec Dancers) are welcomed to join in the opening ceremony beginning at 5:00pm 

Poetry by Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez

Collaboration Performance with: Matthew Vibes

Art Work: RAH Azul

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Unbuckled NoHo Poetry Today!

 UNBUCKLED: No Ho POETRY is upon us with Jack Cooper as the Featured Poet/Performer.

        UNBUCKLED takes place at T.U. Studios later today from 3:45pm-5:45pm at 10943 Camarillo Street (Behind Odyssey Video) (Off Vineland) where Vineland, Camarillo and Lankershim converge in North Hollywood.


OPEN MIC: Open to poets, writers, actors, musicians, comedians, etc.

You can Read/Perform your own work or someone else's.

NEW RULE: Only the First 15 People to sign-up on the sign-up list are guaranteed a spot.  After that it is as time allows. 

NEW TIME: The new time change to 3:45pm-5:45pm from 4pm-6pm was made to allow the people after us more time to get into the room.

Co-Organizer & Host: Radomir Vojtech Luza.
Co-Organizer: Mary Anneeta Mann.

Sponsored by Synthaxis Theatre Company and Radman Productions.

For More Information Call (818) 762-5866 or (818) 769-1145.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Speakeasy Sunday starts this week, Dec. 7!

This Sunday is Speakeasy Sunday with the 

Los Angeles Poet Society!

Join us as we embark on a new show at a brand new location in North Hollywood/ Toluca Lake! All creative genres are welcome to perform a 7 minute set. All music will be Acoustic. 

Featuring is The Metaphors with Juan Cardenas and Jessica Wilson. A collaboration of sound and words from the Flute of Juan Cardenas and the word sounds of Poet Jessica Wilson.

Check them out here:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Celebrating Music! Tikal Sun! The Metaphors!

Picture of Tikal Sun‘s Nelson Alburquenque (above) and Juan Cardenas (also from Tikal Sun) and poetess Jessica Wilson Cardenas of The Metaphors (bottom picture).
There are times that I need an escape. Times when I feel that I’m overwhelmed with the mundane routine of work, paying bills, making end’s meet, trying to stretch every dollar to make it in this economy, traffic on the 101 and the 405, Carmageddons, global warming, nuclear radiation, children illiteracy and the zombie apocalypse á la Walking Dead. I worry a lot, that is very true, so I need a release, an escape, a musical escapade to help me deal with it all.
I recently discovered SoundCloud through a friend of mine who hangs his recordings on it (look him up under Matt Vibes, soulful voice that covers such artists as Marvin Gaye, Sublime, Bill Withers, Sam Cook among others) and I was hooked. I found myself looking for different music and, quite honestly, I was tired of my own songs on my iPhone as well as I Heart Radio, Spotify and Pandora. I needed something fresh and new. I began looking for my friends’ recordings like Michael Ray De Los Angeles, Cunaomusic, Jenuine Poetess, Matt Vibes, Ceasar Avelar, Jason Brain, Iris de Anda, TranSe among many others that I run into my open mic crawl and found myself falling in love with their poetry and music all over again, getting fresh ideas for my own poetry (and yes, you can also find me under Victor Sotomayor).
And then I found Tikal Sun. Electric guitars, flute, drums, indigenous instruments that recreate rain soundscapes, tambourine and more… Tikal Sun is always evolving; its eclectic sound can be compared to Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Enigma and whales… Sorry, I’m getting whales right as I’m listening to Navajo Windcry on SoundCloud as I write this article, so my apologies. And just for the record I’m not high, I swear!
Tonight is a very special night for Tikal Sun is playing a long set of their best songs (Ubuntu Goddess! Totem! Taíno! New songs!) at the Brass Monkey located in Koreatown at 659 Mariposa Avenue in Los Angeles preceded by music and poetry by The Metaphors with Jessica Wilson Cardenas and Juan Cardenas at 5:30PM. Last time I was at Brass Monkey I felt as if I was somewhere down South, nowhere near Los Angeles so I’m ready to be transported to different realms and musical dimensions tonight.
Be adventurous! Take a hallucinogenic acid and fall down the rabbit hole where music is colorful, where guitars roar, where flute musical notes float above the eucalyptus trees, where a tambourine and drums summon spirits. Yeah, it’s that kind of Sunday. And, once again, I’m not high, people!!! Wait, did you guys just see that pink and purple elephant over the Hollywood sign… Well, did you?
Do yourselves a favor and listen to Tikal Sun on SoundCloud, you will thank me later. Tikal Sun is: Nelson Alburquenque, Juan Cardenas, Levon Arzuyan, Joe Willis and Matt Gottesman.

