Archives for category: Los Angeles Events

On Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, Gatsby Books in Long Beach, California, will host a fundraiser for the Long Beach Poetry Festival — featuring readings by poets who have appeared in Silver Birch Press anthologies and blog.

WHAT: Fundraiser for 3rd Annual Long Beach Poetry Festival — suggested donation: $10. Hors d’oeuvres, wine, and sparkling conversation will be served. Bring cash for wine, baked goods, and books!

WHERE: Gatsby Books, 5535 E. Spring St., Long Beach, CA, 90808, 562-208-5862,

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, 7-9 p.m.

WHO: Anna Badua, Donna Hilbert, Kevin Lee, Tamara Madison, Clint Margrave, and Paul Kareem Tayyar will read from their work.

WHAT ELSE:  People who can’t make the event, can contribute via PayPal here: (Enter the email address:


Thanks to Silver Birch Press Bukowski Anthology contributors Harry Calhoun (who suggested the idea) and S.A. Griffin (who found a way to make it happen), and Jessica Wilson (who is making it happen), the Silver Birch Press Bukowski Anthology launch party at Skylight Books in Los Angeles will be available for radio listeners at this link:

Tune in at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22 (Pacific Daylight Time) or tune in later and access the recording.

We are honored that the launch party at Skylight Books will feature readings from the collection by S.A. Griffin, Joan Jobe Smith, and Fred Voss.  For mini bios of our esteemed performers, visit Skylight Books.

WHAT: Silver Birch Press BUKOWSKI ANTHOLOGY launch party and readings from the collection

WHO: S.A. Griffin, Joan Jobe Smith, and Fred Voss

WHERE: Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90027, 323-660-1175

WHEN: Sunday, September 22, 2013, 5 p.m.

If you live in the area, we hope to see you there! If you live outside the area, we hope you’ll tune in.

Cover art by Mark Erickson and Katy Zartl

Silver Birch Press is pleased to announce that Skylight Books, Los Angeles, will host a launch party for the Silver Birch Press BUKOWSKI ANTHOLOGY. We are honored to report that the event will feature readings from the collection by S.A. Griffin, Joan Jobe Smith, and Fred Voss.  For mini bios of our esteemed performers, visit Skylight Books.

WHAT: Silver Birch Press BUKOWSKI ANTHOLOGY launch party and readings from the collection

WHO: S.A. Griffin, Joan Jobe Smith, and Fred Voss

WHERE: Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90027, 323-660-1175

WHEN: Sunday, September 22, 2013, 5 p.m.

If you live in the area, we hope to see you there!

Cover art by Mark Erickson and Katy Zartl



Gerald Locklin, author of the Silver Birch Press release Gerald Locklin: New and Selected Poems (1967-2007), is featured in Ekphrastia Gone Wild: Poems Inspired by Art a new collection from Ain’t Got No Press edited by Rick Lupert. 

Ekphrastia Gone Wild, an anthology of ekphrastic poetry — poetry inspired by other works of art (painting, film, literature, photography, and more) — includes work by Nobel Prize winning poet Wislawa Szymborska along with 87 poets from around the world.

Ekphrastia Gone Wild contributors include: A.J. Huffman, Ackroyd Jackson, Adam Kress, Alan Britt, Alan Price, Alan Wickes, Ann Drysdale, April Salzano, Benjamin Taylor Lally, Brendan Constantine, Brooke Dorn, Bruce Taylor, Carolyn A. Martin, Catherine Graham, Consuelo Marshall, Cynthia Gallaher, Dan Fitzgerald, Daniel Y. Harris, David Chorlton, Deborah P. Kolodji, Desmond Kon, Donald Mulcahy, Doris Lueth Stengel, Douglas Richardson, Dusan Colovic, Elizabeth Iannaci, Ellaraine Lockie, Eric Evans, Eric Lawson, Eric Tuazon, F.J. Bergmann, Farida Samerkhanova, Fern G. Z. Carr, Fiona Curran, Florence Weinberger, Gabrielle Mittelbach, Gene Grabiner, Gerald Locklin, Graham Fulton, Helen Bar-Lev, Iris Dan, James Bell, Jan Chronister, Jerry Quickley, Jim Bennett, John Stewart Huffstot, Johnmichael Simon, Kath Abela Wilson, Kathleen M. Krueger, Kenneth Pobo, Kevin Cornwall, Laurel Ann Bogen, Leland James, Letitia Minnick, M.A. Griffiths, M.J. Iuppa, Maggie Westland, Mantz Yorke, Marie Lecrivain, Martin W. Bennett, Mary Buchinger, Mary Harwell Sayler, Maryann Corbett, Michael Virga, Mick Moss, Mira Martin-Parker, Neal Whitman, Noel Sloboda, Paula McKay, Peggy Dobreer, Peggy Trojan, Perie Longo, Peter Branson, Phil Howard, Robert Wynne, Ron. Lavalette, Rosalee Thompson, Salvatore Difalco, Simon Jackson, Simon Peter Eggertsen, Sonja Smolec, Stanley H. Barkan, Steve Ely, Suzanne Lummis, Timothy Charles Anderson, Tracy Davidson and Wislawa Szymborska.

