Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Being Human

feeling desolate
in this space
where time meshes into the host of my debt.
uncertain slumber of rite; a net of collection.

why does it always come down to money;
to raise your hope
your praises
to make you feel like a good human,
a happy human?

justify me this feeling of incompleteness
because i don't have enough paper
to go around
taking away all the hands i owe.

is my life less valuable
because i cannot pay someone today?
is my life less valuable
since i don't have enough green to pay?

am i demeaned to sidewalk skids
and tire tread because I came up short?

how short of human am i since i have no green to give?
since when did paper interject itself into veins?
do needles blend it into the stream
of blood

there is no green in my blood.
i am not rich.
i am not paper.
i'm human.

~ Jessica M. Wilson
Wednesday, 10:04am

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Newly published in the "Nightmares" Anthology from Don Kingfisher Campbell

Hooray! I am so excited and really happy to see that I've been published -- a new poem of mine, "Oh Myyyyyy", made it into the upcoming Nightmares anthology published by Don Kingfisher Campbell!

Check it out here... 

seriously spooky, and a tale of truth.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The World Stage needs our help!


(Above: Members of The Los Angeles Poet Society celebrate their 1st Meet n Greet at The World Stage!)



It is with great respect and concern that we save this literary heartbeat in the African American community of Leimert Park! Not only has it welcomed so many talented individuals to its stage, it is also a place where community can come together and grow -- there are workshop offerings, open mics, open jam sessions, musicianship tutoring.

On a personal note, The World Stage was kind and and opened its doors to the Los Angeles Poet Society, as we held our 1st Member Meet n Greet there! The Artistic Director, Conney Williams, is also a LAPS Member. Let's be there for each other!

The World Stage is a special place -- please don't let the city take it away from us!


an article by S.A. Griffin

Save The World Stage In Leimert Park!!!

Iconic and historic performance venue The World Stage in Leimert Park is under attack from city planners and developers on the heels of the new Metro line approval. It would be devastating to the neighborhood and the city of Los Angeles to lose World Stage. There will be a press conference Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 4pm, and a rally on Saturday October 19, 2013 at 1pm. Please do whatever you can to attend either one of these, or both.

ALL WORLD STAGE: Crisis re EVICTION for real estate profits for

LEIMERT PARK METRO station 10-13

Friday, October 11, 2013

Contact: Conney Williams, The World Stage Artistic Director  310.863.4432

(Los Angeles, CA) Iconic cultural institution The World Stage Performance Gallery is being threatened with eviction. In what community members are calling an attempt to gentrify the Crenshaw District's Leimert Park neighborhood in preparation for the forthcoming Crenshaw Line Leimert Station, eight long-time Leimert Park businesses have recently been informed that their leases will not be renewed or they have been served eviction-related notices, including The World Stage. A press conference will be held to discuss these issues on Wednesday, October 16, 4pm and a community rally on Saturday, October 19, 1pm at The World Stage Performance Gallery, 4344 Degnan Blvd., L.A., CA 90008.

According to The World Stage's board president Wiley Brown, soon after the city council voted to approve the Crenshaw Line on May 22, the eviction notices began to arrive. "It's unethical, and frankly, shameful that the women and men, the culturally-aware business owners who helped to make Leimert Park a cultural landmark for the African American community, are being forced out at a time when the Crenshaw Line Leimert Park Station is going to bring unparalleled business opportunities to the area. The city leaders cannot let this happen," Brown said.

Brown and community stakeholders organized a meeting with 10th District City Councilman Herb Wesson, who failed to show, but later his chief deputy Deron Williams arrived. According to jazz singer and World Stage board member Dwight Trible, who was at the meeting, Williams agreed to: 1) organize a meeting with the property owners who were seeking to evict the long-time African American tenants 2) work through the city council to designate Leimert Park as a cultural landmark 3) work to help finance a "light and signage package" which would bring business-friendly neon-lights and attractive signage for Leimert Park businesses and 4) organize a meeting between the property owners and the African American business owners who are being forced out.

According to Trible, when the stakeholders tried to contact Wesson's office to follow up on the meeting, their phone calls were not returned for several weeks. Later, a Wesson staffer confessed that "they had hit a roadblock."

"I was upset that Wesson was not at the stakeholder meeting, but chief deputy Williams looked us all in the eye and seemed so genuinely concerned. He said that he was from the community and he would not standby and let this happen. That's why I was so shocked when Wesson's office completely dismissed us when we called to follow up on theirpromises to Leimert Park. The stakeholders in this community are facing an existential crisis and Herb Wesson, our elected representative, has turned his back on us," Trible said.

Spurned by Weeson, The World Stage is in the middle of an emergency capital campaign. It is taking donations throughits website ( in an effort to raise $25,000, while simultaneously working on a long-range strategic financial plan.

Please help save the World Stage...

much love,


Poet Pam Ward has also started a petition to Mayor Eric Garcetti:

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles City Council: SAVE THE WORLD STAGE in Leimert Park

  • Petitioning Eric Garcetti  

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles City Council: SAVE THE WORLD STAGE in Leimert Park!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Jessica Wilson for CHANGE!

Jessica Wilson at 100 Thousand Poets for Change, 2013 -- Los Angeles, California! Held at Beyond Baroque, the historic site and home of the Venice West Beat Poets!
Video streaming by Ustream

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mary Torregrossa's "Sister Sun" is the WINNER of the 2013 Summer Poetry Contest!

The Los Angeles Poet Society is thrilled to announce the winner of the 2013 Summer Poetry Contest! While it was tough to pick one winner, the images of "Sister Sun" were strong enough, not only to invoke the beauty of a summer morning and the summer state of mind, but it beat all the other great poems submitted by everyone! 

Thank you to all participants! We appreciate your support of the literary arts in Los Angeles, and hope to read more of your poetry again!

~ LAPS Team

Mary Torregrossa pictured above -- Moonday Reading
 Sister Sun
There are three of us,
our bony selves
stand out like colts,
especially in summer.

Knocking ankle bones
like dice
we kick the covers
from the bed
each morning.
This day, one sister says,
Will be a scorcher!
She rises,
like a white birch,
limbs askew,
until with grace
she stretches
all the kinks of sleep
into one, long, slender reach
and greets the sun.

~ Mary Torregrossa
(c)2013 All rights reserved by the author

Congratulations, Mary! Mary is the 2013 winner of the Los Angeles Poet Society Summer Poetry Contest! 

Sister Sun is a very thought provoking and nourishing poem, filled with vibrant images that invoke summer! Definitely breathtaking!
Thank you, Mary for your support of the literary arts in Los Angeles!

So who is Mary Torregrossa?
Mary has been active as a poet, host, and workshop leader in the San Gabriel Valley poetry scene. She is a long-standing member (oh, my achin’ feet) of the Emerging Urban Poets writing group in Pasadena. She has recently put together her first chapbook, Sleeping With Roses, a collection of poems inspired by her youth in Providence, Rhode Island. 

Mary's poems have appeared in the RI Roads Travel Magazine, the Inscape Anthology of Pasadena City College, and many local anthologies including theSan Gabriel Valley Quarterly. Mary, and her poetry were profiled in the L A TIMES in 2001. She is an ESL teacher, a team artist in the annual Pasadena Absolut Chalk Festival, and a member of the COLORS anti-racism group. She lives in Baldwin Park with her husband, Mynor, their two teenage daughters, Nina and Elaine, and their two dogs, Wishbone and Freckles.


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