April is recognized as Poetry Month in the City of West Hollywood. Capping off the month honoring the art of poetry is poet Elena Secota. She was inspired by the large pink Supermoon earlier this week, beginning on Monday night, April 26, 202.
Secota rushed to The West Hollywood Gateway early in the morning to take photos of the poetic moon as it appeared next to the billboards featuring poets and their poetry for Poetry Month. “The moon is our compass, in perfect harmony with the sea… no matter who or where we are, its light awakens a sense of belonging to our extraordinary universe,” she said.
Her short poem Oars echos this sentiment:
I will wear oars in my hair
and let the breeze
take me to any sea it wishes
I will call the dolphins
and they will safely guide my boat
The moon will make sure that the night
will not darken my path
Poet Mary Ruefle is featured on the WeHo lamppost banners along Santa Monica Boulevard during National Poetry Month. She too has been inspired by the moon. She wrote in her essay, Poetry And The Moon that “The moon has always been the very embodiment of lyric poetry.”
The billboards at the West Hollywood Gateway featuring a collection of poets was a creation of WEHO’s Inaugural Poet Laureate Steven Reigns. They have been up on rotation at The West Hollywood Gateway throughout the month of April.
Photos by Elena Secota
The rotating billboards space has been donated by the West Hollywood Gateway. The poets featured include: Francesca Lia Block, Robin Coste Lewis, Suzanne Lummis, Elena Karina Byrne, Elena Secota, Art Currim, Lois P Jones, Douglas Brown, Lynne Thompson, Mariano Zaro and Steven Reigns.
“West Hollywood Gateway is proud to support local artists and share their art in such a magnificent and visible format,” said Alexander Bazley, Associate Director.
Reigns says he is thrilled that the project was picked up again this year. “At a time when the poetry sections in bookstores is getting smaller, it’s thrilling to see poetry take such a prominent space,” he said. “Encountering poetry in everyday spaces helps remind us of poetry and the poetic moments in our lives.”
“Aside from being great craftspersons of poetry, these are all fine poetry citizens who give back to the poetry community in immense ways,” he added. “Lois Jones has a poetry radio show on 90.7, Francesca Lia Block has been teaching virtual workshops through the pandemic, Suzanne Lummis creates poetry noir videos They Write By Night, and Douglas Brown teaches English to high school students. These are just a few examples. I could say endless praiseful things about their work and what they do for the community.”
The billboard features a line of poetry in Reigns’ upcoming book by City Lights, A Quilt for David (http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100432590).
Los Angeles’s new Poet Laurate Lynne Thompson is featured, along with her predecessor Robin Coste Lewis.