ABOUT THE EDITOR: Rick Lupert is the author of numerous collections of poetry and founder of Ain’t Got No Press. He also edited the Ain’t Got No Press titles A Poet’s Haggadah: Passover Through the Eyes of Poets and The Night Goes on All Night: Noir Inspired Poetry. He created and maintains The Poetry Super Highway, an online publication and resource for poets and writers, and since 1994 has hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading series in Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, son, three cats, and a frog and works as a Jewish Music teacher for local synagogues and as a freelance graphic designer for print and web for anyone who would like to help pay his mortgage. Contact him at

Ekphrastia Gone Wild: Poems Inspired by Art is available at

Tune in to the Ekphrastia Gone Wild Virtual Publication Party, Sunday, September 15th at 2:00 p.m. (PDT) to hear poets featured in the book read their work on a special Poetry Super Highway Live broadcast right here.


(Chapter 18, Opening Paragraph)
by Raymond Chandler

The Athletic Club was on a corner across the street and half a block down from the Treloar Building. I crossed and walked north to the entrance. They had finished laying rose-colored concrete where the rubber sidewalk had been. It was fenced around, leaving a narrow gangway in and out of the building. The space was clotted with office help going in from lunch.


At Raymond Chandler’s 125th birthday celebration in downtown Los Angeles on July 23, 2013, the revelers visited the Oviatt Building at 617 S. Olive — the inspiration for the Treloar Building in Chandler’s 1943 novel The Lady in the Lake. Outside the building, Marc Chevalier offered stories from his upcoming book about the location, including how owner James Oviatt put the edifice in his nephew’s name for tax purposes and the overworked, put-upon underling made his slave-driving uncle buy back the building.

The festivities outside the Oviatt Building also included David Kipen — former literature director of the National Endowment for the Arts — reading the opening page from The Lady in the Lake. (Kipen currently heads Libros Schmibros, a lending library and used bookstore in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.)


The main floor of the Oviatt Building is now home to the Cicada Club —  — and the owner allowed the Chandler birthday party to move inside and tour the club in all its Art Deco splendor.


After walking around the mezzanine — a balcony that frames the space — we congregated in the bar (closed during our visit), where host Richard Schave and Oviatt historian Marc Chevalier shared wild tales about James Oviatt — the teenager from humble beginnings in Utah who became a linchpin and millionaire in Los Angeles. Oviatt also served as inspiration for Derace Kingsley,  the heavy in The Lady of the Lake.

While touring the club, I chatted with Sybil Davis, daughter of Raymond Chandler’s last secretary, who earlier in the evening had given a talk and held up one of her prized possessions — Chandler’s monogrammed silver cigarette case. Realizing it was a lot to ask, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass without trying — so in a barely audible voice I asked if I could hold the cigarette case, if only for a few seconds.

Looking around, so as not to cause a stampede of people who wished to follow my example, Sybil slipped the cigarette case (wrapped in a white gauze bag with a satin tie) from her purse. She removed the case from its covering and placed it on my outstretched hand. I enclosed the case between my palms and felt a profound sense of gratitude — to Sybil and to Chandler for his masterful, iconic, poetic works of art.


This was the Noir Holy Grail — Raymond Chandler’s silver cigarette case — and, as a devotee of both Chandler and noir, I found myself speechless and humbled by this unexpected blessing.

Thanks to the organizers and participants for a wonderful celebration of Raymond Chandler‘s birth! And a special thank you to the gifted husband and wife team of Kim Cooper — who read from her amazing, beautifully written, Chandler-inspired novel during the evening — and Richard Schave, the heart and soul of the Los Angeles Visionaries Association, for hosting this inspired event.


THE LADY IN THE LAKE (Opening paragraph)

By Raymond Chandler

The Treloar Building was, and is, on Olive Street, near Sixth, on the west side. The sidewalk in front of it had been built of black and white rubber blocks. They were taking them up now to give to the government, and a hatless pale man with a face like a building superintendent was watching the work and looking as if it was breaking his heart.


The Raymond Chandler 125th birthday celebration on July 23rd hosted by the Los Angeles Visionaries Association (LAVA) in downtown Los Angeles took place in several locations frequented by Raymond Chandler during the 1920s and early 1930s — including the 12-story Oviatt Building (the first Art Deco highrise in Los Angeles, now a designated historic cultural monument) at 617 S. Olive Street. Completed in 1928, the Oviatt Building served as the model for the Treloar Building featured in the opening passage (included above) from Chandler’s 1943 novel The Lady in the Lake.


Oviatt Building historian Marc Chevalier — who wrote and produced a documentary film about the building and its founder, James Oviatt — offered a variety of fascinating anecdotes as we stood in the entrance, including a story about the rubber sidewalk immortalized in Chandler’s novel.

Turns out, James Oviatt had installed just such a sidewalk as a publicity stunt — saying the soft surface would allow people to  stand for hours looking in the windows of his exclusive menswear shop — and years later the savvy businessman had the the sidewalk removed as another ploy for recognition when the U.S. government called on citizens to donate rubber to the WWII effort. Today, Oviatt’s exclusive haberdashery has transformed into the Cicada Club — an chic supper-club in the tradition of classic Los Angeles night spots.

Chandler fans who’d like to read (or reread) The Lady in the Lake, the full text is available at this link.


On Tuesday, July 23, 2013, I was one of the lucky people with a ticket to an elegant and enlightening event — Raymond Chandler’s 125th birthday celebration. Hosted by Richard Schave and Kim Cooper — the brilliant minds behind the Los Angeles Visionaries Association (LAVA) — the party started out in the noir glamor of the “Invention” bar at the Los Angeles Athletic Club at 7th and Olive in downtown L.A.

The L.A. Athletic Club is where Chandler, who worked across the street at the Dabney Oil offices, came to exercise — his elbows, wrists, and hands — by drinking at the bar and playing bridge. Lucky for us, since this is where the master gained so much of his insight into Los Angeles and the movers and shakers who ran the town.

The festivities then moved to the club’s ballroom — outfitted with pillars to keep the swimming pool on the floor above from crashing through. (It may not be easy to dance around pillars, but it’s easier than dancing under water.) There was no dancing on this particular evening — though one of the speakers, Sybil Anne Davis, who knew Chandler as a child, informed us that “Ray,” as he liked to be called, was a wonderful dancer.


Davis’s mother Jean was Chandler’s last secretary — working for the author in La Jolla, California, during his final years . (Chandler passed away in 1959.) As a child and young teen, Davis and her brother spent a great deal of time with Chandler  (photo of Sybil and Ray at left) — and she offered many anecdotes about his humor, charm, kindness, generosity, and wit. From her mother, she inherited Chandler’s library — consisting of hundreds of books — and read us many of the inscriptions that Chandler had written to his wife Cissy as well as Cissy’s inscriptions to “Raymeo.”


Sybil also showed us a truly iconic piece of art — Raymond Chandler’s silver cigarette case, engraved with his initials: RTC. (See photo at right of similar case.) As all noir lovers know, the cigarette is emblematic of the genre — so I was truly awestruck to be in the same room with this remarkable item. Later, when I had the chance to speak with Sybil Davis, I asked her in a whisper: ” Do you think I could hold, even for a second, Chandler’s cigarette case?” Davis, an effervescent and affable woman — and an attorney by profession — agreed, but by then we were advised to head for the elevators because we were moving across the street for a tour of the Oviatt Building, which served as a setting for Chandler‘s novel The Lady in the Lake.

….to be continued.

During the Charles Bukowski’s Los Angeles Esotouric tour on July 13th (see this post), the participants heard from fellow passenger Tim Youd — a performance artist who told us about his upcoming “regional conceptualism” event: Charles Bukowski’s Post Office performance (starting July 17th in downtown Los Angeles).


WHAT TO EXPECT: Tim Youd will perform the entirety of Charles Bukowski‘s 1971 novel Post Office on an Underwood Champion typewriter in the parking lot of the Terminal Annex Post Office where Bukowski sorted mail for fourteen years.  The final day of the performance will coincide with the 2013 edition of Perform Chinatown.  For that, Youd will relocate to the Coagula Curatorial gallery in Chinatown to finish the performance.

To commemorate the performance, the Coagula Curatorial gallery has created a limited edition print of Youd’s self-portrait that depicts him reading Bukowski’s Post Office. During the performances, there will be two ways to acquire a limited edition print — via a Bukowski trivia raffle or by showing the artist a Bukowski tattoo.

