Sunday, November 24, 2019

Thank you for another wild year!

In 2019, the Poetic Research Bureau hosted 140+ writers, artists and filmmakers. With our partners, the Public School LA and RAD! Residencies, 951 Chung King Road opened its doors for more than 80 events!

Since our first reading in February of 2000, PRB programs have always been free and open to all comers. The space is funded entirely on donations and out-of-pocket cash. If it looks like the Bureau is mostly the result of two slowly greying oddballs continuing to lurk near the light-switches, chuckle at the podium and roll out countless programs for devotees of the "difficult arts", well, it's admittedly that. But if it looks and feels like a lot more than that, that's because you, our dear friends – community and audience – make it everything else.

Which is a crazy lot after all this time!

Once or twice a year, we pipe up to ask y'all to throw some coin into our realm, and December is one of those times. We're super frugal with your contributions, we promise. Every donation goes to rent, utilities, insurance and the free beverages and comestibles we provide for our visitors. $20,000 funds us for the whole year; $10,000 gets us to summer recess. It's a pretty modest sum given that thousands of people each year come through the doors. And RAD! and TPS ride along as fellow travelers.

The PRB will reopen in January, and the calendar is already filling up. In the meantime, please remember us for the holidays, and send a tax-deductible donation by punching this big-ass donation button here:

Your pals,
Joe & Andrew

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Saturday, November 23: Rodrigo Bravo & Sean Negus

RODRIGO BRAVO holds a Master’s in Linguistics with a background in Classics and Hebrew Studies at the University of São Paulo. He is a translator and researcher in linguistics with emphasis in translation of poetic discourse, comparative literature, and stychology. Lecturer at the graduate school of music at Faculdade Santa Marcelina, he develops his doctoral research at the Graduate School of Foreign Languages and Translation Studies at USP. Curator of the TransFormações exposition, at Casa das Rosas (SP) (2017), he also serves as a member of the editorial board of the literary series Neûron at Editora Córrego. Bravo authored academic essays, articles and the books Ernesto na Torre de Babel (2016), Poligonia do Haikai (2017), Teso (2018), Um Livro para Rufino (2018), and Mavórcio Libreto (2019). He is one of the creators of Saccades: a review of Contemporary Brazilian poetry.

SEAN NEGUS teaches in the Writing & Literature Program at California College of the Arts. His scholarly research has examined the relationship between human consciousness and self-representation in experimental autobiographies, as well as histories of alternative spiritualities in counter-cultural literature, such as Buddhism in the Beat Generation. He is a translator of poetry from Portuguese and co-edits (with Rodrigo Bravo) the journal Saccades, focusing on contemporary Brazilian poetry. In 2018, he guest/co-edited an edition of DUSIE magazine featuring the work of more than fifty-two contemporary Brazilian poets and visual artists. Hurricane Music, his first collection of poems, is just out from Editora Córrego.

* * *

A night of Brazilian poetry
in Portuguese & English with

Doors 7:30pm
Reading 8pm

951 Chung King Rd
Chinatown, LA 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Friday, November 22: David Rattray Book Launch with Robert Dewhurst & Chris Kraus

Book launch
by David Rattray
published by Semiotext(e)

with Robert Dewhurst
& Chris Kraus

Friday, November 22, 2019

Doors 7:30pm
Reading 8pm


Since its first publication in 1992, David Rattray's How I Became One of the Invisible has functioned as a kind of secret history and guidebook to a poetic and mystical tradition running through Western civilization from Pythagoras to In Nomine music to Hölderlin and Antonin Artaud. Rattray not only excavated this tradition, he embodied and lived it. He studied at Harvard and the Sorbonne but remained a poet, outside the academy. His stories “Van” and “The Angel” chronicle his travels in southern Mexico with his friend, the poet Alden Van Buskirk, and his adventures after graduating from Dartmouth in the mid-1950s. Eclipsed by the more mediagenic Beat writers during his lifetime, Rattray has become a powerful influence on contemporary artists and writers.

Compiled in the months before his untimely death at age 57, How I Became One of the Invisible is the only volume of Rattray's prose. This new, expanded edition includes nine new texts, three of which were previously unpublished; an introduction by Robert Dewhurst; and an afterword by Rachel Kushner.

Join the book’s editors Chris Kraus and Robert Dewhurst for a night of readings from the new edition, followed by rare film footage of David Rattray himself reading.


Chris Kraus is the author of four novels, three books of art and cultural criticism, and After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography. In 1992, she edited David Rattray’s How I Became One of the Invisible for Semiotext(e) after working with him on Readings From The Diaries of Hugo Ball and other projects. Kraus is a co-editor of Semiotexte alongside Hedi El Kholti and Sylvere Lotringer. She teaches writing at Art Center.

