Mike Sonksen has been doing guerrilla poetry readings for fifteen years. “On the subway, out on the street, even in the middle of literary events when I wasn’t invited.” His love for the city is rooted in honesty about its beauties and its shortcomings.
I’m alive in Los Angeles
Where there are more angles than isosceles
City topography’s undulating across massive landscapes
We move from chain link to palatial gates in separate economic states
Tom Schabarum is a Seattle-area poet and novelist. While he’s published his novels to the Kindle, he still loves the feel of a book in his hands. He put it this way in a blog post,
In Seattle we have the beautiful Olympic Sculpture Park, which contains a huge sculpture of a typewriter eraser complete with circular rubber wheel and feather brush top. When I have young people in my car under thirty years old, I always ask them to identify it and none of them know what it is. Hearing their answers keeps my mind pointing to the future and embracing it.
Poet, spoken word artist and actress Lindsay Halladay has a heart that is so zen, it needs to beat only every now and then. Just watch this guerrilla reading of her poem, Zen, and you’ll understand.
Halladay, aka The Lindz, has performed sold-out shows for the LA Women’s Theater Festival, and she partnered with Declare Yourself, a non-partisan voting initiative founded by Norman Lear. She’s also been nominated for the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant (FAAR) through The Ford Foundation and The Hip-Hop Theater Festival.
Guerrilla reader Jenny Toune is a poet, performer, yogi, tap dancer and drummer. She’s been published in various anthologies, including the Award Winning Australian Writing 2011. She’s currently working on her first poetry ebook and full-length manuscript.
Toune describes herself as “self-taught, self-funded, self-obsessed, experimental, experiential, expounder of the word and the beat.”
Native Angeleno Melinda Palacio is a poet and novelist. Here she reads three poems from Folsom Lockdown, which won the Kulupi Press Sense of Place award.
Melinda recently described the back story behind Folsom Lockdown:
Earlier this year, in January, my sister Emily convinced me to accompany her on a difficult journey, visiting our father in Folsom Prison…. I didn’t realize the importance of this visit until weeks after I had arrived home. One day a downpour of poems kept my pen flowing. I wrote twelve poems about the experience over a weekend. My friend Susan read some of the poems and was the first to announce that I had a chapbook, and a good one. Keep writing more of those poems, Melinda, were her words to me.
Alicia Partnoy is a human rights activist, poet, translator and scholar.
A political activist in Argentina in the 1970s, she is a survivor of the secret detention camps where more than 30,000 people “disappeared” from her country. Her testimony before the Argentine Commission for the Investigation of Disappearances, entitled “Nunca Más,” became a bestseller when it was published in 1984. She is perhaps best known as the author of The Little School: Tales of Disappearance and Survival.
In her article at The Atlantic, Taking Literature to the Streets, Katharine Schwab profiles a number of terrific ventures around the world that take literature out of bookstores and libraries and, well, into the streets. GuerrillaReads was included