Lummis Day 2019:

The Lummis Days Poetry Gala

Sunday, June 2, 10:30-noon, Lummis Home 200 East Avenue 43

Sesshu Foster:


Sesshu Foster has taught literature and composition in East Los Angeles for 30 years. He's also taught creative writing at Calarts, Pomona College, UC Santa Cruz and Naroip's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. His latest books include “City of the Future” (Kaya Press, 2018) and, in collaboration with artist Arturo Romo, the novel ELADATL, “The East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines”  (City Lights Books, Fall 2019). 

Sesshu is  also the author of the novel of speculative fiction “Atomik Aztex”(2005), which imagines an America free of European colonizers. 

He has said that representing his community is one of his central tasks.       

 His work has won critical acclaim and numerous awards, including American Book Awards in 2010 and 1990, a Believer Book Award in 2015 and the Asian American Literary Award in 2009.

 Judith Terzi

Judith Terzi is the author of “Museum of Rearranged Objects” (Kelsay Books) as well as of’ five chapbooks including “If You Spot Your Brother Floating By” and  “Casbah” (Kattywompus). Her poetry appears widely in literary journals and anthologies, has been nominated for Best of the Net and Web, and read on Radio 3 of the BBC. "Fusion" was a finalist in the 2015 Arroyo Arts Collective's Contest: "Back to the Roots: A Tribute to Artist Richard Duardo." She holds an M.A. in French Literature and taught high school French for many years as well as English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria.

The Lummis Days-ISLA Poetry Workshops

The Lummis Days program includes free poetry workshops offering the community guidance and feedback from experienced and acclaimed poets. The workshops are presented by Lummis Days and the Occidental College Institute for the Study of Los Angeles.

This year, the Lummis Days Library Series is scheduled for  two weekend dates in May at two Northeast L.A. Los Angeles Public Library branches. A third workshop, led by William Archila, will follow the June 2 poetry reading at Lummis Home.

Workshops are open to poets of all levels of experience, from absolute beginners to published writers. As a general rule, participants arrive with their notebooks and leave with finished poems.

2019 Lummis Days poetry workshops:

Saturday, May 11, 3:00 pm-5:00 pm. Arroyo Seco branch, Los Angeles Public Library, 6145 N. Figueroa Street.

“A Machine Made of Words” - Rick Bursky, UCLA Extension Writers' Program and USC Adjunct Professor of Poetry, leads poetry workshop, 

The great American poet William Carlos Williams referred to a poem as a "machine made out of words" -- it has its own secret mechanisms and power. Rick Bursky's workshop will help you evolve a new poem and concentrate on trimming extra words, focusing on the language itself and not simply the "story." 

Rick Bursky has taught poetry for UCLA Extension’s Writer’s Program, and is an adjunct at USC. His most recent book, I’m No Longer Troubled By the Extravagance, is out from BOA Edition who will also be publishing his next book, Where the Ocean Spills Its Grief, in 2020. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals. Rick believes poetry, or anything for that matter, is best written with a fountain pen but doesn’t insist students write with one. 

Saturday, May 25, 3:00pm- 5:00pm Eagle Rock branch, Los Angeles Public Library, 5027 Caspar Avenue

“Meeting the Mysterious Self” Alicia Vogl Saenz leads a poetry workshop

Alicia will help you evolve a new poem by slowing down the internal chatter so  you can get to the essential good stuff, the material that makes strong poems. 

Alicia Vogl Saenz is a poet, meditator, and museum educator who brings her queer and mixed immigrant background to her writing and teaching. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies such as Grand Street, Blue Mesa Review, Mischief, Caprice, and Other Poetic Strategies (Red Hen Press) and the chapbook The Day I Wore the Red Coat (VCP Press, 2001). Alicia has performed her poetry throughout Los Angeles, most recently as part of the community celebrations of The Secret City. She is a member of Macondo Writers Workshop, the Lezarati Writer’s Group, and has been in residence at Hedgebrook. Her blog, Translucent Matter can be found at

Sunday, June 2, 12:30 pm-2:00pm, Lummis Home, 200 E. Avenue 43

“Oh, How to Write an Ode” William Archila leads this poetry workshop.

Participants will attempt to write one’s own ode: a poem that is written in praise of a person, place, thing, or idea. Examining the elementary odes of Pablo Neruda for their imaginative and surprising nature, attendees will transition to short writing exercises. Participant will then write their own odes to everyday things. Participants will be encouraged to share their new creations. All levels of writers are welcomed. 

Born in El Salvador, Archila earned his MFA in poetry from the University of Oregon. He has authored two poetry collections: The Art of Exile (Bilingual Review Press, 2009), which won an International Latino Book Award and was selected for the Debut Poets Roundup in Poets & Writers, and The Gravedigger’s Archaeology (Red Hen Press, 2015), which won the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize.