Poets Describe Their Neighborhoods

The city of L.A.'s poets write about their neighborhoods.

October 26, 2018, 2:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Mural Los Angeles

cdrin / Shutterstock

Sesshu Foster has curated a collection of Los Angeles-based poets to write about their neighborhoods in a recent feature for the Los Angeles Review of Books. Foster starts with the origin story of a love for poetry, birthed in an era of wartime propaganda:

Only the poets seemed willing and able to address the truth of this world directly, speak it as they saw it, without the “once upon a time” fictions of storytellers or the equivocations and evasions of official pronouncements or ordinary conversations.

So for a vision of Los Angeles only possible with the perspective of poets, Foster "asked a bunch of L.A. poets to reflect on their neighborhoods."

For me, the light of these poets — like that of Wanda Coleman, Manazar Gamboa, Jayne Cortez, and Charles Bukowski before them, and Carlos Bulosan before them — cuts through the city like the last orange light of the afternoon, when shadows go long and 10,000 walls and windows shine.

What follows is mostly the prose musings of poets, with plenty of poetry sprinkled in or infused into the long passages on neighborhoods all across the city, as they were to the city's poets in many eras.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 in Los Angeles Review of Books

Soldier Field

Phase 1 Revealed for $20 Billion Chicago Megaproject

Plans for One Central, a proposed megadevelopment that would add 22.3 million square feet of buildings to the city of Chicago, are taking shape.

October 19, 2021 - Chicago Tribune

Boston

Boston Introduces 'Maximum Parking Ratios' for Large Buildings

Large buildings with uses of all kinds will be subject to Boston's new "Maximum Parking Ratios."

October 14, 2021 - Streetsblog Mass

A person in a bright green vest with the words "Covid Marshall" patrols a street fair in Australia.

5 Tips for Planning Safe Post-Pandemic Events

As community events start move off-screen and become available to the public again, here are five ways organizers can ensure public health and safety.

October 13, 2021 - Devin Partida

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.