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The Ladies Take the Stage
Writers' Row begins its Celebration of Women Writers
August 10th was a proud day in Los Angeles. At The Last Bookstore in downtown L.A., Writers' Row began its "Celebration of Women Writers." Writers' Row, dubbed the "official Written Art Showcase of Downtown Los Angeles," opened its stage to a dozen women writers. Among the activities of the night were two major features, a raw open mic, good refreshments, music, emceeing, and a fantastic amount of networking.
The Last Bookstore, now enjoying a new and quite larger location at 453 S. Spring Street, on the corner of 5th and Spring, has formed a new literary renaissance in downtown. The historic home of the bookstore is adorned with original tiling and colonnades from its days long past as a bank. Bookseller Peter Woods and his crew have completed the resurrection by decorating the space with lavish furnishing, detail, and décor from the era. It gives a complete experience to those who wander in and provides an excellent stage to the readers of Writers' Row.
The night began with hostess Jessica M. Wilson, the founder of Writers' Row, choosing the right song to set the mood. While this night was a celebration of women writers, it was by no means a forum for man-bashing, which was actually prefaced to the audience before the reading began. Soon after the introduction, Wilson read a few selections of her own work, and passionately introduced the first feature of the night, poet and editor Apryl Skies.
Apryl Skies is a consistent voice in Los Angeles poetry, and also does much to support other poets and writers via means of publishing and recognition in the Examiner, as well as her sites EdgarAllanPoet.com and CalliopesCloset.com. The work showcased by Skies was very lyrical and delivered honestly to the audience; her poems were well- received. Video footage of her reading can be found on EdgarAllanPoet.com.
Writers' Row is also a forum for networking and collaboration. Wilson believes "it's important to take intermissions between good chunks of time to keep the audience alert and also allow them to connect to each other. It's the best way to make sure the readers and audience understand each other, and sets the mood for the remainder of the night, which is a social immersion between colleagues of similar interests." Indeed, much networking did go on as business cards were passed, books were purchased, and smiles shared. Writers' Row is literally for writers, and connections between writers are a wonderful thing to see. Intermission also allows guests to experience The Last Bookstore, get some refreshments, and buy stuff to help support the bookstore.
As more ladies took the mic, the night was topped off by Georgia Jones-Davis. Jones-Davis is a member of the Valley Contemporary Poets, and no stranger to the downtown atmosphere. For many years, she worked as a reporter and editor for the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. Jones-Davis was the closing feature of the night as it was also her book release party for Blue Poodle, her latest collection. She read much of her work from Blue Poodle, along with newer selections, to a very eager crowd.
The energy in the room remained very positive and supportive throughout. As a few gentlemen took the open mic after the ladies, the event maintained integrity and continued to be enjoyed by all.
Open Mic participants included: Joie Schmidt, Amanda LaPera, Cklara Moradian, Jamiealita Muhammad, Jennifer Word, Radomir Vojtech Luza, and Stuart Strum.
The next Writers' Row: September 14th, 7:30-10pm; RSVP for open mic: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Writers' Row on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/WritersRow/
The Last Bookstore: www.lastbookstorela.com
More Apryl Skies: http://edgarallanpoet.com/Apryl_Skies.html
More Georgia Jones-Davis: