West Hollywood’s Spring 2021 WeHo Reads series concludes on June 16, 2021. The final event will be presented in celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month and is part of the City’s One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. The event, titled Legacy and Lineage and the Lost Generation, features poets reading and discussing works by mentors they’ve never met alongside their own work. Featuring Rajiv Mohabir (The Cowherd’s Son), Dare Williams, and Jubi Arriola-Headley (Original Kink) and musical guest Jayson Joseph of Elephants With Guns, the virtual (online) event will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/c/wehoarts). Members of the public can RSVP and be sent a direct link to view the event by visiting the WeHo Reads webpage at www.weho.org/wehoreads.
The 2021 WeHo Reads series featured an impressive selection of poets and authors representing the diversity of the literary landscape. All past WeHo Reads 2021 events are able to be viewed on the City’s WeHo Arts YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehoarts. The following 2021 videos are now available for viewing:
- Amplifying New Voices: Aurielle Marie, author of the Cave Canem Award-winning debut Gumbo Ya Ya talked with Danez Smith, the author of the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award nominated poetry collection HOMIE and National Book Award finalist for Don’t Call Us Dead. Featuring musical guest Robbie Pollock.
- The Modern Hiker’s Guide to Griffith Park: For the 125th anniversary of Griffith Park, Casey Schreiner, founder of ModernHiker.com and author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller Discovering Griffith Park: A Local’s Guide, presented an in-depth presentation on everything this legendary urban park has to offer including a bit about the park’s surprising place in LGBTQ history.
- In Your Face–Womxn Writing Truth: Myriam Gurba, whose book Mean was named one of the “Best LGBTQ Books of All Time” by O, The Oprah Magazine, talked with Randa Jarrar, author of Love is an Ex-Country and whose short story, “You Are a 14-Year-Old Arab Chick Who First Moved to Texas” was the winner of the first Million Writers Award for online fiction. Featuring musical guest Kelly Caballero.
- Exploring The Landscape of the Gay Rights Movement: Gustavo Hernandez, author of the poetry collection Flower Grand First, talked about growing up queer and Latinx, intersectionality, and LGBTQ representation With Rocío Carlos, author of Coyolxhauqui, Los Angeles, A World Below and whose work was included in LACMA’s Pacific Standard Time exhibition, Those of This America. This event also features musical guests Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles.
- It is time to cross the threshold on your hands: West Hollywood City Poet Laureate, Brian Sonia-Wallace, curated a panel of poets from near and far for an exploration of thresholds in language, gender, generation, and geography. Featured poets included Terry Wolverton, Alyesha Wise-Hernandez, féi hernandez (Inglewood), Alan Pelaez Lopez (Oakland), and Harry Josephine Giles (Scotland). Each poet read a selection of their work and talked about their craft.
- Creating Hollywood Chinese: Arthur Dong, author of Hollywood Chinese and two-time Academy Award nominee, and Charles Yu, author of Interior Chinatown (Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction) talked about Asian-American representation in Hollywood, the Asian-American experience, and their respective books.
- Alternative Futures: The Importance of Seeing Yourself in Young Adult Literature: Skylar Kergil, transgender activist, singer-songwriter, YouTube personality, and author of Before I Had the Words, talked with James Sie, author of All Kinds of Other and the autobiographical play Talking With My Handsabout growing up in a Chinese/Italian household, about the importance of seeing yourself represented in media. With musical guest Jiaqing Wilson-Yang, whose first novel Small Beauty won the 2017 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction.
The WeHo Reads series is the City of West Hollywood’s literary series, which has presented new and noteworthy authors of interest to the West Hollywood community since 2013. The 2021 WeHo Reads 2021 series is presented by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division with producers Amanda Fletcher and Dare Williams.
For more information about the WeHo Reads series, contact the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Coordinator, Mike Che, at (323) 848-6377 or at [email protected].