Beyond Baroque Books Re-Launches with Peter J. Harris’ SongAgain

Beyond Baroque, the nationally renowned,Venice-based literary arts center, is relaunching its publishing imprint, Beyond Baroque Books, in fall 2022 with the debut of Peter J. Harris’ masterwork poetry collection, SongAgain. The Beyond Baroque Books backlist, going back to 1998, includes works by Jean-Luc Godard, Jack Hirschman, Diane di Prima, David Meltzer and others. A selected title for republishing will be announced soon.

SongAgain, edited by poet and educator Cecilia Woloch for Beyond Baroque Books, is the latest work by Harris, a Los Angeles-based poet and winner of the City of LA’s 2017–’18 COLA Fellowship. He is the author of Bless the Ashes, poetry (Tia Chucha Press), winner of the 2015 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award; and The Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My “Unalienable Right”, a book of personal essays which won the2015 American Book Award. His work has appeared since the 1970s in a wide variety of publications, including Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, edited by Suzanne Lummis; Altadena Poetry Anthologies for 2018 and 2019; and Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts in Los Angeles, edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Daniel A. Olivas, and Ruben J. Rodriguez. Since 1992, Harris has been a member of the Anansi Writers Workshop at the World Stage in LA’s Leimert Park.

About SongAgain Harris says: “My insistent quest… is to tap a rigorous and subsonic sensibility, a creative ecology, that radiates as Dark Energy, infused at an elemental essence with R&B, the Blues (Bluesiness?), improvisation, and the embellished story-talking of the grown ass, working-class, men and women who imprinted me so long ago.”

Quentin Ring, Beyond Baroque’s Executive Director, said: “The music of Peter J. Harris’ poetry is brilliant, alive, and utterly original. We’re beyond proud to relaunch Beyond Baroque Books with SongAgain, and to introduce Harris’ masterpiece to the public.”

Liz Camfiord, Beyond Baroque member, Board of Trustees; and Publications Committee Chair said: “We are thrilled to be publishing SongAgain as the centerpiece of the relaunch of Beyond Baroque Books so that new and classic gems can glisten together for readers to discover.”

Harris will read at the launch for SongAgain at 7 pm on October 15, 2022 at Beyond Baroque.

About Beyond Baroque
Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center is one of the nation’s most successful and influential grassroots incubators of literary art. Founded in 1968, and housed in the original Venice City Hall building in Venice, California, it is a nonprofit public space dedicated to cultivating new writing and expanding the public’s knowledge of poetry, fiction, literature, and art through cultural events and community interaction. The Center offers a diverse variety of literary and arts programming, including readings, workshops, art exhibits, and education. The Center also houses a bookstore with the largest collection of new poetry books on the west side of Los Angeles; the Mike Kelley Gallery; and a 50,000 volume archive of small press and limited-edition publications that chronicles the history of poetry movements in Los Angeles and beyond.

Few literary spaces have done more to cultivate innovative art from cultural outsiders, or to shape emerging artistic movements. Over the decades Beyond Baroque has nurtured the Venice Beats, cradled the Los Angeles punk scene, and provided crucial support to a series of seminal writers and artists that include Dennis Cooper, Wanda Coleman, Mike Kelley, Will Alexander, and Amanda Gorman. Today the Center continues to provide a vital cultural forum through its free workshops, reading series, exhibitions, and publishing.

For more information, contact:
Liz Camfiord