WHAT: Tim Youd performs Charles Bukowski‘s Post Office on an Underwood Champion typewriter

WHERE: Terminal Annex Post Office, 900 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

WHEN: Wednesday, July 17th – Saturday, July 27th, 2013

TIME: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Fresh from his critically acclaimed typing performance of Henry Miller‘s Tropic of Capricorn at both the Pulse Art Fair and on the Brooklyn sidewalk outside of Miller’s boyhood home, Tim Youd is continuing his page-turning performances all over the country.  Dubbed “regional conceptualism,” Youd performs the works in locales geographically related to either the author’s life or the plot of the novel.  Utilizing the same make and model typewriter used by the author in its original creation, Youd types the novel on a single page run through the machine over and over.  With each exhibition, Youd also constructs a tangible visual companion piece to marry with every performance, consisting of his sculpted typewriter “portraits” as well as a self-portrait of himself reading the performed works. Upcoming performances will feature the work of Kurt Vonnegut (Indianapolis), Philip K. Dick (Santa Ana, California), and Henry Miller (Paris). 

On Saturday, July 13, 2013, I hopped onboard the Esotouric bus tour entitled, Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski’s Los Angeles.” I’ll write more about the tour in the Silver Birch Press BUKOWSKI ANTHOLOGY (available in August 2013), but will offer some highlights in this post.

The hosts, Richard Schave (who wrote the tour) and wife Kim Cooper, are everything you’d wish for in guides: knowledgable, enthusiastic, creative, and, best of all, passionate about their subject — in this case, the Los Angeles of Charles Bukowski.

For the in-depth journey you take in just four hours, this tour — at just $58 — is a super bargain. Plus you get free donuts, coffee, and an $18 coupon good on another Esotouric tour — and they all sound fascinating. I plan to use my coupon before it expires in three months — I hope for the upcoming James M. Cain tour. On all tours, participants are ushered  from place to place in the luxurious, air-conditioned comfort of a large, modern bus.

The Bukowski tour started in downtown L.A., where Buk lived in a range of SROs (Single Room Occupancy buildings), took his meals at Clifton’s Cafeteria (RIP), and worked for 14 years at the U.S. Postal Annex Terminal.


We then traveled to East Hollywood to stand outside the author’s apartment at 5124 De Longpre Avenue  — for which tour guide Richard Shave successfully garnered historic landmark status in 2008, saving the courtyard complex from demolition. After a stop at Buk’s erased residence at 5437 Carlton Way (now “redeveloped” — and not for the better), we headed to Pink Elephant Liquors at Western and Franklin for coffee, donuts, and something stronger if we wished. On the sidewalk, I found a Pabst beer cap, part of the “deck of cards” series with playing card figures on the inside — my find was a 7 of diamonds, a great souvenir of the trip, which I later posed with my copy of Women (photo above right).

After stopping at the Royal Palms, a former SRO in Westlake (MacArthur Park), where Buk lived with his first love Jane, we headed back downtown.

During the tour, while the bus was in motion, the activities remained lively — with Richard and Kim offering background and anecdotes about the next location, reading Buk’s letters (his letter to John Fante brought me to tears) and poetry, showing slides on a monitor of how L.A. looked back in the day, and playing video interviews with Buk, along with related movie clips.


BOTTOM LINE: I give “Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski’s Los Angeles”  my highest and most enthusiastic recommendation — 7 diamonds!  It exceeded all my wildest expectations. Thank you, Richard and Kim.

Photo: Charles Bukowski at his couryard apartment (a small bungalow) at 5437 Carlton Way, Los Angeles, mid-1970s.



Tonight, at Gatsby Books in Long Beach, California, Donna Hilbert will read from her new poetry collection, The Congress of Luminous Bodies (Aortic Press). So-Cal residents, this is the best way you could possibly spend a Thursday night (and most other nights!).

WHAT: Donna Hilbert reading from The Congress of Luminous Bodies

WHERE: Gatsby Books, 5523 E. Spring St., Long Beach, CA, 90808,

WHEN: 7 p.m. start

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Donna Hilbert’s latest poetry collection, The Congress of Luminous Bodies, was recently released by Aortic Books. Other publications include The Green Season, World Parade Books, a collection of poems, stories, and essays, now available in an expanded second edition. Donna appears in and her poetry is the text of the documentary Grief Becomes Me: A Love Story, a Christine Fugate film. Earlier books include Mansions and Deep Red from Event Horizon, Transforming Matter and Traveler in Paradise from Pearl Editions, and the short story collection Women Who Make Money and the Men Who Love Them from Staple First Editions (published in England). Poems in Italian can be found in Bloc notes 59 and in French in La page blanche, in both cases translated by Mariacristina Natalia Bertoli. New work is in recent or forthcoming issues of 5AM, Nerve Cowboy, Pearl, and Poets & Artists. Learn more at