Poetry.LA is an online video showcase featuring established and emerging poets filmed at various venues throughout Southern California. It's an up close look at a variety of poetic voices, including interviews with poets and publishers. The venues where poetry readings are held are also spotlighted to share with the poetry audience.
Poet/artistic director Hilda Weiss and videographer/producer Wayne Lindberg started Poetry.LA in January 2007 as a way to expose poets to a much larger audience beyond the intimate spaces of coffeehouses, cafes, bookstores and cultural art centers, where the readings are often taped. Poets can post the video links (uploaded to YouTube) in their emails and on websites, blogs or social networking pages. Currently, there are about 270 poets featured on Poetry.LA. and the videos have received over 200,000 viewings on YouTube. Poetry lovers have also found Poetry.LA via links on various literary organizations' websites, including the Library of Congress.
Special features of the site include: 2008-2009 U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan's reading at the Casa Romantica Series, video interviews with Fred Dewey, executive/artistic director of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, Cobalt Poets' host Rick Lupert, the Ruskin Art Club's Literary Programs Director Elena Karina Byrne (2008 Pushcart Prize winner), Red Hen Press's Managing editor Kate Gale, as well as hosts of The World Stage Reading Series and Redondo Poet’s Coffee Cartel readings, among others.
Hilda Weiss' poetry has been published (or is soon to be published) in Askew, Margie, Nerve Cowboy, RATTLE, Salamander, Writers at Work, and Westview, among other publications. Her first chapbook of poems, Optimism About Trees, will be published by Finishing Line Press and released in July 2011. Weiss has also read her work at local venues and when attending readings found that,“I’ve often heard a good poem at a reading and wanted to listen to it again. So, Wayne and I started out videotaping open mics and it evolved from there. We now update the site typically every month with videos of a half dozen new poets reading their work. Before we tape a poet we like to read their work and look at their publication credits. Since our end product is video, we are very interested in artists who have engaging performance styles. For that reason, we keep our camera handy for strong open mic performances,” states Weiss. Weiss and Lindberg also work on Poetry.LA with their associate producer Michael Child, a Los Angeles-based musician and poet. Weiss has also been featured on KPFK 90.7 FM's Poets Cafe discussing her work as well as that of Poetry.LA.
Wayne Lindberg is a Los Angeles-based writer and videographer. His short fiction collection, Cary Malone and Other Stories was published by Nothing Moments Press in 2007. His plays have been produced by various Los Angeles theatre companies over the past 25 years, including Pacific Repertory Theatre Ensemble, Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, Public Works, and the Venice Mooney Company.
Molly Bendall, Charles Boote Bivins, Elena Karina Byrne, Anne Carson, Luis Campos, Harry Northup, Wanda Coleman, Larry Colker, Brendan Constantine, Sarah Cruse, Deborah Digges,Jawanza Dumisani, B.H. Fairchild, Andrea Gibson, Juan Felipe Herrera, Tony Hoagland, Rodney Jones, Yusef Komunyakaa, Gina Loring, Suzanne Lummis, Sarah Maclay, Jack McCarthy, 2010 Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason (writer), Lucia Perillo, Carl Phillips, Mike the Poet, Holly Prado, Luis J. Rodriguez, David St. John, Amy Uyematsu, Pam Ward, Charles Harper Webb, C.K. Williams, Robert Wrigley, Gail Wronsky, among others.