West Hollywood is celebrating National Poetry Month with a variety of events and workshops to celebrate the art of the written word.
The city already has installed 22 lamppost banners along Santa Monic Boulevard to highlight poetry and poets. “Public art is consumed by more people than any work at a museum. I want big exposure for poetry,” said Steven Reigns, the city poet, who curated this month’s events. “The great thing about lamppost banners advertising museum exhibitions is that our streets are lined with great works of art. It prompted me to think this would be the best way to expose mass amounts of people to poets and poetry.”
On Thursday, the city will offer a workshop called “Poetry Writing for Seniors.” This free workshop, led Reigns, will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the West Hollywood Community Center at Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd.
On April 25 the month’s events will culminate in “Intersecting and Illuminated, WeHo Lamppost Poet Reading.” The event will feature a selection of poets featured on the city’s lamppost banners including Teka-Lark Fleming, Amy Gerstler, Eloise Klein Healy, Collin Kelley, Michael Klein, Steven Reigns and Terry Wolverton. It will take place from 4 to 5:15 p.m. at the City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica. The event is free and free validated parking is available in the five-story parking structure.
National Poetry Month, held every April, is the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers and poets celebrating poetry’s place in our culture. It was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.