Robert Dewhurst is a scholar and poet. With Joshua Beckman and CAConrad, he coedited Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners (Wave Books, 2015). Recently, he edited, with an introduction, an expanded second edition of David Rattray's prose collection How I Became One of the Invisible (Semiotext(e), 1992/2019). He lives in Los Angeles, where he is currently writing a biography of Wieners.

David Rattray (1936–1993) was a poet, translator, and scholar, fluent in most Western languages, Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek. He translated the works of Antonin Artaud, René Crevel, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, among others.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Saturday, November 16: Chelsea Rector, Jeremy Kennedy & Benjamin Bekey

Doors 7:30pm
Reading 8pm


Chelsea Rector, Jeremy Kennedy, and Benjamin Bekey will present their contributions and respective "cry lists" to celebrate the recent release Cry List (Rebel Hands Press - 2019), a collection of essays on the topic of crying, along with a variety show of poetic conversations. Tearful tunings and real realizations with absurdity stirred in. Tissues issued.


Chelsea Rector is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, CA. She has worked in experimental theater with Medium Judith and the Godawfful National Theater Company, co-founding the movement ensemble BEST FRIENDS in 2014 and the P/SICHO ST. THEATER COMPANY in 2018. Her writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Press where she is a guest editor and she is the Assistant Managing Editor for Rebel Hands Press. In winter, 2019 Rebel Hands Press will publish her forthcoming book, On Being Mean.

Since the late 1990’s, Jeremy Kennedy has been creating and exhibiting artwork, sounds and concepts in both community and academic settings. Before moving to Los Angeles in 2009, the multidisciplinary artist spent over a decade living and working in Bloomington, Indiana. Kennedy is an active visual artist, writer, and sound-maker, as well as co-founder and playwright with P/Sicho Street Theatre Company, and a founding editor of Rebel Hands Press.

Benjamin Bekey is a writer and performer, concerned with drawing meaning from the failures and limitations of language and communication. He lives in Los Angeles.


About the book:

Cry List

Contributors: Chelsea Rector, Jamie Iacoli, Jeremy Kennedy, Sammi Skolmoski, William Gass

Photography: Ang Wilson

Crying is nothing other than itself. Metaphor is a construct that brings crying out of itself… These essays are accounts of crying, and the essay lists are not metaphors. It is a way for the authors to say that these things have taken them, emotionally, directly. No metaphors. What these essays account is the form of agitation we call crying. From joy to sorrow, the items listed explore the questions, what does it take/what makes us cry?. The lists are a conceptual framework, organizing the otherwise indomitable act of crying.

The essays each list five items that make the authors cry… Unlimited in range, about the tangible or abstract, the essays also ask you, the reader, to think about when you cry. Cry List is a collection of insights on opening the hermetically sealed core of crying through connection with another form of expression that appears outside the body. Scored throughout with watery photographic notation, Cry List assembles a world of feeling, tangential to objective reality.

~ Edition: 100
Rebel Hands Press (2019)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Saturday, November 9: Jacob Kahn, Eric Sneathen & Jeanne Vaccaro

The Poetic Research Bureau presents...

Hosted by Harold Abramowitz and Andrea Quaid


Saturday, November 9

Doors 7:30pm
Reading 8pm


Jacob Kahn is a poet and manager/editor at E.M. Wolfman Books, a bookstore, small press and community arts hub in downtown Oakland, CA. He is the author of the chapbooks, Mine Eclogue (Dirty Swan Projects, 2019) and A Circuit of Yields (Wolfman Books, 2014). Other recent writing can be found or is forthcoming in Lana Turner, MARY, Full Stop Quarterly, Elderly, and Mirage #5 Period(ical). He is a 2018 Frontier Fellow at Epicenter in Green River, Utah, a rural design studio and community-based artist residency, and a co-founding editor of the poetry chapbook press, Eyelet Press.

Eric Sneathen splits his time between Oakland and Santa Cruz, where he is a PhD candidate in Literature. His first collection, Snail Poems, was published by Krupskaya in 2016. New poems have been published by bæst, Mirage #5/Period(ical), New Life Quarterly, Snail Trail, and Amerarcana. With Daniel Benjamin, he organized Communal Presence: New Narrative Writing Today and edited The Bigness of Things: New Narrative and Visual Culture (Wolfman Books, 2017).

Jeanne Vaccaro is a writer, curator, and scholar in residence at the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC. She is the recipient of an Arts Writers Grant from Creative Capital, and her chapbook, "A Collective Mixtape," is out on Belladonna's Lesbian All Star series.