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liz gonzalez dances on the Santa Ana Winds to Ventura to read tonight Th. 10/11 730pm

October 11, 2018


Sonia Sanchez says that “All poets, all writers are political. They either maintain the status quo or they say “Something’s wrong, let’s change it to the better.” Meet liz gonzalez, one those writers who has worked for years as a community college teacher and as a community leader to change the world through her words and her work to make the world better.

This Thursday, October 11, at 730pm, Long Beach poet liz gonzález will be the featured at the EP Foster Library in the Topping Room 651 E. Main Street, Ventura, located across of from Winchester’s in downtown Ventura. Hosted by Ventura County Poet Laureate  Phil Taggart, the event is free and open to the public with an open mic following the featured reading. 

According to her website, “liz gonzález, a fourth generation Southern Californian, grew up in the San Bernardino Valley. She is the author of Dancing in the Santa Ana Winds: Poems y Cuentos New and Selected (Los Nietos Press 2018) and the poetry collection Beneath Bone (Manifest Press 2000). Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have been published widely and will appear in or recently appeared in Voices de la Luna, the City of Los Angeles 2017 Latino Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide and Litbreak Magazine, and in the anthologies, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California and Voices from Leimert Park Anthology Redux.

Her awards include an Arts Council for Long Beach Incite / Insight Award, an Arts Council for Long Beach Professional Artist Fellowship, an Elizabeth George Foundation Artistic Grant, a Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts Residency, an Irvine Fellowship at the Lucas Artists Residency Program, a Macondo Casa Azul Writers Residency, and a Hedgebrook residency.”

A creative writing instructor for the UCLA Extension Writers Program, liz holds an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College. Tonight in Ventura, liz will be reading from her new book, Dancing in the Santa Ana Winds: Poems y Cuentos New and Selected  as part of a book tour that includes readings and events throughout the southwest. Next up you can find liz

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13, 12:30-1:30

Women Who Submit October: Preparing an Application for Artist Opportunities
with Melissa Chadburn & liz gonzález
North Hollywood Amelia Earhart Regional Library
5211 Tujunga Avenue, North Hollywood, 91601

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2018 12–5 PM (Specific time TBA) 

Long Beach Poetry Book Fair
MADE by Millworks
240 Pine Avenue, Long Beach, 90802

“Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California” New Anthology
Featured Reading and Conversation with co-editor Ruth Nolan
and contributors liz gonzalez, John Brantingham, Jennifer K. Sweeney, Thea Gavin, and Chad Sweeney Hosted by Inlandia Institute
The Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts
3834 Main St, Riverside, 92501

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1-4P (More info TBA)

LACMA Onsite Art Workshop
Featured Reader: liz gonzález

Compton Library
240 W. Compton Blvd, Compton, 90220

Here’s another sample below by liz gonzález (NOTE– much of the formatting of the original did not translate to the poem as published below so I used the pull quote function):

   The Summer the Women Stayed Indoors

                                                 East Bay, 1997

Even those without air conditioning
kept their windows latched, doors bolt-
locked and chained; they sweat it out.
Only do errands during daylight
The rapist broke the m.o. of his kind,
struck during the afternoon in wide open
public spaces. No type: Any color,
any age, any size. Any woman.
Be aware of locations where rape
is more likely to occur and avoid them
He grabbed one woman walking
on a busy Berkeley sidewalk
Remember, you are not trying to fight the attacker,
you are looking for a way to escape.
The temperatures rose
and women were holed up in hospitals
sucking their dinners through wired jaws
Whatever you do, don’t let him
take you to another location
Walking her big dog on a crowded path
(she took all the precautions),
a woman got trapped in a lapse of people.
He was waiting for her
The dog yelped, caught on the leash.
Don’t yell the word help;
people will ignore your call.
Yell fire or 911
An afternoon in the soundproof
music room at a local college,
practicing the piano, her back to the door.
She didn’t hear him.
Avoid exercising outdoors after dark
That summer I stopped
taking walks alone.
Like a child stuck at home with the flu
I stood behind the window
and watched with envy
as a neighbor man ran by
shirtless, wearing short jogging shorts
He crossed the street
without bothering to look both ways
Also on the subject of writers for change:

Tia Chucha’s 3rd Annual Fundraising Gala: Arts & Minds Gathering for Change this Sat. Oct 13 will honor writers and leaders Cherrie Moraga, Yreina D. Cervantez, and Trini Rodriguez during an evening full of empowering the arts and culture. Tia Chucha’s bookstore offers a series of events including classes, readings, and a social justice book club which is focused this month on I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez. This might make a great One Book One Campus book for Ventura College or a good addition to my book club list of books!

Future featured readers at the Ventura library include:

October 18     Dan Thomas 
October  25      Prartho Sereno 
November 1      Steve Braff
November 8      Steve Sher
November 15   Bill Mohr
December  6   Paul Willis — this is when my students and I will be reading in the open mic!
December 13  Christopher Buckley
December 20   Ángel García
For more poetry videos, check this out: 
AskewPoetryJournal  youtube page
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