Loose Lips Poetry, Series, July 20

On Saturday, July 20, at 2 p.m., the Loose Lips Poetry Series will present its quarterly poetry reading that features writer Laurel Ann Bogen and special guest PaulA Neves.  

Bogen is the author of 11 books of poetry and short fiction, the most recent of which, Psychosis in the Produce Department: New and Selected Poems 1975-2015, was published by Red Hen Press in 2016. Since 1990, she has been an instructor of poetry and performance for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. 

She is also a founding member of the celebrated poetry performance ensemble Nearly Fatal Women, and has read or  performed her work at Cornell, The Savannah College of Art and Design, The Austin Writers’ League, The Knitting Factory (NYC), The L.A. Metropolitan Transit Authority, MOCA, LACE and a host of other venues.  

Bogen is a recipient of the Pacificus Foundation’s Curtis Zahn Poetry Prize, and two awards from the Academy of American Poets. Her work has appeared in more than 100 literary magazines and anthologies including The Maverick Poets, California Poetry from the Gold Rush to the Present, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, Upstreet, Wide Awake, The Jacaranda Review, Stand Up Poetry and Miramar

Neves, is a native of Newark, NJ. Her poetry, essays, and book reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including  Cleaver MagazineThe Abuela Stories Project, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and Writers of the Portuguese Diaspora

A CantoMundo fellow, she has received scholarships/residencies from the Sundress Academy for the Arts, Luso-American Development Foundation, and Disquiet Literary Program. She is a member of the Kale Soup for the Soul collective which has presented panels, readings and workshops nationwide.  A graduate of the MFA program in writing at Rutgers-Newark, she teaches for various universities. 


Vulnerable Street

You have no idea
but gear and shift
engine ramming the dark
the moon has no lock
as you race down Vulnerable Street

in the twilight
your hair flies like an exclamation
forgive me it wails
such consideration
is the stuff of barricades
the cinderblocks I stack
one by one
against you

—Laurel Ann Bogen

Offerings Ofensas

               — after an ad in the Lisbon Metro recalling PIDE’s victims

for more than a braid of a daughter’s hair
or a son’s milk teeth wrapped in chita
the priest-professor told you to believe 

so you believed
in economies of ofertas
you believed in Fátima and fadistas 

who sang of sailors and their strong sea
legs, taking them anywhere but Tarrafal
far from your honeyed wax heart 

far from the woman like your mother
who carried your perfeito coração
hoping the gulls would eat from her hand. . .

PaulA Neves 


This event is free and open to the public and takes place in the Meeting Room of the Topanga Library, 122 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Topanga Canyon. Refreshments will be provided by Friends of the Topanga Library. The reading always includes an open mic (one poem, please, no epics). 


Loose Lips readings have received nine matching grants from Poets & Writers, a high honor for the series, which is dedicated to bringing a diverse array of the best contemporary poets to Topanga and to provide audiences and authors with a poetic forum and community. Past featured readers have included Luivette Resto, Ricardo Means Ybarra, Ellen Reich, Julayne Lee, Elena Karina Byrne, Mary Kay Rummel, Phil Taggart, Marsha de la O, John FitzGerald, Ángel García, Florence Weinberger, and Enid Osborn. 


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