Mike Sonksen, also known as, Mike the Poet, is a 3rd-generation LA native acclaimed for poetry performances, published articles & legendary city tours. Poet, journalist, historian, tour guide, teacher. He graduated from U.C.L.A.
Mike's book I AM ALIVE IN LOS ANGeLES! has been added to the curriculum of several universities. Mike's performed his poetry coast to coast at college campuses, museums, bookstores, nightclubs & just about any venue you can imagine.
His Los Angeles city tours combine poetry and history and have been written up in the New York Times, THE UK Guardian, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Straight No Chaser.
For BOOKING INFO:
Email for Summer/FALL 2014
Poetry performances, published articles, writing workshops,
Los Angeles Historical tours &
master of ceremonies.
Partial List of
& LOCATIONS of where
I have performed, lectured at or taught WRITING Workshops:
VIEW PARK PREPARATORY ACCELERATED CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL
826 VALENCIA -- 826 LA East Echo PArk.
MAR VISTA YOUTH CENTER
MUSEUM OF NEON ART
STELLA ADLER CONSERVATORY
CRAFT & FOLK ART MUSEUM
BOOK BY AUTHORS, LONG BEACH, CA
ARCHER SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
AVIVA FAMILY & CHILDREN SERVICES
SELMA AVE ELEMENTARY
CAL POLY POMONA
CAL STATE FULLERTON
CAL STATE LONG BEACH
CAL STATE L.A.
CLAREMONT GRADUATE UNIVERSITY
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
EAST LA COLLEGE
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY
PASADENA CITY COLLEGE
PITZER COLLEGE- Claremont
SANTA MONICA COLLEGE
UC SAN DIEGO
UC SANTA BARBARA
WEST LOS ANGELES COLLEGE
L.A. COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART
L.A. TIMES BOOK PRIZES
LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL
METRO ART TOUR
ALOUD Series: Newer Poets
at the Central Library
ASSOCIATION OF WRITING PROGRAMS (AWP) CHICAGO - MARCH 2012
CONFERENCE FOR NEW URBANISM
BEAT Museum - San Francisco
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
MUSEUM OF NEON ART
MUSEUM OF ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
ARMAND HAMMER MUSEUM
NORTH BEACH JAZZ FESTIVAL
SANTA CRUZ POETRY FESTIVAL
SPARRING WITH BEATNiK GHOSTS
LEIMERT PARK BOOKFAIR
WEST HOLLYWOOD BOOK FAIR
Whittier College Writers Conference
GRAND PARK BOOKFAIR
Angelenos are using the arts and the natural landscape to improve the city and uplift the spirit of local citizens.
As the temperature slowly begins to drop, the city’s cultural, literary, and natural community remains hot. New developments are unfolding at a rapid clip.
Among the cavalcade of good news the city council just celebrated Latinas in the Arts, Luis Rodriguez was just named the new Poet Laureate, LA2050 organized an epic party celebrating the city in Grand Park, the San Gabriel Mountains were just declared a National Monument, and a new sculpture and interactive website is being unveiled at Los Angeles State Historic Park.
This week L.A. Letters spotlights each of these people and events to reveal the rising spirit across Los Angeles in October 2014.
On Thursday October 9, Luis J. Rodriguez was named the new Los Angeles Poet Laureate.
See the column for an extensive account of his writing career. As one of the most prolific writers and activists, in not only Los Angeles but nationally over the last 30-plus years, Mayor Eric Garcetti made a wise choice in selecting Rodriguez as our city poet.
"Vroman’s is definitely one of the two or three greatest bookstores in Southern California. I am a big, big giant book aficionado. I never stop buying books. I’m always buying books. When I was teaching, I would come here and buy books for my lesson plans. I have an equal obsession with poetry, urban planning and architecture and L.A. History. I find new things here (Vroman’s). I find a lot of California history books at Vroman’s.
My wife and I, our first date was in Pasadena. We love Pasadena. Vroman’s is one of my beacons in Pasadena. Ya know, the first thing I do when I go to San Francisco is go to City Lights. When I’m in Berkley I go to Moe’s Books. When I go to Santa Cruz I go to Logos. You guys are in that elite category. Part of the heavyweights.
I went to UCLA in the early 90s but all the bookstores in Westwood closed in the late 80s. I remember going to Westwood a lot as a kid with my dad. Westwood really changed. It became more chains. There was a real warmth about Westwood that kind of died in the late 80s, early 90s. What you’re saying…whether it’s a hardware store or a bookstore…Vroman’s is a link to that era.”
This week L.A. Letters spotlights three spaces clustered within a block of each other on First Street in Boyle Heights, which have a longstanding history and intimate connection with the local Japanese community.
On Sunday August 10, the annual Nisei Week Parade will be taking place in Little Tokyo.
This year marks the 74th annual Nisei Week Festival.
The Japanese community in Little Tokyo is directly linked to Boyle Heights via East First Street, and over the years many residents of the eastside community have made the trek over the First Street Bridge to the festival.
In 2012 I wrote about Otomisan, the last remaining Japanese restaurant in Boyle Heights. Located on East First Street since the 1950s, they are a part of a small handful of Japanese churches, a school, and florist that have remained in the area from the early-20th century.
This week L.A. Letters spotlights three remaining Japanese spaces clustered within a block of each other on First Street in Boyle Heights: the Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Temple, Tenrikyo Church, and Rafu Chuo Gakuen, the Japanese school on Saratoga Street.
Similar to Otomisan, these venerated spaces have a longstanding history and intimate connection with the Boyle Heights Japanese community.