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West Hollywood to observe National Poetry Month

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The city will celebrate National Poetry Month in April with a variety of events and exhibitions honoring poets and poetry.

Throughout the month, the city will honor living poets by displaying street pole banners along Santa Monica Boulevard, which will feature selections of their poetry. Currently there are 17 poets honored; each year, the West Hollywood City Poet Laureate selects two additional poets to honor. This year’s new honorees are Kate Gale and Elena Karina Byrne.

Also, during the entire month of April, the marquee of the Coast Playhouse will feature poetry from City Poet Laureate Kim Dower.

At 6:30 p.m. April 2, the City Council will issue a commemorative National Poetry Month proclamation and Dower will read a new poemWest Hollywood is for Dreamers.”

The Greenway Arts Alliance, in association with Da Poetry Lounge, will present L.A. Get Down Festival, a celebration of hip-hop and the spoken word. with programming every weekend in April. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Greenway Court Theatre website.

At 7 p.m. April 24 in the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, the monthly Lambda Lit Book Club will read and discuss David Trinidad’s “Notes on a Past Life.” The book club is moderated by Steven Reigns, a former city poet laureate.

At 7 p.m. April 25 there will be a poetry reading of “Route 66 Through the Eyes of Poets” at the West Hollywood Library. Participating poets include Laurel Ann Bogen, Elena Karina Byrne, Brendan Constantine, Yvonne Estrada, Bill Mohr and Lynne Thompson.

The city began its city poet laureate program in 2014. The current poet laureate, Dower, has been a West Hollywood resident for more than 30 years. She received a bachelors’ degree in creative writing from Emerson College, where she also taught. She has published three poetry collections (Ren Hen Press): “Air Kissing on Mars” (2010); “Slice of Moon” (2013); and “Last Train to the Missing Planet” (2016); and her poems are included in several anthologies.

She teaches workshops called Poetry and Dreaming and Poetry and Memory at Antioch University in Los Angeles.

Information: Mike Che, city arts coordinator, at (323) 848-6377.

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