Literary Arts for TribeLA Magazine include, books, booksellers, authors, poets, screen-writers, columnists, essayists, and playwriters

Smitten for Mr. Write by Janice Bremec Blum

In my hand are a dozen helium balloons clunking me on the head and a peach cobbler is teetering in the crux of my arm. I’m struggling to get the key in the front door of my bookstore, The Book Bin. The balloons will decorate the outside sandwich board announcing today’s book signing event. Barton Wallace, the number one male author in the romance genre will be here to autograph his latest book, My Woman. I’ve been a fan of Barton ever since his first book, Together, We, hit the New York Times best seller list. I’ve read… READ MORE

Photo by Arlene Mejorado

Pasadena’s Vroman’s Bookstore “Walk of Fame” dedication to Luis Rodriguez by Luis J. Rodriguez In two years, I spoke or read poetry to an estimated 25,000 people in over 200 events, and millions more in English and Spanish language TV, radio, publication, and Internet media. My press, Tia Chucha Press, released the largest poetry anthology of L.A.-area poets called “Coiled Serpents: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles,” edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Daniel A. Olivas, and Ruben J. Rodriguez. One of the poems I wrote for the city, “Love Poem to Los Angeles,” was read on KPPC-FM and published in Rattle READ MORE

The Wandering Song, Tia Chuca Press

The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States, Tia Chucha Press, 2017 (Northwestern University Press distributor) Prelude by Leticia Hernández-Linares LA MISIóN, SAN FRANCISCO November 28, 2016 HOME WAS BEHIND US, always somewhere else. Born into 1970s Los Angeles, a few months after my parents arrived in the United States, I experienced El Salvador as a distant place we referred to as “back home.” Civil war disappeared the pos- sibility of return, and yet, my parents’ country transplanted itself within the walls of this other home, colored our beans, determined our verb conjugations and our difference. “Back home” shadowed our lives here; my parents READ MORE

Luis at Tia Chucha Books

The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States is a multi-genre collection of poems, short stories, essays, memoir, novel excerpts, and creative nonfiction. The book showcases writers who render a multiplicity of experiences as refugees from the wars of the 1980s to those who barely remember the homeland, or who were born in el norte. READ MORE

Harley and Me by Bernadette Murphy

Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life By Bernadette Murphy Prologue (Previously published May 31, 2017) Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. —T. S. Eliot The day is finally starting to soften with the onset of evening as a storm assembles to the southeast. The sun has been scorching my retinas all day and is just now starting to dim. I’ve been riding my motorcycle more than eight hours today, winding first through the stunning canyons of Utah, veering into Idaho for a bit, and now entering the READ MORE

Borrowed Bones by Luis Rodriguez

People’s Sonnet #1 by Luis Rodriguez A shadow hangs where my country should glow. Despite glories shaped as skyscrapers or sound. More wars, more prisons, less safe, still low. Massive cities teeter on shifting ground. Glittering lights, music tracks hide the craven. TV, movies, books so we can forget. Countless worn out, debt-laden and slaving; Their soul-derived destinies unmet. Give me NASCAR, lowriders, Hip Hop, the Blues. Give me Crooklyn, cowboys, cool jazz, cholos. Give me libraries, gardens of the muse. Give me songs over sidewalks, mad solos. Big America improperly sized. Give me your true value, realized. Excerpt from Borrowed Bones (Northwestern University Press, READ MORE

Luis at Tia Chucha Books

Interviewed by Barbara Lieberman Luis Rodriguez knows that Los Angeles is a “great poetry town.” His tenure as Poet Laureate went from 2014 to 2016. It may have come to an end but for Rodriguez, it’s just the beginning. Having published a new book of poetry with Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press called, Borrowed Bones, he is currently working on another book that will be a collection of essays. In addition, he’s been working as a script consultant for the FX TV show Snowfall, co-created by John Singleton. And if that isn’t enough for this busy man, Rodriguez continues to teach creative writing in two maximum-security READ MORE

Bernadette Murphy and Izzy take a break

By deborah granger Feature photo by Adrienne Helitzer/Still productions Author Bernadette Murphy is not only a master of words, having written several well-regarded books, but in busting down the confines of self-imposed comfort zones. Risk is not just a Hasbro board game, for Murphy, it’s a new way to embrace life for post-child bearing women. But, then there is Fear. We all have it in some way shape or form, but not everyone deals successfully with this sometimes-debilitating emotion. For Murphy, the definition of fear is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. “Fear gets worse as we age,” says Murphy, “My fear does. I have READ MORE

Amanda Gorman, US Poet Laureate

by Natalie Durkin “It’s fantastic to be a poet in L.A., and to be an Angeleno.” That’s right, our country’s chosen wordsmith is one of our city’s own. Amanda Gorman was born near Los Angeles International Airport, fitting considering she has wings rivaling any aircraft’s. Her path to poet laureate began “at the cross-section of diametrically opposed neighborhoods; the economically stable and largely black population of Ladera Heights, the cultural vibrancy of Inglewood, the rich and sprawling Ballona Wetlands and blue Marina lining the sea.” Gorman attended middle school in Malibu and high school in Santa Monica. Trekking up, down, and around the coast cemented READ MORE

The Hill by Davis MacDonald

Miss Annie: Sometimes the Judge does get quite morose. It’s something to do with his Welsh roots. I find it useful to come and sit on his foot. This way it’s difficult for him to ignore me, and he can’t really get up and walk away. He usually gives in and starts to stroke my head. That’s when I know I’ve got him. READ MORE

Harley and Me paperback bookcover

Murphy wrote a book that is riveting, intimate, and a fun read. Learning about our four brain chemicals that determine our personality traits is interesting however, I found Murphy’s personal experience even more intriguing. Not every woman is going to embrace mid-life on a Harley, but living vicariously through Murphy’s travels gives us insight into what it means to embrace mid-life rather than complain about it. Her story and her book is compelling. What a joy it was to spend an afternoon in my easy chair riding on a bike with Bernadette Murphy. READ MORE

Amanda Gorman, U.S. Poet Laureate

“We the People” by Amanda Gorman, The U.S. Youth Poet Laureate We the people live in a less than perfect union That accuses the vulnerable and never the top class and race When children are ‘illegal’ and intolerance bans humans I wonder who ‘we the people’ are in the first place ‘We the people’ meant All Lives Matter, but are white lives living a coincidence When if you’re not male or pale you get destroyed for demonstrating dissidence? When the color of his skin gives a killer assumed innocence? But still we will rise up, advocate and activate, with the peoples’ diligence Let’s speak names READ MORE

Rhiannon McGavin, Youth Poet Laureate

Love under or early September (I wrote this right after the election) by Rhiannon McGavin I go to the streets in a summer dress, today, because I’m afraid of a new year with the locked air of a suitcase a cold I may not feel and all I wanted was feeling I wanted a blue jacket that smelled like thyme and you   told me it had been the dearest sleep we talked with open windows, could stare unblinking and see nothing but stars for how many days a helicopter over campus now?   then the museums could be shuddered and swept off we had READ MORE