Archives for category: Los Angeles

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Find Echoes of Tattered Tongues: Memory Unfolded by John Z. Guzlowski at

“A searing memoir.” ― Shelf Awareness

“Powerful…Deserves attention and high regard.” ― Kevin Stein, Poet Laureate of Illinois

“Devastating, one-of-a-kind collection.” ― Foreword Reviews

“Gut-wrenching narrative lyric poems.” ― Publishers Weekly

“Taut…beautifully realized.” ― World Literature Today


Tongue & Groove

On Sunday, December 20, 2015, Tongue & Groove — a monthly offering of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, spoken word + music produced by Conrad Romo — features an all-women lineup.

Sunday, December 20, 2015
6-7:30 p.m.
The Hotel Cafe
1623 1/2 No. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, California 90028

steph cha1

Steph Cha is the author of Follow Her Home, Beware Beware, and Dead Soon Enough — all published by St. Martin’s Minotaur. She’s the noir editor for LARB and a regular contributor to the LA Times. She lives in her native city of Los Angeles with her husband and basset hound.

julia ingalls

Julia Ingalls is primarily an essayist. Her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Guernica, and on KCRW, among others. She’s into it.

dawn dorland

Dawn Dorland‘s fiction appears in Green Mountains Review online, The Drum (audio), and is collected in Paragraph; her essays are available on the GrubStreet blog. Dawn’s debut novel-in-progress, Econoline, about generational poverty and American class ascent, has been recognized with fellowships and other support from the Vermont Studio Center, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, the Hambidge Center for the Arts, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, and Ragdale (2016). In 2015, Dawn was named a Visiting Artist for six weeks at a Regional Cultural Center in rural Minnesota. She earned her MFA at the University of Maryland, where she received full funding and won a teaching award, and teaches fiction and essay on the faculty of Writing Workshops LA and at the Downtown Women’s Center on Skid Row.

amanda montell

Amanda Montell is a Los Angeles writer and online content creator. She currently serves as the Managing Editor of digital literary journal, FORTH Magazine, and is a staff editor at online lifestyle magazine, Amanda is also the creator and host of the “The Dirty Word,” a web series about gender, language, and pop culture, forthcoming on Amanda’s essays have appeared in Literary Orphans, Medium, and Trop Magazine, among others. She is also a regular contributing writer at Time Out Los Angeles.


Vicki Juditz  is best known for her one-woman show (Teshuvah, Return), about her journey to Judaism, for which she received an LA WEEKLY nomination for Best Female Solo Performer and an Ovation Award nomination for Best Writing of a World Premiere. She has performed her original stories at temples, theaters, and festivals, including the National Storytelling Festival, the Aspen LAFF Festival, and the Jewish Festival of Hong Kong. Locally, she performs at spoken-word series such as Speakeasy, Tasty Words, I Love a Good Story, Spark, Jewish Women’s Theater, and Tales by the Sea. A frequent winner of Moth StorySLAMs, she also won a GrandSLAM on the theme Mea Culpa. No stranger to TV, she has guest starred on Storytime, Everybody Loves Raymond, YES, DEAR, and My Name is Earl. Find her at


Ashley Perez lives, writes, and causes trouble in Los Angeles. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. She runs the literary site Arts Collide and does work of all varieties for The Rumpus, The Weeklings, Literary Orphans and Midnight Breakfast. You can also find her on Twitter: @ArtsCollide.

stef willen

Stef Willen is a contributor to This American Life and a semi-regular contributor to McSweeney‘s Internet Tendency, where her award-winning column, Total Loss, also appears. She is currently turning Total Loss into a book slated to be published by Simon & Schuster in January 2017.

rosa pullman

Rosa Pullman singer, writer, player, soul sister.

Come early! Seating is limited and the festivities start on time!


On Sunday, March 22nd, Tongue & Groove, a monthly literary variety show with music produced by Conrad Romo, returns to Hollywood after a three-month hiatus. This month’s event  features E. Amato, Lisa Douglass, Franki Elliot, Nathan Earl Rose, Conrad Romo, and music by Charlie Latan

WHAT: Tongue & Groove literary variety show hosted by Conrad Romo

WHO: Featuring E. Amato, Lisa Douglass, Franki Elliot, Nathan Earl Rose, Conrad Romo, and music by Charlie Latan.

