Together we are alive in a city of destiny...
"I am still alive in Los Angeles!"
The poems and essays in Letters to My City combine two decades of field experience, research, personal observations, and stories told to the author, a third-generation Los Angeles native, by his grandfather and other family members, to interrogate all sides of Los Angeles, its streets, its people, its neighborhoods, as a means to examine the postmodern metropolis.
Letters to My City rescues Los Angeles from history–rescues those who are Los Angeles and were Los Angeles. Not only the heroes and founders, activists and neighborhoods (or those city promoters would have you remember), but those unnamed witness-participants who faced the heartbreak and triumphs that shaped Los Angeles, only now to be forgotten in a present-minded world. Sonksen resusitates them with his words, a poetic celebration of the city that raised him, raised his father and grandfather, and it pays respect and honor to those living and dead. Add this book to your quintessential Los Angeles reading list.
–Natashia Deón, author of Grace, a novel.
Los Angeles has many false lovers, especially the condescending jet set of New York and British writers who for decades have regularly prowled the Hollywood Hills looking for a quick book or new cliché. Mike Sonksen, working-class son of the flatlands, is their nemesis. A genuine people’s poet and historian, as well as tour guide nonpareil, he focuses our attention on the grassroots experiences that keep the un-embalmed arts militantly alive in the city’s diverse neighborhoods. In innumerable essays and performances, frequently in public schools, he has opened a new generation’s eyes to LA’s extraordinary history of underground and underdog cultures. What Whitman was to Brooklyn, Poet Mike is to contemporary LA.
–Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz
Mike the Poet sings the history, people, dreams, and even shadows of LA city, one of the most seen and filmed cities of the world, yet little known or understood. His poems are instant pop-and-crackle chronicles, more news than the 11 PM news hour, yet they are also jack-hammer words crashing onto concrete walkways, the palm-drenched horizon through smog-laden sky, the truth that dares to include everyone. What everyone forgets, Mike the Poet remembers. –Luis J. Rodriguez, author of Always Running
reposted as seen on TheAccomplices.org
CONTENT: (c)1997-2017 Mike Sonksen. DESIGN: (c)2012-2019 Grid BLDR.