Visiting Author Workshop: Julayne Lee
Apr
5
7:30 PM19:30

Visiting Author Workshop: Julayne Lee

Julayne Lee Header.jpg

Please join us as author Julayne Lee leads an important generative writing workshop called Healing Through Writing the Unsaid.

Silencing does not benefit the silenced. How has silence keep us from becoming who we are really meant to be? What have you kept silent and why? Through a series of writing prompts including letter writing, we’ll make space for our experiences that have been silenced and have held us back.

Julayne Lee is the author of Not My White Savior (March 2018, Rare Bird Books). She is a co-founder and steering committee member of Adoptee Solidarity Korea – Los Angeles (ASK-LA).

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Everyone is welcome!
$15

(cash, venmo, or REGISTER at the link below!)

 

RSVP on Facebook to see who else is coming and to invite your friends!

 

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Strangers
Mar
1
7:30 PM19:30

Strangers

"Somewhere things are happening. Marvelous orange
and purple things. Flooding rivers at dusk, wheels threading
roads in the desert. Strangers. Strangers. Sea." -Christine Gosnay

What happens when we invite the stranger in?

What happens when we don't accept the energy of strangers? 

Come to The Poetry Lab this week for a generative workshop that will take you to an unexpected place. We will read poems by Lynda Hull, Christine Gosnay, and Natalie J. Graham. There will be a writing warm up and two writing prompts--our traditional format. We can't wait to commune with you and kick off this very busy literary weekend!
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Everyone is welcome
$3 donation
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Please note our start time has moved to 7:30pm!

RSVP on Facebook

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The Wisdom of Fear
Feb
1
7:30 PM19:30

The Wisdom of Fear

Elizabeth Gilbert writes:

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“I can’t tell you how many people said to me during those years, “How are you ever going to top that?” They’d speak of my great good fortune as though it were a curse, not a blessing, and would speculate about how terrified I must feel at the prospect of not being able to reach such phenomenal heights again.

But such thinking assumes there is a “top”—and that reaching that top (and staying there) is the only motive one has to create…Such thinking assumes that you must be constantly victorious—not only against your peers, but also against an earlier version of your own poor self. Most dangerously of all, such thinking assumes that if you cannot win, then you must not continue to play.

But…What does any of that have to do with the quiet glory of making things, and then sharing those things with an open heart and no expectations?”

Madisyn Taylor writes:

“Fear has a way of throwing us off balance, making us feel uncertain and insecure, but it is not meant to discourage us. Its purpose is to notify us that we are at the edge of our comfort zone, poised in between the old life and a new one.”

Can we ever become comfortable with our fear? The answer may be that the minute we are comfortable with our fear a new and better fear arises, or the distance to conquering that fear moves further off. But fears can be a guide as much as a hindrance. When we feel we’re on the edge of a break through, when we know we’re making something on the boundary of who we once were and who we’re going to be—that fear propels us forward, deeper, stronger, through.

Jericho Brown writes:

“We went into this agreement declaring to always have an exciting relationship to difficulty. No, not just the difficulty we find in opacity or that which is hermetic or elliptical or subtle…When I say difficulty, I mean how hard it is to manipulate into stylized language even that which we avoid. How much do you avoid? How long have you avoided it? Is there anything that made you decide that poetry itself is somehow better than that which wracks your brain? If it has found a home in your head and yours is the head of a poet, doesn’t that mean poetry wants it? You want me to ask you these questions for the rest of your life.”

Tonight at The Poetry Lab we will ask the questions:

  • What is your fear?
  • What does it have to do with vocation?
  • What does it have to do with the pursuit of love?
  • What does it have to do with your strange communion?
  • What does it have to do with magic?
  • How much do you avoid?
  • How much do you dive head-long into?
  • What does it teach you?
  • Where does it end?
  • Where does it begin again?

...And then WE WILL WRITE!

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Everyone is welcome

$3 donation requested

 

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The Energy of Words
Jan
4
7:30 PM19:30

The Energy of Words

Happy New Year! 
The Poetry Lab is back for its 5th year in Long Beach. We begin this season with an in-depth contemplation on the energy of words. 

Our words carry feelings that reverberate throughout our bodies and the world around us. We will not only consider our diction, or word choice, in our poems, but also the words we choose to assign to ourselves (still not willing to call yourself a poet?), our loved ones, our craft, and our goals. 

This Poetry Lab session will consist of a writing warm-up, short discussion, and writing prompt. We will be looking at poems by Aracelis Girmay, Lucille Clifton, and Victoria Chang. Please come with a willingness to write and share with our community. 

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A $3 donation is asked of all participants
Everyone is welcome! ...it's a new year, if you've been thinking about attending a Poetry Lab session now is a great time!

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Holiday Potluck + Poetry Reading
Nov
30
7:00 PM19:00

Holiday Potluck + Poetry Reading

Mark your calendars for our annual Poetry Lab end of year celebration: the Holiday Potluck and Poetry Reading!

More details coming soon!

This event is free and open to the public. Please share the date with your friends and family! After a year of writing together at Poetry Lab, we love to open our doors to the community and share what we've written with each and our loved ones.

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Visiting Author Workshop: Eric Morago
Nov
16
7:00 PM19:00

Visiting Author Workshop: Eric Morago

We are excited to have our friend and Lego aficionado, Eric Morago, teach a session at The Poetry Lab. This is sure to be a fun, lively evening. Please join us!

Eric Morago is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet who believes performance carries as much importance on the page, as it does off. He is the author of What We Ache For (Moon Tide Press, 2010) and Here for the Friction (Orange Ocean Press, 2012). Currently he teaches for Red Hen Press’ Writing in the Schools Program, is an associate reviewer for Poetix, and serves as a poetry editor for FreezeRay. Eric has an M.F.A in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach, and lives in Los Angeles.

Eric's most recent book, Feasting on Sky, is now available through Paper Plane Pilot Publishing. 
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Please come prepared to write!
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Everyone is welcome

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$15
Cash and credit card are also accepted on site. Or register here:

15.00
 
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Visiting Author Workshop: Lynne Thompson
Oct
19
7:00 PM19:00

Visiting Author Workshop: Lynne Thompson

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Please join us for a night with local powerhouse, Lynne Thompson!

Lynne Thompson’s first full-length manuscript, Beg No Pardon, was the winner of the 2007 Perugia Press First Book Award as well as the 2008 Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Thompson’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana Review, Crab Orchard Review, Poetry International, Spillway and the online zine Chaparral Poetry, among others.She recieved an Artist Fellowship from the City of Los Angeles in 2015. 

Lynne was recently published in POETRY. Read the poem here.

Please come prepared to write!
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Everyone is welcome

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$15
Cash and credit card are also accepted on site or register here:

15.00
 

 

 

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The Game Night!
Oct
5
7:00 PM19:00

The Game Night!

This is a repeat of last year's wildly hilarious and inspirational game night!

We've adapted writing prompts from some of our favorite board games. If you enjoy Cards Against Humanity, Pictionary, Balderdash, and TriBond you won't want to miss this night of playful, wordy poetry exploration. 

Please come prepared to write poems (and laugh your butt off).
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$3
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Everyone is welcome!
#laughterisalsoresistance
#resist

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Visiting Author Workshop: Natalie J. Graham
Sep
21
7:00 PM19:00

Visiting Author Workshop: Natalie J. Graham

Please join us for a workshop with the 2016 Cave Canem Prize winner, Natalie J. Graham!

A native of Gainesville, Florida, Natalie earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Florida and completed her Ph.D. in American Studies at Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow. Her poems have appeared in Callaloo, New England Review, Valley Voices: A Literary Review and Southern Humanities Review; and her articles are forthcoming in The Journal of Popular Culture and Transition. She is a Cave Canem fellow and assistant professor of African American Studies at California State University, Fullerton.

Natalie debut, award-winning poetry collection, Begin with a Failed Body will be released in September. We are so excited to see her at The Poetry Lab in October. Reserve your seat early!
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$15
cash and credit card are accepted on site or to reserve your seat, register NOW
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Everyone is welcome!
Please bring writing materials to the session. 

15.00
 
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Revision Lab
Sep
7
7:00 PM19:00

Revision Lab

This week is all about REVISION. We will explore methods for revision that focus on craft and ask how to rethink a poem while keeping creative energy in the writing process.

To do this we will work through a special writing exercise drafted after the essay "Revision" by Stephen Dobyns.

We will work under the assumption that revision is necessary and important to better our poems. Instead of spending the night discussing whether revision is good or bad will be use the writing exercise as a sort of real-time experiment and see what happens to our poems when they are placed under the knife. (...metaphorically speaking. No poems will be harmed in the course of this Poetry Lab session. Pink swear.)
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$3
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Everyone is welcome
#resist

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Visiting Author Workshop: Chiwan Choi
Aug
17
7:00 PM19:00

Visiting Author Workshop: Chiwan Choi

The Poetry Lab is excited to welcome Chiwan Choi to Long Beach this summer for a resistance workshop!

Please bring writing materials. The visiting author will lead us in generative writing prompts as well as give a brief talk on a topic of his choosing. 

Chiwan Choi is the author of 3 collections of poetry, The Flood (Tía Chucha Press, 2010), Abductions (Writ Large Press, 2012), and The Yellow House (CCM, 2017). He wrote, presented, and destroyed the novel Ghostmaker throughout the course of 2015. Chiwan is a partner at Writ Large Press, a downtown Los Angeles based indie publisher, focused on using literary arts to resist, disrupt, and transgress.

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Everyone is welcome at The Poetry Lab
$15
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Cash, venmo, square app accepted on site
OR pay now...

15.00
 

Resist! We raise our voices, each act of writing is an act of resistance. 

Feel free to contact us with questions!

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Poetry of Twitter
Aug
2
7:00 PM19:00

Poetry of Twitter

Recently, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cited a tweet from Trump in its ruling against the travel ban. This rasies the question (and pretty much answers it too) over whether or not we should be taking Trump's tweets seriously. 

Suddenly, we live in a world where the president's Twitter-rants make the morning news, affect policy decisions, and oblierate dipolmacy. 

So, with this (frightening?) thought in mind, we'll direct our sights on Twitter as a resource/craft guideline for making poems. 

Can we really do this? Yes. See: Mahogany L. Browne. 

Come prepared to think critically, think irreverantly, and write at least 140 characters. 
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$3 donation suggested
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Everyone is welcome at #thepoetrylab
#resist

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Visiting Author Workshop: Nicelle Davis
Jul
20
7:00 PM19:00

Visiting Author Workshop: Nicelle Davis

Join us for another night at The Poetry Lab!

Nicelle Davis is a California poet, collaborator, and performance artist who walks the desert with her son J.J. in search of owl pellets and rattlesnake skins. Her most recent collection, In the Circus of You is available from Rose Metal Press. The author of two other books of poetry, Becoming Judas, is available from Red Hen Press and her first book, Circe, is available from Lowbrow Press. Another book of poems, The Walled Wife, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2017. Her e-chapbook, Studies in Monogamy, can be read (and heard) at A Whale Sound. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Beloit Poetry Journal, The New York Quarterly, PANK, SLAB Magazine, and others. She is editor-at-large of The Los Angeles Review. She has taught poetry at Youth for Positive Change, an organization that promotes success for youth in secondary schools, MHA, and with Volunteers of America in their Homeless Youth Center. Recipient of the 2013 AROHO retreat 9 3/4 Fellowship, she is honored to work as a consultant for this important feminist organization. She currently teaches at Paraclete and with the Red Hen Press WITS program.

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Write! New poems during the visiting author lead workshop. 
Read! Poems from authors both new and beloved and discuss with a group of engaged peers.
Connect! With other writers in your community. 
Resist! We raise our voices, each act of writing is an act of resistance. 
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Everyone is welcome at The Poetry Lab
$15
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Cash, venmo, square app accepted on site
OR pay now...

 
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Submissions Sesh!
Jul
6
7:00 PM19:00

Submissions Sesh!

It's that time again!

Submissions Sesh is Poetry Lab's longest running recurring event. We take time away from our generative workshop format every year to make sure our talented members understand that importance and value of submitting their work for publication. 

