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    HomeCultureWeHo Reads: Poetry Spa Offers Various Interactive Ways to Enjoy Poetry

    WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa Offers Various Interactive Ways to Enjoy Poetry

    The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division hosted the 2nd Annual WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa in celebration of National Poetry Month Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at the Respite Deck of the West Hollywood Aquatic and Recreation Center (ARC).

    This year it was curated by current West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng. Poets participating at the WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa event included:

    • Terry Wolverton, author of eleven books, including her latest, Season of Eclipse, hosts the Poemaroma spa station.
    • K. Toney is a griot, writer, musician, and educator who hosts the Listening Libations spa station where attendees get to mix poetry with soothing sounds.
    • Brian Sonia-Wallace, author of Poetry of Strangers hosts the Poetry Bath spa station.
    • Pride Poets members Timothy Nang will host the Lotus Poetry spa station and Jose Rios will host the Poetry Bingo spa station.
    • West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng hosts the Feng Shui Poetry spa station which guides attendees through the Five Elements.
    WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa 2024 – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

    Poetry Spa had six stations, each with a talented poet offering fun and different ways to enjoy poetry. There was poetry bingo, a poemaroma table where people got to choose a poem by experiencing aromatherapy, lotus poetry where people got to fold origami and enjoy poetry, there was a listening libations station, and a poetry bath where people got a facial while listening to poetry. Book Soup was also at the event to offer retail therapy.

    WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa 2024 – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

    West Hollywood Poet Laureate Jen Cheng brought the five elements of poetry through Feng Shui Poetry, where people got to get guidance as they picked an element that might help them address some of their life questions. “I love that such a good group of people came out who were curious, who interacted and we had neighbors sitting together at a table enjoying something together,” she told WEHO TIMES. “I think that’s what poetry is like. We get to witness and share empathy and share understanding. And sometimes we don’t have the right words for how we’re feeling and then poetry gives us something to hang on to.”

    WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa 2024 – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

    The event was attended by Mayor John Erickson and council member Sepi Shyne.

    WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa 2024 – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

    At 7:30 p.m., attendees gathered at the Grand Staircase at sunset to hear all the poets share their words.

    Poetry Spa is a concept created by Brian Sonia-Wallace during his term as 2020-23 West Hollywood City Poet Laureate. “It was really beautiful,” he said. “Last time was the first time and it was an experiment which I think the best part of an experiment is when you run it more than once and it’s cool to see the different iteration and to have a different group of elements… I think I’m all about the idea that art is a service, poetry is a service.”

    WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa 2024 – Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

    WeHo Reads is a literary series produced by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division and BookSwell. Additional support is provided by UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and Poets & Writers, with media partnerships from Book Soup and Los Angeles Review of Books. Books will be available for sale by historic West Hollywood retailer Book Soup. This event is free to attend and RSVPs are requested. For more information and to RSVP please visit: www.weho.org/wehoreads. 

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    Mike Pingel
    Mike Pingelhttp://www.mikepingel.com/
    Mike Pingel has written six books, Channel Surfing: Charlie’s Angels & Angelic Heaven: A Fan’s Guide to Charlie’s Angels, Channel Surfing: Wonder Woman, The Brady Bunch: Super Groovy after all these years; Works of Pingel and most recently, Betty White: Rules the World. Pingel owns and runs CharliesAngels.com website and was Farrah Fawcett personal assistant. He also works as an actor and as a freelance publicist. His official website is www.mikepingel.com
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