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    HomeCultureWest Hollywood Gateway Showcases Five City Poet Laureates for National Poetry Month

    West Hollywood Gateway Showcases Five City Poet Laureates for National Poetry Month

    In commemoration of National Poetry Month in April, the West Hollywood Gateway will unveil an innovative poetry art initiative, featuring electronic billboards to showcase the works of the five esteemed West Hollywood Poet Laureates.

    Commencing on April 1st, 2024, the electronic billboard situated at Santa Monica Boulevard and La Brea Avenue within the West Hollywood Gateway will metamorphose into a canvas for poetic expression. This captivating endeavor will display verses and portraits from all five renowned West Hollywood Poet Laureates, offering passersby moments of reflection, inspiration, and connection.

    “Through these projects, I’ve met individuals who were moved to tears, who incorporated our poetry into their wedding vows, who deepened their civic pride, who were inspired to begin writing their own verses, and who formed meaningful connections with strangers, all thanks to the power of poetry,” said Mike Che, Arts Coordinator for The City of West Hollywood.

    Kim Dower, West Hollywood’s second Poet Laureate and author of “I Wore This Dress Today for You, Mom,” expressed gratitude for the role of poetry in daily life, saying, “Thanks to poetry for helping us get through our days. Thanks to West Hollywood Gateway for putting Poet Laureates up in lights!”

    The project, conceived by West Hollywood’s inaugural Poet Laureate, Steven Reigns, aims to bring poetry to unexpected places and engage the community in the power of language and creativity. Reigns stated, “Poems posted in the New York subways, and so it feels fitting in the car culture of Los Angeles to have poetry on billboards. The West Hollywood Gateway is where we shop, socialize, and for the month of April will be a place to casually consume poetry.”

    Keonte Vincson, Property Assistant for West Hollywood Gateway, emphasized the significance of honoring National Poetry Month and the contribution of WEHO Poet Laureates to the artform, stating, “West Hollywood Gateway is a pillar of culture and community. Therefore, we are proud to honor National Poetry Month this year as we celebrate the art of literary creativity and expressionism.”

    The billboards serve to capture the essence of West Hollywood’s vibrant cultural landscape, inviting viewers to pause, contemplate, and connect with their surroundings. Charles Flowers, author of “The Idea of Him” and Poet Laureate from 2018-2020, expressed appreciation for the integration of poetry into unexpected spaces, remarking, “I love when poetry surprises us by appearing in unexpected places.”

    Jen Cheng, the current Poet Laureate, highlighted the importance of engaging people in poetry at West Hollywood Gateway, stating, “To welcome people at our busy eastern border of the West Hollywood Gateway is a very important move to engage people in poetry – to share a moment of reflection while people are passing through.”

    Since the inauguration of its first City Poet Laureate in 2014, the City of West Hollywood has recognized the transformative impact of poetry in the local community. Brian Sonia-Wallace, a previous poet laureate, shared reflections on his tenure, stating, “This laureateship has been a privilege, an honor, a calling card.”

    Throughout April, residents and visitors are encouraged to explore West Hollywood Gateway and experience the poetic legacy entrusted to nurture by the city’s esteemed Poet Laureates.

    To view the poetry, click on the link below:


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    Paulo Murillo
    Paulo Murillohttps://wehotimes.com
    Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at [email protected]
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