Few people celebrate Los Angeles the way Mike Sonksen celebrates Los Angeles. A poet and professor, a history enthusiast and frequent performer, Sonksen is a beloved figure in the city’s arts scene, especially appreciated by his fellow writers and artists for his infectious passion for the City of Angels. Join Alta Live as we welcome Sonksen, an Alta Journal contributor, for a discussion on all things grassroots creative in L.A.—from its thriving underground poetry scene to the under-recognized artists whose murals color the city. We might even rope Sonksen into a spoken-word performance.
About the guest:
Mike Sonksen, a.k.a. “Mike the PoeT,” is a third-generation Angeleno. Poet, professor, journalist, historian, and tour guide, Sonksen teaches at Woodbury University and serves as the program coordinator of the school’s First Year Experience program. He has published over 500 essays and poems with the Academy of American Poets, Alta, KCET, Poets & Writers Magazine, PBS, Boom, Wax Poetics, Southern California Quarterly, LA Weekly, OC Weekly, Lana Turner, Metropolis, the Architect’s Newspaper, Alternative Press, Los Angeles Review of Books, Angel City Review, L.A. Taco, LAist, L.A. Parent, and more. One of his KCET essays received an award from the Los Angeles Press Club. Over the past two decades, Sonksen has delivered more than 2,000 poetry readings across the country in a wide range of venues, including civic events, bookstores, museums, galleries, secondary schools, and literary festivals. He’s been a guest speaker at over 100 universities and high schools and presented his poetry on public radio stations KCRW, KPFK, and KPCC and on TV stations like Spectrum News. In 2013, the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center honored Sonksen for Distinguished Service to the Los Angeles Poetry Community.•