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L.A. Dispatch: Suzanne Lummis’s True Grit Poetry of Los Angeles

By Harriet Staff


This weekend’s edition of the NPR News Program, All Things Considered, featured a lengthy interview with Suzanne Lummis. Suzanne Lummis is a poet living in Los Angeles and a practitioner of “Noir Poetry.” Jacki Lydon, the host of All Things Considered, began her conversation with a question:

“Suzanne Lummis wears turquoise cowboy boots, a peaked cowboy hat, and brilliant lipstick that contrasts with her hair and pale skin. We’re perched by one of the most abused rivers in America: here, a trickle really of skanky water flowing through concrete … it’s our inspiration. [To Lummis] What draws you to this gritty scene before us… Why are you here?”

Lummis replied, “I think there is an intensity and a depth in fierce, hard landscapes. I also think there is another kind of intensity in beauty and serenity. I’m not opposed to beauty and serenity– it just happens that that’s not the landscape I live in.”

Lummis then read from her poem, “Why I Am Not The Los Angeles River.” Lummis is one third of an ensemble called “Nearly Fatal Woman” and she organizes the L.A. Poetry Festival. To listen to her complete poetry reading and conversation with Jacki Lydon, visit National Public Radio.

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Posted in Poetry News on Monday, September 16th, 2013 by Harriet Staff.