On Saturday, August 27th, forWord was invited by the Zzyzx WriterZ to facilitate a collaborative poetry workshop at the Last Bookstore on 453 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA for the first ever Poetrypalooza.
The Zzyzx WriterZ, an LA-based writing group, teamed up with local artists, musicians, actors, educators, and writers to create this unique 10-day citywide celebration of everything poetry. Though this series, they aim to fundraise for creative projects to increase artistic and cultural awareness in the community, to network with peers of different multimedia artistic disciplines, and to educate through art, music, theatre, and poetry! You can find more information on their official website here.
Prior to this day, Poetrypalooza had taken place at numerous venues across Los Angeles. This particular event was held at the Last Bookstore in Downtown LA which some of you may recognize as the same location as Speakeasy. So when we first arrived, we felt like we were at home. Stephanie unfortunately could not make it out, but Mark, Susan, and I were present.
We were greeted by Kimberly Cobain, our main contact from Zzyzx WriterZ, who introduced us to the rest of the collective. This is a young emerging group formed around the same time as forWord which was November of last year, so be on the lookout for them. I am sure they have many more plans to celebrate the art of poetry in the near future!
The workshop itself went very well. There was a great turnout in terms of audience participation. Like I said earlier, the setting felt like home because it was at the Last Bookstore. After the workshop, we closed it out with Writer’s Block to show the possibilities a group may accomplish through collaborative poetry. Remember there is no “I” in “poetry”. This is about collaboration, not competition.
All in all, it was a great experience building with everybody. We would like to thank Zzyzx WriterZ, The Last Bookstore, Joie Schimdt, Radomir V. Luza, Jessica Wilson, Skypiee, Joe Lee, and everyone we had met and who had participated in our workshop! We are very thankful to have been invited to such a wonderful event that truly brought together a community of artists to share their art and collaborate.
Thank you again, Zzyzx WriterZ, for making this all happen! Poetrypalooza 2012?
- Eddy M. Gana Jr.