Mental Monday at the House of Brews!

(Pictured above: Melba “Mama Hazze” Gilkey, Víctor Sotomayor, Michael Ray De Los Ángeles and Gabby Delgado )
Thank God today is Monday… That’s right, today is another Mental Monday, folks!
Here are some of the best pictures taken at the Halloween edition of Mental Monday (last Monday of the month) at House of Brews in San Fernando. Come on out and bring us a poem, a song, a circus act, a ghoulish horror story or whatever your heart desires.
Mental Monday is hosted by poet Evy Spiritluvchild who brings so much positive energy and makes everyone feel right at home. Open mic sign up starts at 7:00pm and begins around 7:30 so don’t miss out.
House of Brews
231 N Maclay Ave, San Fernando, CA 91340

A Night at the Writers' Underground - An Interview with Iris De Anda

  As soon as you walk through the Eastside Café in El Sereno you're immediately transported to a "safe zone". For 11 years Eastside Café has been a cultural haven to the community of the east side where every Third Thursday of the month an open mic is held for poets, writers and musicians. Tonight was a very special open mic hosted by sister poet Iris De Anda who has authored Codeswitch: Fires From Mi Corazón and brings that cool vibe with her sage and all that positive energy I so much needed tonight. 

  We spoke about everything from the missing boys from Juarez to sexual abuse to Vagina Monologues to No Se Habla Español among other themes that kept everyone wanting more. This is my second time here and I must say that the place has an incredible energy or force that attracts poets and inspires people to grab the mic (tonight there were many first timers) who give their hearts and soul up in that mic. 
  Later in the evening after the chairs were folded, the lights turned off and the sage put out, I had a chance to ask Iris a few questions about Eastside Café ( Here's an except of what we discussed:

VICTORWhy Eastside Café?
IRIS: Eastside cause we are on the eastside. It's called Eastside Café but it's never really been a café.

VICTORHow long you've been hosting their open mics (third Thursday at 8pm)?
IRIS: I've been hosting 11 open mics, tonight was the 11th. Although I have been volunteering here for 5 years, I decided to do a monthly open mic to bring local poets and artists together. I've been hosting the writers underground since January 2014.

VICTORWhat made you start this?
IRIS: I didn't start it. It was a group of people that would gather every Sunday at someone's house nearby to dialogue and create community. The storefront was acquired in 2002. Still I just wanted to provide a space for my community to share poetry which is so healing.

VICTOROne thing about Eastside is the energy and positivity that is so palpable as you walk inside.
IRIS: It's all corazón. Love that built it and keeps it going. No grants, no government. Just the people... The way it should be.

VICTORHow can people help Eastside Café and other places like it to continue giving back to the community?
IRIS: Donating money. Donating your time by classes that people want to attend such as yoga, San Jarocho, guitar lessons, writing workshops, etc. Support your local Eastside Café.

VICTORThank you so much for your time and for hosting the Writer'sUnderground open mic non stop for 2014.  Hope to continue coming in 2015.
IRIS: Wonderful! Thanks for being there, Victor! See you next month!