Even if you've attended a Submissions Sesh in the past, we recommend you attend again! We always add new information, and hope to impart a healthy dose of inspiration to help you get out and share your work with the world!

Please bring all your questions. We have ANSWERS!

Topics covered at Submissions Sesh include:

  • cover letters
  • tracking sheets
  • Submittable & Duotrope
  • where to submit
  • resources for finding new places to submit
  • writing biographical statements
  • submission formatting
  • paying markets
  • name recognition
  • blogging & personal websites
  • what to do when you're rejected
  • what to do when you're ACCEPTED! 

Not only is this information incredibly helpful in getting your work published and out there in the world, but it also helps you learn how to get paid! 

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Like all regular Poetry Lab sessions, this event is free and open to the public. If you've never attended The Poetry Lab before, tonight is a great night to begin!

$3 donation suggested 

#submissionssesh

 

Find this event on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/events/133120497251559

Submissions Sesh Header_2.jpg

 

 

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Prose Poems
Jun
15
7:00 PM19:00

Prose Poems

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The prose poem first appeared in 19th Century France as an act of rebellion. Poets like Charles Baudelaire, Aloysius Bertrand and Arthur Rimbaud wrote prose poems to protest the predominance of the Alexandrine metered line. Breaking out of metered form, poets wrote in a block of text that resembled prose, but acted like poetry. Over the past hundred or so years, the prose poem has been used as an alternative to lineate verse by poets such as Charles Simic and Lyn Hejinian. 

A prose poem is a weird jazz solo, a paradox, a whim and a testimony, a postcard, a peace offering. Prose poems offer the poet's greatest opporunity to revolt. 

Please join me as we explore this exciting, "scary, no scary," diverse, and deadpan form!

-Danielle Mitchell is the author of the prose poem chapbook Makes the Daughter-in-Law Cry, selected by Gail Wronsky for the Clockwise Prize forthcoming from Tebot Bach. 
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Everyone is welcome
$3
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Feel free to contact us with questions!

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Please note: This event was previously a Visiting Author Workshop with Chiwan Choi. Unfortunately, Chiwan had to cancel his visit to Poetry Lab. Things happen! But we will still be meeting tonight in Long Beach. Please join us! 

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Poetry of Coping
Jun
1
7:00 PM19:00

Poetry of Coping

Time to drown out all the noise and get back to the basics. 

This year at The Poetry Lab is all about resistance. How we can stay strong through times of political, personal, and even hypothetical turmoil. To honor that struggle, we are having a session devoted to self-care. Tonight's Poetry Lab will be about finding the joy in writing again. We will read and share our favorite poems, as well as discover new favorites from writers such as Rachel McKibbens, Ocean Vuong, Evie Shockley, and Ada Limon. 

Please come prepared to write and renew. 

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Everyone is welcome 

$3 Donation suggested 

 
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Visiting Author Workshop: Brendan Constantine
Mar
2
7:00 PM19:00

Visiting Author Workshop: Brendan Constantine

THE ONE AND ONLY...Brendan Constantine! 

Brendan is the author of several collections of poetry, including Calamity Joe (Red Hen, 2012) and Birthday Girl With Possum (Write Bloody, 2011). His work has appeared in FIELD, Ploughshares, Zyzzyva and Ninth Letter.He teaches poetry at the Windward School in Los Angeles.

His most recent poetry collection, Dementia, My Darling (Red Hen Press 2016) is a stunning addition to his body of work. Amy Gerstler describes it as "a suite of acute, beautiful poems about coming apart, slippage, love, emptying out, transformation, and carrying on."

We are so excited to have one of Southern California's BEST poetry teachers at The Poetry Lab. This is a night you will not want to miss!
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Everyone is welcome!
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$15
...registration fees go straight to helping us pay our authors for their time!
Register online in advance:

 

or pay in person. 
We accept cash, Venmo, and card credit (Square app)

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Visiting Author Workshop: Sarah Thursday
Feb
16
7:00 PM19:00

Visiting Author Workshop: Sarah Thursday

Join us for a workshop lead by local poet SARAH THURSDAY.