WHEN: Sunday March 22 6-7:30 pm

WHERE: The Hotel Cafe 1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd.m Hollywood, CA, 90028




E. Amato is a spoken word artist, poet, writer, producer, filmmaker, editor of the Zestyverse, and publisher at Zesty Pubs — she keeps herself busy. She’s also available for workshops and consulting. Find her on Facebook.


Nathan Earl Rose is a poet, cinemamaker, media theorist, songbird, raconteur, freelance pediatrician, dj, & zen master. He is a cofounder of the Los Angeles College Of Pataphysics. And it is highly probable he is laughing about something unrelated as you are reading this right now. Visit him on twitter @nathanearlrose.


Franki Elliot, the critically acclaimed author of Piano Rats, has been known for writing typewriter stories on the spot for strangers around the country. The stories have been published in a beautiful, tear-out postcard book called Kiss as Many Women as You Can by Curbside Splendor Publishing. (Photo © 2012 Susan Sanchez Photography)


Lisa Douglass is a native Los Angelean born where the Shakespeare Bridge meets the Silverlake border. Her influences include bad boys and tragedy, alcohol. She earned an MFA at UC Irvine and won the Shirley Collier prize for her book No Tell Motel.


Conrad Romo grew up in L.A. short, stocky and swarthy. He is the producer and host of the literary reading series Tongue & Groove, now into year 11. He is also a cofounder of the NoHo Litcrawl and earns his daily bread as a salesman. His writing has appeared in Los Angeles Review, Wednesday Magazine, Noveltown, Tu Ciudad, Brooklyn & Boyle, Palehouse, Huizache, and Latinos in Lotusland. Visit him at

Come early! Seating is limited and the show starts on time! For more information, visit The club is a two-story black brick building a third of a block below Hollywood Blvd. Find parking lots on Selma as well as Cahuenga. Meters need to be fed till 8p.m. Avoid Cahuenga street parking. The signs are deceptive.


Tongue & Groove — a literary variety show tonight of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, spoken word & music produced by Conrad Romo — tonight (Monday, August 26, 2014) features Taylor Negron, Tonya Ingram, Carlos Kotkin, Ann Buxie, and music by Logan Heftel.

Taylor Negron is a comedian, novelist, playwright, and a damned good cook. As an actor, he can be seen in the upcoming films Pledge This, Retirement, and Surf School, which he also co-produced. He just got back from an off-Broadway show The Unbearable Lightness of Being Taylor Negron, and was met with standing ovations. Visit him at

Carlos Kotkin is a monthly contributor to the online literary magazine Smalldoggies as well as a featured performer on NPR’s The Moth Radio Hour, KCRW’s unfictional and the popular podcast Risk! He is a 10-time Moth storyslam winner and author of the recently published humorous memoir of romantic misadventures Please God Let It Be Herpes: A Heartfelt Quest for Love and Companionship. Learn more at
Ann Buxie is a poet/storyteller raised in Yuma, Arizona, who now lives in Malibu, where she produces the wonderful home concert series, Tales by the Sea.


Tonya Ingram is the 2011 New York Knicks Poetry Slam champion, a member and cofounder of NYU’s poetry slam team, a member of the 2011 Urban Word-NYC team, and the 2013 Nuyorican Grand Slam team. She is the author of Growl and Snare. Her work has traveled to Ghana, California, Michigan, Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., New York, The Literary Bohemian, Cultural Weekly, Upworthy, Youtube, and season four of Lexus Verses and Flow. She is a New York University alumna, a Cincinnati native, a Bronx-bred introvert, and a hopeful Los Angeles flower-child, where she will be pursuing her MFA in Public Practice at Otis College of Art & Design. Learn more at silenceturnedshotgun.


Logan Heftel is a producer and singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles. Visit him at


Conrad Romo grew up in L.A. short, stocky and swarthy. He is the producer and host of the literary reading series Tongue & Groove, now into year 11. He is also a cofounder of the NoHo Litcrawl and earns his daily bread as a salesman. His writing has appeared in Los Angeles Review, Wednesday Magazine, Noveltown, Tu Ciudad, Brooklyn & Boyle, Palehouse, Huizache, and Latinos in Lotusland. Visit him at

WHAT: Tongue & Groove Literary Event

WHEN: Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 6:30-7:45 p.m.

