At dozens of cafes, libraries and bookstores — even a garage in Bell — Southern California teemed with poetry readings and open mike nights before COVID-19 took hold of the world.
Some of these events managed to survive by migrating online. Others we’ve lost for good.
Now, as the vaccination rollout continues and an end to the pandemic appears in sight, we’ve asked five poets at very different points in their careers to reflect on the confinement and share their hopes for what lies ahead.
Though disparate in background, style and subject matter, these poets share an unwavering — though not romanticized — love for the place we call home.