Virtual, Wednesday, February 9 at 6PM pt

THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD WORDS by Nan Cohen

EDGECLIFF by Angelina Sáenz

SPILLWAY 29 by Lynne Thompson

DREAMING WITH MARIPOSAS by 
Sonia Gutiérrez

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ABOUT THE BOOKS

Edgecliff--A Chicana's poetic response to rebound love, MFAs, single-motherhood, intergenerational trauma, and life under a racist and violent political regime.

Lynne Thompson's Start with a Small Guitar is a dazzling collection of love poems, wickedly wise and stitched with the darkest nuances of desire. These poems are rich in childhood play and the adult pleasures of consolation, yet even at their most reflective and speculative these poems are fleshed by the carnal. This new collection is either a handbook to bliss or the abyss, and she insists that the reader each one of us decide.

Cleave, loss, spell, hand, home: words that have existed in the English language for over a thousand years. In the poems of Thousand-Year-Old Words, Nan Cohen explores such words, revealing both their touching sturdiness through a thousand years of constant use, and the radiant individuality of the experiences they describe.

Sonia Gutiérrez's Dreaming with Mariposas, written in a Tomás Rivera and Sandra Cisneros bildungsroman vignette style, recounts the story of the Martínez family as told through the eyes of transfronteriza/transboundary Sofía Martínez, "Chofi," Francisco and Helena's daughter, as well as multiple narrators, emulating oral tradition. The novel embraces food as a communal practice with the ability to heal a family through storytelling. Dreaming with Mariposas presents glimpses of poetic diction in times of anti-rhetoric, inspiring readers to reclaim their sacred spaces and voices and to pursue dreams even when the future looks dismal. Chofi witnesses institutional racism, sexual harassment, and colorism and learns to navigate her parents' dreams and her dreams as she discovers her superpower, the strength of her Mexican Indigenous heritage, and the spirit world.

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Lynne Thompson

Author

Lynne Thompson is the 2021-2022 Poet Laureate for the City of Los Angeles. her poetry collections include Beg No Pardon (2007), winner of the Perugia Press Prize and the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award; Start With A Small Guitar (2013), from What Books Press; and Fretwork (2019), winner of the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize. Some of Thompson’s many honors include the the Stephen Dunn Prize for Poetry as well as fellowships from the City of Los Angeles, Vermont Studio Center, and the Summer Literary Series in Kenya. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry, Poem-A-Day (Academy of American Poets), and elsewhere. 

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Angelina Sáenz

Author

Angelina Sáenz, M. Ed, MFA is an award-winning public-school teacher and poet whose work focuses on memory, mujeres and motherhood. She is a UCLA Writing Project fellow, an alumna of the VONA/Voices Workshop for Writers of Color and a Macondo Writer’s Workshop Fellow.  Her poetry has appeared in venues such as Diálogo and Split this Rock and elsewhere. She hosts the monthly poetry reading La Palabra at Avenue 50 Studio in Los Angeles.  Her debut book of poetry Edgecliff was released in December of 2021 with FlowerSong Press. 

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Author

Sonia Gutiérrez is the recipient of the Tomás Rivera Book Award 2021 for her novelDreaming with Mariposas (FlowerSong Press, 2020). In 2021, Dreaming with Mariposas also received an honorable mention for the Isabel Allende Most Inspirational Fiction Award. She is the author of Spider Woman / La Mujer Araña (Olmeca Press, 2013) and co-editor forThe Writer’s Response (Cengage Learning, 2016). Her bilingual poetry collection, Paper Birds: Feather by Father / Pájaros de papel: Pluma por pluma, is forthcoming in 2022. 

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NAN COHEN

Author

Nan Cohen is the author of two poetry collections, Rope Bridge and Unfinished City, winner of the Michael Dryden Award from Gunpowder Press, and a just-published chapbook, Thousand-Year-Old Words (Glass Lyre Press).  Recent poems and prose appear in The Cortland Review, The Inflectionist Review, JAMA, Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere.  The recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Writer's Award, and an NEA Literature Fellowship, Nan lives in Los Angeles and co-directs the poetry programs of the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference.

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DONNA SPRUIJT-METZ

Author

Donna Spruijt-Metz is Professor of Psychology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California, and a MacDowell fellow. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in venues such as the Los Angeles Review, Copper Nickel, RHINO, and Poetry Northwest. She is the author of “Slippery Surfaces” (Finishing Line Press) and co-author, with Flower Conroy, of And Haunt the World (Ghost City Press). https://www.donnasmetz.com