WHERE: Annenberg Community Beach House 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA, 90402



On Sunday, August 24, 2014, Tongue & Groove — a monthly offering of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, and music founded and hosted by Conrad Romo — features readings by Jim Ruland, J. Ryan Stradal, Dinah Lenney, Rolland Vasin, Cathy Schenkelberg, and a performance by musical guest Jeremy Bass.


Jim Ruland is the author of the short story collection Big Lonesome and co-author with Scott Campbell, Jr., of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch of Giving the Finger. His debut novel is Forest of Fortune (Tyrus Press). Learn more at



J. Ryan Stradal volunteers at 826LA and co-produces the literary/culinary event “Hot Dish,” and works in TV, most recently as the Supervising Producer on the A&E series “Storage Wars: Texas.” He likes wine, books, root beer, and peas. Some places where he has been published include Hobart, The Rattling Wall, Midwestern Gothic, The Rumpus, and McSweeney’s. His first novel Kitchens of the Great Midwest will be published by Viking in 2015. Visit him at


Dinah Lenney is the author of Bigger Than Life: A Murder, a Memoir, and co-authored Acting for Young Actors. Her essays and reviews have been published in a wide range of publications and anthologies, including LARB, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, AGNI, Creative Nonfiction, the Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and Dinah serves as core faculty for the Bennington Writing Seminars, the Rainier Writing Workshop, and in the Master of Professional Writing program at the University of Southern California. Her new book The Object Parade was recently published by Counterpoint Press. Find out more at


Cathy Schenkelberg is an actress, singer, mom, and all around bon vivant. She will tell you how she feels about spending nearly one million dollars on Scientology services for her bridge to freedom and then some.


Rolland Vasin, third-generation American writer (pen name Vachine), has been published in Open Minds Quarterly, Gnome, and Found and Lost, and is an active open-mic reader at venues from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Big Sur, California. He has appeared at Los Angeles’ World Stage, The Rapp Saloon, and Cobalt Cafe, among others, and dabbles in improvisational theater and standup comedy for which we was recognized as the Laugh Factory’s 1992 3rd Funniest CPA in Los Angeles. As a day job, Rolland’s CPA corporation audits youth and family charities.


Jeremy Bass is a singer/songwriter, master strings player, and a published poet and literary critic. He is the Musical Director and Bandleader for the bicoastal cabaret The Secret City, and is  touring this summer in support of his debut album, TENANT, set for release October 7, 2014. Visit him at

WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, 6-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Hotel Cafe, 1623 1/2 N Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028

TAB: $7.00 at the door

ETC.: Come early! Seating is limited and the event starts on time! There are parking lots on Selma as well as Cahuenga. Meters need to be fed until 8 p.m. Avoid Cahuenga street parking. The signs are deceptive.



If you’re in the L.A. area this weekend, check out Tongue & Groove, a monthly offering of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, spoken word and music produced by Conrad Romo — spreading the word for 10 years!

WHEN: Sunday, June 22, 2014, 6-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Hotel Cafe, 1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, CA, 90028

ENTRY: $6.00

RSVP on Facebook

Come early! Seating is limited and the event starts on time! For more info visit

NOTE: There is usually ample street parking, but meters need to be fed util 8 p.m. Read the signs carefully, but don’t park on Cahuenga. There is a parking lot right behind the club for six bucks or so or, and there are other lots on Selma between Cahuenga and Cole for 5-6 dollars.



Ann Gelder‘s work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Crazyhorse, Flavorwire, The Millions, The Rumpus, Tin House, and other publications. She has taught literature at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked as an online producer and marketing consultant. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her novel Bigfoot and the Baby, available at Bona Fide Books and Amazon, is both a love song and a Molotov cocktail to the American myth of self-reinvention. Follow Ann Gelder on twitter.


Chris Wells is an award-winning writer/performer who divides his time between New York and Los Angeles. As host of The Secret City, an Obie-award winning gathering for artists and art lovers, Wells curates, produces, and emcees a monthly event that is part salon, part cabaret, and part ceremony. As a writer, Wells creates original solo work and first person stories about his life. He lives in Woodstock with his boyfriend, Bobby Lucy, where he is at work on his first book, The Bermuda Triangle Inn, a Memoir in 29 Stories. Visit Chris Wells at and follow on twitter.