Sarah is a music obsessed, Long Beach poetry advocate, who has been writing poetry since she was very young. In 1992, she made her very first chapbook and continued with four more up through 2001. She took about ten years off from poetry and focused all her creative energy into teaching. After a series of major life twists, she began writing again and for the first time, connected with the local poetry community. She is the founder of Cadence Collective, a website devoted to connecting poets in her community and is co-host of the monthly reading “2nd Mondays Poetry Party“ with G. Murray Thomas. In 2014, she founded Sadie Girl Press. Her full length collection, All the Tiny Anchors, and her second poetry CD, How to Unexist, as well as others are available now at SadieGirlPress.com.

Sarah's class will be an act of resistance.
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Please come prepared to read and write poems!
$15
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Everyone is welcome

 
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Poetry of Resistance
Feb
2
7:00 PM19:00

Poetry of Resistance

In her final speech as First Lady, Michelle Obama told us to "Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful."

She said, "Empower yourselves with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of our boundless promise."

It is with our beloved First Lady's words still in mind that we dedicate the entirety of 2017 at The Poetry Lab to resistance. To determined acts of our boundless creative energy. Under a Trump presidency our art, our voices, and for some of us, our lives will be threatened, but at The Poetry Lab we will defy that threat with education. We will learn the countless ways poetry has been an act of resistance against oppression, bigotry, racism, sexism and fear for thousands of years. 

Here, we will not fear. We will WRITE. 

We look forward to taking this journey with you. If you have questions, bring them to class. Likewise, if you have suggestions for poems, poets, or topics relating to RESISTANCE we are all ears. 
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Please come prepared to read and write poems!
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$3 Donation
Everyone is welcome!

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Visiting Author Workshop: James Meetze
Jan
19
7:00 PM19:00

Visiting Author Workshop: James Meetze

The Poetry Lab is back for 2017 and we're so excited to kick off the year with visiting author James Meetze! (Pronounced Metz)

James is the author of I Have Designed This for You, Dayglo, winner of the 2010 Sawtooth Poetry Prize, and Phantom Hour published by Ahsahta Press. He is editor, with Simon Pettet, of Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems by James Schuyler (FSG, 2010). His work has also appeared in five chapbooks and numerous publications, including AGNI, A Public Space, American Letters & Commentary, The Rattling Wall, and New American Writing, among others. He lives in San Diego, where he teaches creative writing and film studies at Ashford University.

Be prepared to read and write poems!
$15 (Goes toward paying the author for his visit)
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Everyone is welcome...it's The Poetry Lab!

 
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Holiday Party
Dec
9
7:00 PM19:00

Holiday Party

2016 has been an incredible year at The Poetry Lab. This year, we are celebrating in style with a collaborative party with Long Beach's own Definitive Soapbox and Cadence Collective communities.

The Holiday Party will be on Friday, December 9th at 7pm. 

It is a private party, however, all Poetry Lab members--past, present, and future--are invited! The invite will be hosted through Facebook. Please contact us if you have questions, or would like to be included in the invite, but do not use Facebook. 

A great, big, warm THANK YOU to all of our members. YOU are what makes The Poetry Lab an important place in our community to write, read, workshop, and collaborate. 

See you in 2017!

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Submissions Sesh
Nov
3
7:00 PM19:00

Submissions Sesh

Submissions Sesh is our longest recurring event at The Poetry Lab. Join us on November 3rd for the final lab session of 2016 (don't worry, we'll be back January 5th!).

Topics covered at Submissions Sesh include:

cover letters, tracking sheets, Submittable & Duotrope, where to submit, resources for finding new places to submit, writing biographical statements, submission formatting, paying markets, name recognition, blogging & personal websites, what to do when you're rejected, what to do when you're ACCEPTED! and more...

There is also opportunity for the ultimate Q & A so that you can learn everything you've ever wanted to know about submitting your poetry for publication! 

Not only is this information incredibly helpful in getting your work published and out there in the world, but it also helps you learn how to get paid! as a writer, which is not only rewarding, it is necessary. 

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Everyone is welcome!

$3 donation is greatly appreciated!

