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California Poets Updates

November 26th, 2023

California Poets - November 26th, 2023

LAdige is the new home of California Poets. Selection of work, at this juncture, remains by invitation only, but given the establishment of this independent publishing platform, editorial policies will likely change in the future.

California Poets - March 8th, 2023

For the past two or so years, California Poets has brought together some of the important and emerging voices working in the Golden State. When I first conceived this feature, in collaboration with Peter Robertson (Founder and President of Interlitq), it was our intention to assemble twenty to forty writers who could best represent what was being done from the cliffs of Crescent City to the beaches of San Diego. In reality, what ended up happening is that we managed to compile twelve solid names, but most of them were from LA. One has to start somewhere, but not necessarily end where one started. In short, we decided to put together another installment—and we noticed results: Two additional names, and more poets outside of LA, though the enterprise was still heavily Southern California. For better or worse, the old mantra remained: No reason to stop when a good thing begins. And we’ve been doing just that—building momentum with each subsequent feature, which keeps on growing. More than 90 writers now grace our pages. When it all started, we couldn’t imagine going for as long we did; what did surprise us, however, was the poets’ continued willingness—and more importantly enthusiasm—to send work. There was, likewise, a desire to bring greater attention to those who had passed on (we’ve featured tributes to Holly Prado Northup, Scott Wannberg, and Shelley Scott).

Why all this at this moment? Simply to say—again—that one doesn’t have to stop where one starts. There have indeed been many different anthologies dedicated to California poets. Some have been big; some have been small; some have devoted themselves to a city, a region, or perhaps even a geographical feature. Truly, they were all different, but there was one thing that made them the same: They all had natural beginnings and a deliberate end.

As with any effort, writing had its fair share of communities—some of which vanished quickly, and some of which lasted. Those that lasted created generations, like the Beats. At this point it's not clear where California Poets fits on this spectrum, but after two years of publishing and interviewing poets, the enterprise is certainly no longer an anthology; likewise, after 800 or so days, it’s also not the Beat Generation—indeed, nowhere close it. The fact, however, remains: Roughly 30 months of collaboration—along with starting the concurrent California Poets Interview Series—have contributed to bringing this endeavor out of the terrain of traditional anthology parameters and causing it to approach something akin to a “community,” though it’s still ways away from that.

Considering all the above, stopping at this juncture wouldn’t symbolize the achievement of creating a nice representation of Californian Poets, but rather, it would entail losing the chance to build what truly matters—a dynamic space. And so, it makes sense to continue this project indefinitely. At the same time, nothing can last that long; it's nevertheless our intention to go beyond the circumscribed “anthology” boundaries for two reasons: The first is simple—the internet's power simply allows us to do it; secondly, this project, in any case, is already beginning to leave those aforementioned borders, though it may still be far away from what many might call a community. To get to this latter point, we’ll need everyone’s help, and what this help entails is really no different than what contributors have already been doing before—recommending names and spreading the word, with the former being of utmost importance.

We hope to keep the enterprise going for as long possible. We extend our kindest gratitude in advance for all your assistance.

David Garyan, General Editor of California Poets


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