Adrian Todd Zuniga is the host/creator/CCO of Literary Death Match — a literary event now featured in 53 cities worldwide — and founding editor of Opium Magazine. His fiction has appeared in Readux, Gopher Illustrated, and Stymie, and online at Lost Magazine and McSweeney’s. He lives between Los Angeles and guest rooms all over Europe. He longs for a Chicago Cubs World Series and an EU passport. Follow him on twitter and Literary Death Match on facebook.

montellAmanda Montell is an East Coast-born writer, blogger, and pizza enthusiast living in Los Angeles. She graduated magna cum laude from NYU in December 2013. Her work has been published in Thought Catalog, Underwater New York, and Trop magazine. One day she’ll have an MFA and a book, but until then, you can find her at


Xavier Cavazosa former Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Champion, is the author of Barbarian at the Gate and Diamond Grove Slave Tree. He received the inaugural Ice Cube Press Prairie Seed Poetry Prize, and his book Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the Heartland will be available July 1, 2014. He currently teaches in the Writing Specialization Program at Central Washington University. Follow Xavier Cavazos at his website or on twitter.


Josephine Johnson  grew up in Greentown, Indiana, a small farming community where she learned to work hard and follow through with things. She first sang to trees and listened for the melodies in the nature around her to tell the stories of the things she’d heard and seen. Follow Josephine Johnson at her website or on twitter.


If you’re in the L.A. area this weekend,  check out Tongue & Groove, a monthly offering of short fiction, personal essays, poetry, spoken word and music produced by Conrad Romo.

WHEN: Sunday, March 30, 6-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Hotel Cafe, 1623 1/2 No. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028

ENTRY:  $6.00

RSVP on Facebook



J. Dylan Yates was raised on a tiny New England peninsula. She pursued her BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. The Belief in Angels, Yates’s debut novel, was written over the course of many years while she attempted a number of BA-related jobs, including: teaching, corporate training, real estate, nursing, interior design, parenting, and reluctant housewifery. Prior to publication, The Belief in Angels won the Alexis Masters Scholarship Award at the February 2012 San Francisco Writers Conference. Yates lives in San Diego with her partner and a talking cat. Her son, Jaime, is a professional musician. Visit her at


Michele Matheson lives in L.A. with her husband, son and daughter. She has been an accomplished actress from an early age, both in film and television, and has also found success as a singer and keyboard player for bands such as Action Daddy and The Black Tales. Currently, she is working on her second novel as well as doing illustrations for a children’s book, and she is thoroughly enjoying her new life as a mom.


David Kendrick came to Los Angeles by way of a phone call from the legendary Kim Fowley. He has played with 90 bands more or less. Some of note have been Gleaming Spires, Sparks, DEVO and Andy Prieboy. He is an avid collector of odd art and some of his finds have appeared in Clown Paintings by Diane Keaton. David’s ongoing music project The Empire Of Fun has released a box set plus six other collections, including the fiction story CD set. Recently his essays have appeared in the Laboratory Arts collective Hymn magazine.


Marley Klaus is a former Emmy-nominated 60 Minutes producer who also created the award-winning California public television newsmagazine, California Connected. After leaving journalism, she co-wrote a pilot for a television series with Tom Fontana, her short story “Cleaning Up” was a finalist in the 2008 Faulkner-Wisdom short story competition, she’s working on a novel, and is going through whatever training newcomers get in the seven major religious traditions and writing about it in her blog: The Heathen Learns.


Lauren Eggert-Crowe writes poetry, essays, book reviews, interviews, and cultural reportage. She was raised in rural Pennsylvania and earned an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Arizona. She was voted Best Poet of Santa Cruz in in 2010 and 2011. Her poetry has also been set to music in “Diary of a Black Widow,” a multisectional song setting by contemporary composer Christopher Pratorius, which premiered with the Santa Cruz Chamber Players in 2010. She has written two chapbooks and has published the highly regarded feminist ‘zine, Galatea’s Pants. Visit her at


Amilia Spicer has performed across a good portion of the USA, appearing at many festivals and clubs. She has released the CDs Like an Engine and Seamless. Her music has been described as intimate, dreamlike, lighthearted, and moody. Visit her at