 

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Short Talks: Session Inspired by Anne Carson
Oct
20
7:00 PM19:00

Short Talks: Session Inspired by Anne Carson

Tonight's session is inspired by the poetry and prose of Anne Carson. 

Anne Carson is poetry royalty (in our books). Her work is innovative, exciting, challenging, and vivid. We will explore the short prose-poem style poems in Short Talks as well as other pieces from Carson's books Glass, Irony, and God, Decreation, and The Beauty of the Husband

Please be prepared to read and write poems!

Excerpt from SHORT TALKS BY ANNE CARSON:

Short Talk on Major and Minor

Major things are wind, evil, a good fighting horse,
prepositions, inexhaustible love, the way people
choose their king. Minor things include dirt,
the names of schools of philosophy, mood and
not having a mood, the correct time. There
are more major things than minor things
overall, yet there are more minor things
than I have written here, but it is
disheartening to list them. When I
think of you reading this I do not
want you to be taken captive,
separated by a wire mesh lined with glass
from your life itself, like some Elektra.

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Everyone welcome

$3 donation

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Visiting Author Workshop: K. Andrew Turner
Oct
6
7:00 PM19:00

Visiting Author Workshop: K. Andrew Turner

Visiting Author Workshop Registration
Quantity:
Register Now!

San Gabriel Valley poet K. Andrew Turner visits The Poetry Lab for a special sensory workshop. 

From K. Andrew:

In this renewed workshop we will not only identify and write with the five traditional senses but also explore beyond to the expanded definitions of sensations. Through exercises, prompts, and sharing, we will craft poetry that breathes life with dimensionality, depth, and weight. Readers and listeners can connect more fully to work that appeals to their senses and allows them to inhabit your words.

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K. Andrew Turner writes queer, literary, and speculative prose and poetry. He teaches and mentors writers near Los Angeles. In 2013, he founded East Jasmine Review—an electronic literary journal—where he remains the Editor-in-Chief. He was a semifinalist for the 2016 Luminaire Award in poetry, and his chapbook “Gymlationship” is now available on Amazon. You can find more at his website: 

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Everyone welcome 

$15

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Please: Session Inspired by Jericho Brown
Sep
15
7:00 PM19:00

Please: Session Inspired by Jericho Brown

Throughout 2016 our class sessions have been based on one book by a selected poet. This has enabled us to inhabit the world of a single poet, to learn from their poems, to study their life, to come away inspired, and with new tools to approach our own writing. In September we continue this project by studying Please, the award-wining debut collection of poetry by Jericho Brown. 

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Everyone is welcome! Please bring your own writing materials. 

$3 donation 

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Excerpt from "Track 1: Lush Life"

Jericho Brown

The woman with the microphone sings to hurt you,

To see you shake your head. The mic may as well

Be a leather belt. You drive to the center of town

To be whipped by a woman's voice. You can't tell

The difference between a leather belt and a lover's

Tongue. A lover's tongue might call you bitch,

A term of endearment where you come from, a kind

Of compliment preceded by the word sing

In certain nightclubs. A lush little tongue

You have: you can yell, Sing bitch, and, I love you...

 

 

Jericho Brown, "Track 1: Lush Life" from Please. Copyright © 2008 by Jericho Brown.

 

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Game Night: Writing Prompts Inspired by Board Games
Sep
1
7:00 PM19:00

Game Night: Writing Prompts Inspired by Board Games

Here's something we've been talking about for awhile: a night of board game inspired poetry prompts. We'll use Balderdash, Tribond, and Cards Against Humanity to craft poems that push against the surreal, the hilarious, and the heart-rending. 

Then we'll uncork the wine, pop some corn, and play a round or two just for fun! 

If you've been thinking about joining us at The Poetry Lab, but not sure that a "classroom" or a "workshop" are right for you, tonight is THE NIGHT to give us a try. We promise you: this is not school. We are passionate about poetry and we gather to share that passion, learn, read, write and grow. Pretty simple. We care about people. We care about community. Come join us and see!

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EVERYONE IS WELCOME!
If you are able, please bring a snack to share!
$3 Donation suggested

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