Art and Culture Events

City of WeHo Accepting Poet Laureate Nominations, Due July 7

poetryKnown as “the Creative City,” West Hollywood plans to choose a poet laureate to “build upon [its] commitment [to] poetry and prose.”

WeHo will accept nominations for the position until 5 p.m. on Monday, July 7, the city said in a press release today. The first laureate, whose selection will be managed by the West Hollywood Library Cultural Programming Committee, will serve a term from September 2014 to September 2016.

“The poet laureate will serve as an official ambassador of West Hollywood’s vibrant literary culture and will use the position as a platform from which to promote poetry in West Hollywood, stimulate the transformative impact of poetry in the local community, and create excitement about the written word,” the city said in its release. “The poet laureate will highlight the City of West Hollywood through the literary arts and create, over a period of time, a new body of literary work that commemorates the diversity and vibrancy of the city …

“Candidates for poet laureate should demonstrate excellence in artistic work and have received wide recognition, as well as have significant ties to the West Hollywood community.”

The poet laureate will receive a $1,500 annual grant from the city.

Nomination forms are available on the city’s website.

Lesbian Writer Donna Minkowitz at Antioch to Discuss Gay ‘Golem’

donna_mTell all the truth, but tell it slant. – Emily Dickinson

Poet Emily Dickinson’s words resonate with award-winning lesbian writer Donna Minkowitz, whose new memoir (Growing Up Golem: How I Survived My Mother, Brooklyn, and Some Really Bad Dates) tells her story as if she were her mother’s “own personal golem.”

Golems, Minkowitz says, are artificial people made of clay. With no will of their own, they exist only to follow commands.

Minkowitz sees parallels to the experiences of LGBT people. As Minkowitz notes, LGBT people often (especially during youth) attempt to be something they’re not in an effort to please the wider culture and, in many cases, family.

At an appearance at the Antioch University Los Angeles Library, 400 Corporate Point at Slauson, on Tuesday, Minkowitz will discuss her book, the idea of the “false self,” and Jungian ideas about transforming the things that are holding you back. The event, which starts with a light dinner at 6:30 p.m., will feature a discussion between Minkowitz and Dr. Douglas Sadownick, director of Antioch’s LGBT specialty in clinical psychology. The event is open to the public, but RSVPs (to are required.

For Minkowitz, the specter of the golem is a device that allows the reader some distance from material that can be difficult to read about. She also relates to the idea that, for many people, there’s a dichotomy between true self and public persona. In the ’80s and ’90s (“some very pivotal days for gay and lesbian activism”), Minkowitz’s own Village Voice writings about LGBT politics garnered her a reputation has “fierce and very activist.”

“Inwardly, I didn’t feel fierce at all,” Minkowtz said. Golem has to do with the writer figuring out how to deal with people on a personal level, which she said can be harder than picketing political opponents.

Minkowitz is known for reporting on the violent murder of Brandon Teena, a young transgender man; it was reportedly her account that led to the story being told in Boys Don’t Cry.

She also garnered press for going undercover (disguised as a male teen) to check out a rally of the religious right men’s group Promise Keepers. She went in feeing concerned and frightened, she said, then discovered they “actually weren’t all bad.” As a butch lesbian, Minkowitz said she could relate to some of the challenges the men talked about—such as pressure to be strong and having difficulty sharing emotion.

Her first memoir, Ferocious Romance: What My Encounters with the Right Taught Me about Sex, God and Fury, received a Lambda Literary Award. Golem is a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and the Publishing Triangle’s Judy Grahn Nonfiction Award.


Ongoing: ‘A Little Joy of a Bungalow’ at MAK Center

schindler house

Site-responsive works by Molly Corey, Andrea Lenardin-Madden and Escher Gunewardena. Architecture that examine the historic social environment of the Schindler House. MAK Center for Art and Architecture, 835 N. Kings Rd. at Willoughby. 11 .a.m. – 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Through Jan. 5. Tickets $7 general and $6 students and seniors.

Ongoing: LA Phil with Dudamel and Leif Ove Andsnes


Conductor Gustavo Dudamel and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes with a program that includes three works by Beethoven and the premiere performance of Brett Dean’s “The Last Days of Socrates.” 8 p.m. Oct. 10, 11 and 12; 2 p.m. Oct. 13. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Tickets, $58 to $173 plus fees, available online.

Walter Annenberg
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