The West Hollywood Gateway, located at 7100 Santa Monica Boulevard, showcases poets for National Poetry Month each year. WeHo residents can encounter poetry in their daily lives with excerpts from poems currently being showcased on the Gateway’s main digital billboard. This year, the gateway added three new poets. Former City Poet Laureate Steven Reigns is highlighting each poet to add to the profiles he made last year. Below, is a Q&A with poet Eric Morago.
Name: Eric Morago
Poetic works: What We Ache For & Feasting on Sky
How many years in Los Angeles? Whole life
What can you tell us about the excerpt on the billboard? I wanted my excerpt to be a whole poem so when it’s seen, you get the whole story. I think short poems are really hard. Funny short poems are harder. I think I succeeded?
Does the West Hollywood Gateway or WEHO have any significance for you?
My wife lived in WEHO off of Santa Monica Blvd for a handful of years when we were dating, so I spent a lot of weekends enjoying a lot of what the city has to offer.
When and how did poetry find you?
In undergrad, the girlfriend of said poem, really crushed me and I found that taking that pain and turning it into poetry really helped me and others. I then applied that to all the messed up stuff in my life like struggles with mental health, etc.
What has been a big poetry career moment?
Taking over as publisher of Moon Tide Press, and publishing collections by poets such as WEHO’s current Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace.
What has teaching writing meant to you?
I enjoy empowering people’s own voices in their poetry and helping them strengthen their skills to be the best of themselves as a poet.