Los Angeles Poetry - Departures Style

Los Angeles's unofficial poet laureate Wanda Coleman once said of her city:

...to love this turf is love hard and unrequited. Is to be a constant
trick, a constant victim of the dry screw. Is to never be quite satisfied on
deeper levels. Is to always be hungry.
Hungry for the sweet love promised.

Whether setting the tone for the the Beats movement in Venice, or shedding new light on the Los Angeles River, poetry has been a way of connecting to and making sense of Los Angeles. In honor of National Poetry Month, we are celebrating the poets and artists who have connected with Departures, by highlighting a poem a day. We also encourage you to share your words, beats, licks, and poems about Los Angeles. Submit yours here and make sure to find out what other poets have to say in either the recent community submissions or the National Poetry Month calendar, both featured below.

National Poetry Month was initiated by the Academy of American Poets in order to "highlight the extraordinary legacy and achievement of American poets." At Departures, we have had the opportunity to interview many Los Angeles based poets, but we know there are still more out there.

Our collection below features a poem for each day of April from the Departures installments, the student producers of Youth Voices, StoryShare participants, and from special guest poets.

Click an image below to read poems from the community.


Ride Billy, Ride


The Concrete River, A Poem by Luis Rodriguez