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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.

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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.


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Luis Rodriguez - The Concrete River


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Erendira Hernandez - Los Angeles


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Philomene Long - America


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Lindsey Haley - Que Hubo Jose te Manda Saludos La Lindsey


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Irvin Lai - With No Home to Return


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Lewis MacAdams - Two Poems from The River: Book One


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Rosina Talamantes - Reasonable Suspicion: A Profile


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Mike the Poet - LA: Land of a 1000 Dances


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Gregory Itzin - Concrete Causeway


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Luis Rodriguez - Meeting the Animal in Washington Square Park


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Philomene Long - Cold Ellison, Recited by Fred Dewey


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Lewis MacAdams - Riverboy: "The Mask"


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Ann Pibel - Rosaries


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Adolfo Guzman-Lopez - 1 de Mayo del 2010 and The Treaty


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Francisco Letelier - The Verses


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Frank Rios - A Poem for Stuart


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Rachelle Cruz - Unfriend


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Los Geekz - Change is Coming


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Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo - Mexican Girl in Chavez Ravine


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Keith Jones - Whooptie Whoop


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Kelly Simpson - Two Haikus


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Jessica Wilson - Old City Glamour


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Adolfo Guzman-Lopez - Untitled


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Frank Rios - Black for Tony Scibella


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A.K. Toney - Many


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Suzanne Lummis - Man's Shirts Flung from Window


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D. J. Waldie - Rush


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Grant Keller - Trying to be Beat in the 21st Century


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A Poem from the River Book by Lewis MacAdams


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Los Angeles, A Song by X

Click an image below to read poems from the community.


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Erika Ayon - Love Letter to Ocativa


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Linh Duong - L.A. Minute


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Zosimo Quibilan, Jr. - Melrose Ave


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Peggy Barker -Two Poems


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Jerry Garcia - At The Grove


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Matthew Florio -Untitled


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Fred Chandler - The Western


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William Mikell - Life in L.A.


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M. T. Whitington - Untitled


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Joshua A. Robinson - Untitled

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Departures is collecting your poems about Los Angeles to add to the collection from neighborhoods. If you have any troubles any submitting your poem or have any questions, email us.

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