WEST HOLLYWOOD — The city will celebrate National Poetry Month during April with a variety of public art displays, events and workshops to honor the art of the written word.
Steven Reigns, who was selected as the city’s first official poet in 2014, conceived of and curated this month’s line-up of happenings.
Throughout the month, the city will feature a digital public art project, “Poetry In Lights,” on two electronic billboards — one at West Hollywood Gateway (7100 Santa Monica Blvd.) and one at 1OAK (9039 W. Sunset Blvd.) — that scroll through portraits of 22 contemporary living poets alongside choice excerpts from their works.
There also will be lamppost banners displayed along Santa Monica Boulevard between Sweetzer Avenue and Westbourne Drive. Each banner features the image of a living poet on one side and, on the other side, a line from a poem by that poet. Free bookmarks representing the banners will be distributed at West Hollywood Library, at West Hollywood City Hall and at other locations throughout the month of April.
Events celebrating National Poetry Month will be held throughout the month.
On April 11, from 2 to 4 p.m., the first of two free writing workshops, a Senior Moments Writing Workshop conducted by Reigns, will take place in the West Hollywood Library Community Room, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
Reigns has taught senior writing workshops for a decade and will encourage novice to experienced participants to generate work for Senior Moments annual publications. To RSVP for the workshop, contact Corey Roskin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On April 21 at 7:30 p.m., Reigns will lead the second free writing workshop, the WeHo Arts Poetry Writing Workshop, at the West Hollywood Library Community Room. In this workshop, which is for everyone from first-timers to prolific poets, Reigns will facilitate a supportive environment where people will learn to write poetry without doubt or blocks.
On April 25 at 7 p.m., Red Hen Press will present Jason Schneiderman, Brendan Constantine and Katherine Coles, reading from their respective collections at Book Soup, 8818 W. Sunset Blvd. Admission is free and no RSVP is necessary.
National Poetry Month, held every April, is the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture. It was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.