2022 Southern California Poetry Festival

2022 Southern California Poetry Festival


The Southern California Poetry Festival is an annual celebration of the art of poetry and the diversity of voices within Southern California. Founded in 2016 by Sonia Greenfield and Donna Hilbert in partnership with the Poetry Foundation, the festival moved permanently to Los Angeles’ historic home for poetry, Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, in 2018. Beyond Baroque now organizes and curates the festival with the Poetry Foundation’s support. All programs and workshops are free.


Friday, November 18, 2022

7pm - Opening Reception

8pm - A Celebration of Sesshu Foster, with Amy Uyematsu, Angel Dominguez, Carribean Fragoza, & Neelanjana Banerjee

The 2022 Southern California Poetry Festival opens with a reading and discussion celebrating one of Los Angeles' most iconic poets, Sesshu Foster. Foster will read with poets Amy Uyematsu and Angel Dominguez, and with fiction writer Carribean Fragoza. A discussion focused on Foster's work, its poetics of place, and its grounding in Foster's East Los Angeles community will follow, moderated by Kaya Press Managing Editor Neelanjana Banerjee. Co-presented by Kaya Press.

RSVP for Friday’s opening

Saturday, November 19, 2022

11:00 am - 1:00 pm – Workshop with Errant Press: "Other zines and so”
Tired of the boring square-shaped zines? Looking for a new way to express yourself through written words? Join us in an exploration of zine shapes and limits in our 2 hr workshop. Create your out-of-the-box zine using different methods and ideas from the Errant Press team. Beginners friendly, no experience needed! Limited space available. Before registering please check our workshop registration policy at the bottom of this page.

11:00 am - 1:00 pm – Workshop with Brendan Constantine: "Because everything is a close call.” - Gail Gauldin Moore

Poet Brendan Constantine presents ‘Close Call,’ a one-day generative workshop for writers of all disciplines. Participants will create new poems, discuss new approaches to craft, play a few writing games, and take home prompts and materials to keep you writing. This class is dedicated to the memory of Brendan’s friend, poet Gail Gauldin Moore, author of Stricken (2022 Deerbrook Editions).

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm – Southern California Literary Showcase: Moon Tide Press, Nightboat Books, Kundiman
A showcase of independent presses, organizations, and literary journals publishing and supporting poetry in Southern California.

Moon Tide Press:
Kelsey Bryan-Zwick
Gustavo Hernandez
Ellen Webre

Nightboat Books:
Angel Dominguez
Carlos Lara
Jackie Wang

Kien Lam
Cynthia Dewi Oka
Dorothy Chan

3:30 - 5:30 pm: With(out) Borders: Anthony Cody, Omar Pimienta, Vanessa Angélica Villareal, Sehba Sarwar
Four poets whose work engages deeply with questions of migration and borders read from their poetry and discuss the poetics of the borderlands. Q & A moderated by Vanessa Angélica Villareal.

5:30 - 6:30 pm: Dinner break

6:30 - 8:00 pm: A Reading with Mai Der Vang, Kazim Ali, & Jos Charles
Pulitzer Prize finalist Mai Der Vang is joined by National Poetry Series winner Jos Charles and acclaimed poet Kazim Ali for a special reading.

RSVP for Saturday’s events

Sunday, November 20, 2022

10:00 am - 12:00 pm – Workshop with Douglas Manuel: "Returning to Harlem"
In this workshop, we will revisit the works of Harlem Renaissance Writers like Georgia Douglas Johnson, Anne Spencer, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Jean Toomer and listen to the music of the era, in hopes of getting into a Harlem-state-of-mind. From there, we will write poems mimicking the forms and stylistic gestures of this fruitful period. We will write blues poems like Hughes, sonnets like Cullen, and poetic prose poems like Toomer.

10:00 am - 12:00 pm – Workshop with Sarah Maclay: "The Nocturne"
In this generative workshop, we'll enter the liminal revery of the poetry of night by way of a nocturne with a secret epistolary slant—to the missing, the dead, the untouchable. With a handful of dreamy examples for lift-off, we'll drop into the turf of Chopin and Sigur Ros—but in words.

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm – Indigenous Poets Across the Americas: Tommy Pico, Kinsale Drake, Jessa Calderon, & Moncho Ollin Alvarado
A reading by poets of the Diné, Kumeyaay, Tongva, Chumash, and Mexica nations whose work explores indigenous ancestry, present, and future through poetry. Co-presented by Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural.

2:00 - 4:00 pm: Southern California Literary Showcase: The Offing, What Books Press, LA Review of Books
A showcase of independent presses, organizations, and literary journals publishing and supporting poetry in Southern California.

The Offing:
Michael Reyes
Jose Hernandez Diaz
Gabrielle Civil

What Books Press:
Mariano Zaro
Elena Karina Byrne
Carolie Parker

LA Review of Books:
Elizabeth Metzger
Allison Hedge Coke
Anna Journey

4:30 - 6:00 pm: Best American Poetry 2022: Prageeta Sharma, Alexis Sears, Amy Gerstler, & Matthew Zapruder
Celebrate the release of the 2022 Best American Poetry with readings from Prageeta Sharma, Alexis Sears, Amy Gerstler and BAP editor Matthew Zapruder. A wide-ranging discussion on contemporary American poetics will follow, moderated by Matthew Zapruder.

6:30 - 8:00 pm: Poet Laureates & Company: Lynne Thompson, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Shonda Buchanan, bridgette bianca, & Conney Williams
The 2022 Southern California Poetry Festival closes with a powerhouse reading by the poet laureate of Los Angeles, Lynne Thompson, and the poet laureate of San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin. They’re joined by three of the most dynamic poets in Los Angeles: Shonda Buchanan, bridgette bianca, and Conney Williams. Co-presented by World Stage Press.

RSVP for Sunday’s events

Reservation Policy

Since the festival is free of charge it is our policy to overbook for all readings and conversations. In the case of a full program your free ticket may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Standby tickets will be released fifteen minutes prior to each program.

Unless otherwise noted, regular workshops will be capped at fifteen people and will not be overbooked. If you have reserved a space in a workshop and will not be able to attend, kindly email jimmy@beyondbaroque.org, or call 310-822-3006 so that we can release your spot to another person.