NEXT SHOW: December 18th, 8pm
Eastside Cafe: 5469 Huntington Drive N.  Los Angeles, CA 90032

A Interview with Ideas Aubrey -- Beyond Amazing!

The iconic Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA -- home to the creative arts of Los Angeles!
Home to SoapBox Poets Open Mic each 2nd Sunday of the Month

Everyone walked out a different person from Beyond Baroque today. This community literary and arts center, located at 681 Venice Blvd in Venice, California (, holds several events every weekend such as today's SoapBox Poets Open Mic hosted by LAPS President, Jessica Wilson, where performers are free to bring their poems, short stories or simply "your words" and share them on the mic. 

Today's Featured Poet was Spoken Word poet Ideas Aubrey who opened up his heart on stage and let his audience feel better walking out than when they walked in. Such energy and positive vibe comes from his personal life experiences. His poetry and spoken word pieces could be felt within the walls of Baroque and beyond. 

I asked to sit and speak to Ideas Aubrey (He can be followed on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Tumblr) about what inspires him to do his craft, who inspired him to pursue poetry and what projects await for him. His bright, positive energy leaves the audience wanting more.

When did you know that poetry was your calling? How old were you?

I was 17 when started writing poetry after a poet came to my classroom in High School. Poetry was something else. I had  lots of teachers who encourage me to pursue my dream.

What impressed you about that poet's performance?

I loved to hear and experience their every expression, it put a fire in my heart.

What would you say to an aspiring poet? Why is it important?

It's a journey to be a poet, travel around every open mic in los Angeles when you get a chance to bring your words and your voice together with your art.

What open mics do you attend?

Freedom of Speech Thursdays Nights, Expression Monday, Writers Wednesday, Night of Soul, Flight School among others.

I noticed you walk around the stage, through the aisles, high five audience members, talk to each one of them and connect with them. 

I love connecting with the audience, to bring smile in their hearts... That is the beauty of poetry: to inspire others. It's a different atmosphere when I get on the stage.

Who's your inspiration?

My inspiration is my family and friends who believe in me. 

Who's your favorite author?

My favorite author/poet is Saul Williams.

Any particular book or poem by Saul Williams?

Cold Language.

I just saw you on stage at Beyond Baroque and thought you were simply amazing. How do you prepare for a solo act?

It takes time, energy, love and lots of practice to put together a solo performance.

Any projects you're working on?

I currently work on an eBook called Ideas Thoughts to be released in the Spring or Summer of 2015.

NEXT SHOW: December 14th

To catch the next SoapBox Poets Open Mic at Beyond Baroque, come in each 2nd Sunday, 2-4pm.
Hosted by Los Angeles Poet Society President, Jessica M. Wilson

This is your mic! All creative genres welcome! 7 minutes time.

Address: 681 Venice Blvd. Venice, CA 

Writer Wednesday says Goodbye to Bob's Espresso Bar...

"All good things must come to an end", the saying goes. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon Bob's Espresso Bar on a Writer Wednesday night back in July and I met wonderful people like Jessica Wilson Cardenas, Juan Cardenas, Nelson Alburquenque, Teesh "Brown Sugar", Billy "Stupendous" Rodriguez, Zach Zephyr, E. Cathy Cole, Pogo Saito, The Whale, Tony Bates among many other artists that have delighted me and audiences have come every Wednesday to escape from the stress of everyday life and share poetry, comedy, music and soul.

But all things must come to an end and our dear Robert Romanos, owner of Bob's Espresso Bar and better known for his acting role in 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High along with Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ray Walston, has decided that it's time to close the curtain to a dream that came true for him, a dream of opening a coffee shop where artists would come together and share their poetry, their music, their comedy and their magic. The time has come when Bob must say farewell to pursue other dreams of his own.

