July 4, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

When Flowers BLOOM; WeHo Selects Queer Publication Founder as Poet Laureate

Founder and editor of LGBT literary magazine BLOOM, Charles Flowers is the new City of West Hollywood Poet Laureate.

The City of east Hollywood’s City Council unanimously approved the motion during its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 15. Flowers was officially appointed on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The City Poet Laureate serves as an ambassador of WeHo’s prominent literary culture and leads the general promotion of poetry in the City, including its annual celebration of National Poetry Month in April. During a two-year appointment, the City Poet Laureate will also create a new poem each year, which commemorates the uniqueness and dynamism of West Hollywood. 2017-2018 Poet Laureate Kim Dower wrote “West Hollywood is for Dreamers” this past April.

Flowers has been a WeHo resident since 2010, where he lives with his husband Konstantine and their two dogs, Mr. Darcy and Ariel. Flowers graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University, where he took his first poetry workshop with Mark Jarman and won the Academy of American Poets College Prize. He later worked with Garrett Hongo to receive his MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon. His poetry ha been published in Puerto Del SolBarrow StreetIndiana Review and Assaracus.

His publication BLOOM was a journal for LGBT poetry, prose and art, which Edmund White called “the most exciting new queer literary publication to emerge in years.” During its decade of existence, BLOOM published poets such as Adrienne Rich, Reginald Shepherd, Eileen Myles, Rafael Campo, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Mark Doty and over 150 others. Flowers has served as associate director of the Academy of American Poets, executive director of the Lambda Literary Foundation, deputy development director at the ACLU of Southern California and most recently as deputy director of Arts for L.A.

The cover of the first issue of BLOOM, c. 2004.

The City of WeHo has a strong commitment to fostering the literary arts. The West Hollywood Library showcases the City’s rich diversity and provides a landmark facility for the community’s passionate commitment to lifelong learning. The City’s Arts Division/Economic Development Department oversees the WeHo Reads literary series and the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival held each year in June, providing literary arts programming in the City. The City of West Hollywood also supports a Free Little Library grant program and bi-monthly Drag Queen Story Hour readings.

For additional information about the City of West Hollywood’s City Poet Laureate program, please visit www.weho.org/artsFor more information, please contact Michael Che, the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Coordinator, at (323) 848-6377 or at mche@weho.org

 

Jacaranda

by Charles Flowers

It’s late May & jacaranda petals cover Kings Road,
small purple blossoms across the asphalt & sidewalks,
each car’s shine blotted & stained. Yet their beauty
cannot be denied. On my first encounter with their
purple light, I felt I had fallen into the land of Dr. Seuss,
where bright trees & a talking cat can teach a boy a lesson.
Imagine myself in a forest of purple [I wish . . .]
where melancholy Sondheim sings to me [I wish . . .
more than anything] & I am back in Tennessee,
finding my mother alone on our screened porch,
listening to the summer night and the heart’s litany:
to be single, to be married, to have a child.
My heart was just beginning to dream its own tale,
a prince to rescue me from a Baptist dragon [I wish . . .].
Today, a purple tree & a plangent showtune
remind me how the heart endures, its chorus of desire
never abandons me, season after season.
Related Posts

Dyke Day LA Draws 1,500+ ‘Dykes of All Genders’

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

June 11 event draws NY Times coverage By Susan Payne More than 1,500 people descended on Sycamore Grove Park for...

Catalina Island’s Inaugural Pride Celebration Sees Youthful Turnout

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

June 18 event draws hundreds of locals and visitors to island By Susan Payne Avalon, a small town of nearly...

Pride Moment Comes Full Circle for LGBTQ+ Advocate

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Boys & Girls Club holds second annual Gabriel Valley Pride March By Susan Payne The Boys & Girls Clubs of...

Santa Monica’s Building Bridges Art Exchange Presents: J.J. Martin’s “Role Models”

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

A traveling exhibit in partnership with Indianilla Cultural Center, Mexico City and Real de Catorce Cultural Center, Real de Catorce,...

Los Angeles Frenchie Reaches Record Age Milestone for Its Breed, Surpassing Recent Life Expectancy Report by Three Fold

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Learn about Rocco the French bulldog  By Susan Payne Native to Brazil, Rocco the French bulldog has reached an age...

44 Years Later, MLB’s First Openly Gay Player Glenn Burke Now Celebrated by Dodgers

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Glenn Burke celebrated at Dodgers Pride night By Susan Payne The Los Angeles Dodgers’ ninth annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night celebrated...

The Book Jewel Celebrates Pride Month as a Community

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

Westchester bookstore hosting series of events this month The Book Jewel in Westchester is hosting several events this month that...

A Staple Tamales Vendor’s Truck Was Stolen. Friends of the Vendor Are Asking for LGBTQ+ Support to Bring Back Her Only Source of Income

June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022

By Susan Payne For nearly 16 years, a 52-year-old single mother of two has been serving the Los Angeles LGBTQ+...

LGBT Center Welcomes Incoming CEO Joe Hollendoner

June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022

By Susan Payne In an in-person sustaining donor event last November, longtime Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean for the...

Culver City Pride Ride and Rally Around the Corner

June 14, 2022

June 14, 2022

Sunday, June 26, 2022, 9 AM Pride Ride | 11 AM Rally Culver City’s second ever Pride celebration is set...

Police: Catholic High School Football Players Sexually Assault New Student

June 10, 2022

June 10, 2022

By Susan Payne Months of controversy over an alleged hazing scandal at a private high school in Santa Ana have...

Media Matters: Anti-Trans Violence Increases as TV News Coverage Drops 20%

June 10, 2022

June 10, 2022

By Susan Payne A report released by Media Matters’ LGBTQ Program found that national cable and corporate broadcast TV networks...

Oil Can Harry’s Named Historic-Cultural Monument

June 10, 2022

June 10, 2022

By Susan Payne For its historic and social significance to San Fernando Valley and the LGBTQ+ community, Oil Can Harry’s...

Music of Queen Preformed by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles at Fairmont Century Plaza

June 7, 2022

June 7, 2022

Free event June 18th at 7p.m. To celebrate PRIDE the Fairmont Century Plaza located will host an incredible performance by...