Eight Literary Readings You Can’t Miss This Month

The definitive guide to cutting edge literature and compelling storytelling in L.A. this month

Rattle reading series: Hannah Gamble, Tanya Ko and James Proffitt
Few literary journals are as consistently stunning as Rattle. The Los Angeles based poetry journal regularly features emerging poets alongside Poet Laureates and National Book Award winners. This month, its reading series features Hannah Gamble, author of 2011 National Poetry Series selection Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, as well as poets Tanya Ko and James Proffitt, whose work also appeared in Rattle’s winter issue. Attendees can bring some of their own writing to share—the reading ends in an open mic.
Where: Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse
When: February 8, 5 p.m.

Cecilia Woloch
Cecilia Woloch is a beloved Los Angeles poet and teacher. For anyone who hasn’t read her poem “Why I Believed, as a Child, That People Had Sex in Bathrooms,” we’re just going to leave this here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uGljawHl_g). Woloch’s latest chapbook, Earth, was the winner of the 2014 Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize. She will be reading with fellow Los Angeles poets Peter J. Harris, Holly Prado and Carine Topal. While you’re there, check out Beyond Baroque’s bookstore—it’s one of the few in Los Angeles that sells small press chapbooks.
Where: Beyond Baroque
When: February 8, 8 p.m.

Lucie Brock-Broido
In August, Lucie Brock-Broido read and discussed a poem by Franz Wright as well as one of her own poems in a particularly haunting episode of The New Yorker Poetry Podcast (get on that podcast if you haven’t already). In an interview for BOMB magazine in 1995, she shared her theory that a poem “is troubled into its making. It’s not a thing that blooms; it’s a thing that wounds.” Brock-Broido’s new book of poems, Stay, Illusion, was a 2013 National Book Award finalist. She is this year’s Boudreaux Visiting Writer at The University of Southern California.
Where: The University of Southern California
When: February 9, 4:30 p.m.

Scott McCloud
Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art is a thoughtful and compelling rumination on the medium of comics in the form of a comic book. It’s been translated into sixteen languages and is a must-read for anyone who loves comics and is curious about their inner workings. McCloud has just published his first graphic novel, Sculptor, which Neil Gaiman calls, “The best graphic novel I’ve read in years. It’s about art and love and why we keep on trying. It will break your heart.” McCloud will be discussing The Sculptor with Elvis Mitchell, host of KCRW’s The Treatment.
Where: Mark Taper Auditorium
When: February 10, 7:15 p.m.

Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby is best known for his novels High Fidelity and About a Boy. He is also an accomplished screenwriter, whose adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn has been making waves at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Hornby has published a new novel, Funny Girl, about a fictional 1960s sitcom and its quirky cast of characters. Hornby will discuss his novel and his writing career with Los Angeles Times staff writer Carolyn Kellogg. Admission is $29 and includes a copy of Funny Girl: A Novel.
Where: All Saints Church
When: February 12, 7 p.m.

Jill Leovy
Los Angeles times reporter Jill Leovy spent over a decade covering crime. Her new book, Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, addresses the disproportionate prevalence of unsolved murders in African-American neighborhoods and as well as the systems that have kept these unpunished crimes relatively invisible to the public eye. Ghettoside has received praise from the New York Times and NPR, among others. The Last Bookstore is a Los Angeles favorite and a must-see for anyone who hasn’t been. Be sure to check out the art galleries upstairs, as well as their famous one-dollar books section (and by section, we mean the entire top floor).
Where: The Last Bookstore
When: February 24, 6 p.m.

David St. John
Celebrated poet and USC professor David St. John has published eleven collections of poetry. In his poem, “Meditation,” St. John writes, “I think, well, almost everyone I know / Loves to be whipped by pleasure.” What a perfect analogy for how it feels to read St. John’s poetry.
Where: The University of Southern California
When: February 25, 6:30 p.m.

Luis Rodriguez and Amanda Gorman
In 2014, Mayor Eric Garcetti named Luis Rodriguez Poet Laureate of Los Angeles. His 1993 memoir, Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A., is rumored to be one of Los Angeles’s most frequently stolen books. Amanda Gorman has been a U.N. Youth Delegate and is Los Angeles’s inaugural Youth Poet Laureate. At sixteen years old, she has already signed a book deal with Penmanship Books, who will publish her first collection of poems.
Where: Beyond Baroque
When: February 28, 8 p.m.