I've written a poem that I was fortunate enough to share last Wednesday at the second to last Writer Wednesday (last Bob's Espresso Bar Writer Wednesday will take place on November 12th starting at 6:45 till 9:30) and I was happy to say that I got Bob himself to come to the mic and say a few words to the audience. His rare speech moved most everyone to tears for we know how much he's invested in Bob's Espresso Bar, the friends he's made along the way, the unforgettable performances that he's seen in his (?) years of listening behind the counter. Everybody loves Bob.

And so I will share the poem titled Bob's Last Curtain Call, inspired by Bob's Espresso Bar and its family of artists and friends:

Robert "Bob" Romanos and Victor Sotomayor

Bob's Last Curtain Call

We all shine on!
Like the Luna
Like the stars
Like Tikal Sun
We are all stars
In the same constellation
Of cosmic talent
We will shine on
And on and on…
“All good things
Must come to an end”,
Or So they say…
All good things
Must come to a close,
Last curtain call
To the sound of a flute
Charming whoever
Has ears to listen and look!
Last curtain is now upon us…
And stupendous electric guitars
An Aggravated poet and another constant one
The sound of whales migrating south
The cry of the dolphins
That swim out to shore
A white bunny that refuses to come out the magician’s hat,
En-tranced and confused
“All good things must come to an end.”
Tikal Sun has now set in the horizon
Beyond Navajo Sands of time
Tapestry of wonder and awe,
Limitless source of symphonies and sounds
Bob’s Espresso Bar
Like this place there’s no par
A hub connecting
The Hollyweird with the Valley Girls
Connecting minds
Connecting souls
An amazing technicolor rainbow over Lankershim boulevard.
A depot of traveling performers
A stop along the way
Musicians and poets
Bring with them
Their illusions and disenchantments
Their struggles and triumphs
Their joys and sorrows
Orphans must stick together now
We are the dawn of a new sun
A new moon
A constellation of stars
Our own little non dairy Milky Way
Bob’s last curtain call
Is now upon us
A bittersweet moment
That welcomes new beginnings
New adventures
New venues
But we shall never forget
These precious moments together
You see, these memories will never be taken away,
They will remain in our hearts.
Fast times are comin’
Bring them on!!!
We are all stars
A new constellation
A non dairy
Fat free
Chocolate flavored
Milky Way
And we will shine on
From another galaxy
Far, far away
(I hope you have your GPS)
Orphans must stick together now
We are the dawn of a new sun
A new moon
A constellation of stars
Our own little non dairy Milky Way
Bob’s last curtain call
Is now upon us
A bittersweet moment
That welcomes new beginnings
New adventures
New venues
But we shall never forget
These precious moments together
You see, these memories will never be taken away,
They will remain in our hearts.
Fast times are comin’
Bring them on!!!
We are all stars
A new constellation
A non dairy
Fat free
Chocolate flavored
Milky Way
And we will shine on
From another galaxy
Far, far away
(I hope you have your GPS)
Let’s raise our glasses
And sing a loud cheer
For this is not the end, baby,
This is just the beginning!!!

©2014 Victor Sotomayor 

Photos by Victor Sotomayor

Thanks, Bob, we shall never forget!!!

The 2nd Annual Lit Crawl LA: NoHo!

2014 Lit Crawl

LAPS Director of Outreach, Victor Sotomayor and Elysie with the LA Public Library mobile Library!

An amazing thing happened last night. 
I attended the second annual 2014 Lit Crawl in the North Hollywood Arts District where writers, comedians, authors, poets and musicians gathered in 30 different spots (all within walking distance) and shared their literary work to an attending multitude that came to be wowed by writers and poets right in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. (If you'd like to follow my footsteps, check this website for these and all thirty locations:
Jason Brain rocking his poetry at A Night with a NoHo Beat!
First Stop: Avenue 50 Studio's Poesía Para La Gente. (Map 30)
A presentation of poetry (y poesía también), spoken word and slam featuring Karineh Mahdessian, Sophia Rivera, Elsie Vega, Ramona Pilar, Xochitl Julisa Bermejo, Javi Infante Vargas, Lilly Flor, Emily Fernandez, Iris De Anda, Gloria Enedina Álvarez, Crystal Salas, Nikita Liz Egar and Jessica Ceballos.

As my first time attending, I decided that I would support my locas from El Sereno, a group of women that gather once a week to write poetry from the heart, sometimes as raw and real as being victims to domestic violence, or sometimes as intimate and sensual poems that heat up the night. These Lunas Locas started off my tour of the Lit Crawl and I am so grateful that I did for they were simply amazing. What I loved is the fact that they were standing right outside the North Hollywood Red Line Metro Station (Map 30) in the middle of rush hour and these proud women had no problem opening their hearts to whomever wanted to lend them an ear and hear about their struggles and their triumphs. That takes cojones, if you ask me!

The ladies giving Poesia para la Gente!

Second Stop: The Rumpus: A Scream Without a Mouth-Stories of Reaching Out (Map 14)
The Rumpus joined forces with The Rattling Wall and PEN USA's Michelle Meyering to bring an intriguing lineup of wild writers who embody the spirit of the Hubert Selby Junior quote in the title.

Loved the setting inside the NoHo Arts Center where there was not a single seat left in the theatre (and some resorted to sitting on the stairs) to watch authors read from their novels. I pictured myself on that stage delivering the lines to an upcoming novel (that I have yet to publish) to an audience that was all too eager to listen. I suddenly realized that this had been my dream all along, that I always wanted to be among artists, writers and poets and I finally saw my finish line, I finally saw myself standing in front of a room full of people waiting for me to open the pages of my book and share a little piece of my best (unwritten) work. Funny how I can see it clearly now where two years ago I would have never thought that this was impossible, that I could never stand in front of a crowd for 10 to 15 minutes and keep their interest, make them laugh, make them think or make them cry. With luck, all of the above.

A Night with a NoHo Beat featuring: Julio the Conga Poet Rodriguez, Wyatt Underwood, Maya Trochimczyk, Jason Brain, Jessica Wilson, Juan Cardenas
Third Stop (and my last): Los Angeles Poet Society: A Night With a NoHo Beat (Map 23)
Featuring: Jason Brain (Soapbox Sessions), Julio Rodriguez "the Conga Poet", Maja Trochimczyk, Wyatt Underwood and hosted by Jessica Wilson (Writer Wednesday at Bob's Espresso Bar)

I knew that I had to end the night with more poetry and what better way to do it than with the greatest poets in the San Fernando Valley today. These souls have inspired me to see where I wanted to be when I decided to start reciting poetry. Jason Brain is a master of words that captivates an audience with the delivery of his words and a charisma that is hard to deny. Julio Rodriguez a.k.a. The Conga Poet recited his message of revolution and freedom from a society that values corporation and Wall Street more than the arts and free expression. His poignant message can be heard to the boricua beat of his soul and his congas that fill the breeze in the air. Finally there was Jessica Wilson Cardenas, author and poet who is so very humble and graciously hosts Writer Wednesday at Bob's Espresso Bar in North Hollywood. One smile from Jessica reveals an open soul, an artist that embraces every poet and artist with open arms and has also beautiful poetry to share herself. And has a great voice as well! (Ask her to sing Navajo Sand if you ever see her and make sure Juan Cardenas and his flute are handy, too).

On my way home, I was saddened that the night had to end (even though the party had just began!). I was saddened that it took me this long, forty years (plus two) to realize what had I been missing in my life. Then I became extremely happy that I considered everybody there my literary friend, that I had something in common with every performer, every espectator, every word spoken last night. Poetry is so powerful that it can move hundreds, thousands, heck even millions! We have a powerful tool, a power to be reckoned with. And last night's Lit Crawl was proof that we can move mountains with our pens and paper. Cannot wait till next year to see double the crowd and double the talent (and maybe I can make it to The Federal's after party... Wait, I am still "hip" at forty-three, right? RIGHT?).