Come early! Seating is limited and the event starts on time! For more info visit

NOTE: There is usually ample street parking, but meters need to be fed util 8 p.m. Read the signs carefully, but don’t park on Cahuenga. There is a parking lot right behind the club for six bucks or so or, and there are other lots on Selma between Cahuenga and Cole for 5-6 dollars.

the trash men
by Charles Bukowski 

here they come
these guys
grey truck
radio playing

they are in a hurry

it’s quite exciting:
shirt open
bellies hanging out

they run out the trash bins
roll them out to the fork lif
and then the truck grinds it upward

with far too much sound . . .

they had to fill out application forms
to get these jobs
they are paying for homes and
drive late model cars

they get drunk on Saturday night

now in the Los Angeles sunshine
they run back and forth with their trash bins

all that trash goes somewhere

and they shout to each other

then they are all up in the truck
driving west toward the sea

none of them know
that I am alive

“the trash men” appears in Charles Bukowski’s collection Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955-1973 (Black Sparrow Press, 1996).

Photo: Charles Bukowski disposing of trash.

by Glyn Maxwell

Los Angeles. So just
guess what I saw: not the dust
or the wide jammed road, not that. And not
the park where enormous playthings eat
the shouting children. No, and the glass white
televised cathedral?—that
was a sight seen for the sin-
gle flashed moment, and gone.
I saw the tar-pits at La Brea,
where a dark endowed museum squats, and where
the thick blots of lake are watched,
and the haired replicas stroked and touched
by kiddies. There’s a tour:
the intelligible stone, the Short-Faced Bear,
the Dire Wolf, American Lion and Mastodon,
and Man with not much brain.
Well they did all make a dumb
choice that day! But my day was warm
and fascinating. Try to see these
tar-pits, in La Brea, in Los Angeles.
“La Brea” appears in Glyn Maxwell’s collection The Boys at Twilight: Poems 1990-1995 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000).

PHOTO: “La Brea Tarpits, Dusk” by Menetnashte, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

by Gary Snyder

                        pollen dust blows
               Swirl of light strokes writhing
               knot-tying light paths,
               calligraphy of cars.
Los Angeles basin and hill slopes
Checkered with streetways. Floral loops
Of the freeway express and exchange.
                  Dragons of light in the dark
                  sweep going both ways
                  in the night city belly.
                  The passage of light end to end and rebound,
                  —ride drivers all heading somewhere—
                  etch in their traces to night’s eye-mind
                  calligraphy of cars.
Vole paths. Mouse trails worn in
On meadow grass;
Winding pocket-gopher tunnels,
Marmot lookout rocks.
Houses with green watered gardens
Slip under the ghost of the dry chaparral,
                  shrine to the L. A. River
                  The jinja that never was there
                  is there.
                  Where the river debouches
                  the place of the moment
                  of trembling and gathering and giving
                  so that lizards clap hands there
                  —just lizards
                  come pray, saying
                  “please give us health and long life.”
                            A hawk,
                            a mouse.
Slash of calligraphy of freeways of cars.
                  Into the pools of the channelized river
                  the Goddess in tall rain dress
                  tosses a handful of meal.
                  Gold bellies roil
                  mouth-bubbles, frenzy of feeding,
                  the common ones, the bright-colored rare ones
                  show up, they tangle and tumble,
                  godlings ride by in Rolls Royce
                  wide-eyed in brokers’ halls
                  lifted in hotels
                  being presented to, platters
                  of tidbit and wine,
                  snatch of fame,
                           churn and roil,
                  meal gone   the water subsides.
                           A mouse,
                           a hawk.
The calligraphy of lights on the night
                   freeways of Los Angeles
                   will long be remembered.
                            late-rising moon.
“Night Song of the Los Angeles Basin” appears  in Gary Snyder’s collection Mountains and Rivers Without End (Counterpoint Press, 2008).

Photo: View of Los Angeles Basin from Mulholland Drive at night by Eino Mustonen, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOTE: The Los Angeles Basin is the coastal sediment-filled plain located at the north end of the Peninsular Ranges province in southern California, and contains the central part of the city of Los Angeles as well as its southern and southeastern suburbs. It is approximately 50 miles long and 25 miles  wide, bounded on the north by the Santa Monica Mountains and San Gabriel Mountains, on the east by the Santa Ana Mountains, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean and the Palos Verdes Hills, along the coast. The confluence of the Los Angeles and Rio Hondo rivers is the center of the basin. (Source: