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:
Mike is booking for 2013 now.
Poetry performances, writing workshops,
Los Angeles Historical tours &
master of ceremonies.
LOCATIONS MIKE THE POET
has 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
BOOK BY AUTHORS, LONG BEACH, CA
ARCHER SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
AVIVA FAMILY & CHILDREN SERVICES
SELMA AVE ELEMENTARY
More SCHOOLS Mike has performed & appeared at:
ARAGON ELEMENTARY -- CYPRESS PARK
AVIVA FAMILY & CHILDREN SERVICES -- HOLLYWOOD
CROZIER MIDDLE SCHOOL -- INGLEWOODDAVIS MIDDLE SCHOOL -- COMPTON
GRIFFITHS MIDDLE SCHOOL -- DOWNEY, CA
HUDSON ELEMENTARY -- LONG BEACH
JOHN MUIR JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL -- LOS ANGELES
LOS FELIZ ELEMENTARY
MAYFAIR MIDDLE SCHOOL
PEOPLE WHO CARE - COMMUNITY CENTER
ARCHER SCHOOL FOR GIRLS -- Brentwood
ASPIRE ACADEMY -- HUNTINGTON PARK,
CABELMONT HIGH SCHOOL
BIRMINGHAM HIGH SCHOOL - VAN NUYS
CARSON HIGH SCHOOL -- CARSON, CA
CLEVELAND HIGH SCHOOL -- Reseda
CROSSROADS SCHOOL -- Santa Monica
DUARTE HIGH SCHOOL -- DUARTE, CA
GLENDALE HIGH SCHOOL
JORDAN HIGH SCHOOL -- LBC
LA VIDA WEST
LEUZINGER HIGH - LAWNDALE
LEGACY ACADEMY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL
MILLIKAN HIGH SCHOOL - LBC
NOGALES HIGH SCHOOL -- COVINA, CA
NEW ROADS HIGH SCHOOL -- SANTA MONICA, CA
RANCHO CUCAMONGA HIGH SCHOOL
VIEW PARK PREP SCHOOL -- Crenshaw District
WATTS LEARNING CENTER
WILLARD HIGH SCHOOL
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
L.A. COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART
L.A. TIMES BOOK PRIZES
LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL
ASSOCIATION OF WRITING PROGRAMS (AWP) CHICAGO - MARCH 2012
CONFERENCE FOR NEW URBANISM
MAYOR VILLARIAGOSSA (3 TIMES)
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 BEATNOK GHOSTS
LEIMERT PARK BOOKFAIR
WEST HOLLYWOOD BOOK FAIR
Whittier College Writers Conference
This week L.A. Letters examines Alhambra, the gateway to the San Gabriel Valley.
Nestled between Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Gabriel, San Marino, El Sereno, City Terrace and Monterey Park, Alhambra is one of the oldest suburbs in Los Angeles County, dating back to the arrival of the transcontinental railroad and the boom of the 1880s.
Its placement between Monterey Park and Pasadena also reflects the current mix of Chinese, Latin, and old school Americana that come together to make the spirit of Alhambra.
The proximity to Pasadena and Monterey Park is an excellent starting point for discussing Alhambra.
Just a few years younger than Pasadena, Alhambra was incorporated officially in 1903, though it began as an early boom town in the 1880s.
Benjamin Wilson, aka Don Benito, is the father of Alhambra; his life story is another article in itself.
A new biography on Wilson was recently published by Angel City Press.
Atlantic Boulevard was also originally named Wilson Avenue after him.
Across America, in Boston, Brooklyn, Oakland, Seattle, and San Diego, and across Los Angeles, on Main, Spring, and Broadway, preserved historic buildings are being reused, redeveloped, re-purposed for the 21st century.
The preservation movement has organically come to rise across America and worldwide over the last 50 years.
This week L.A. Letters unpacks the politics of preservation via two books published by the University of California Press: “California Vieja” and “Tokyo Vernacular.”
The discussion also examines a historic site of Japanese-American history, now slated for demolition, in Huntington Beach.
History has shown some sites saved and some demolished, the decision is almost always dictated by dollars.
"In urban terms," writes Ada Louise Huxtable, "preservation is the saving of the essence and style of other eras, through the architecture and urban forms, so that the meaning and flavor of those other times and tastes are incorporated into the mainstream of the city’s life. The accumulation is called culture."
Preservation is a powerful force and, along with nostalgia, it is often used to sell the city.
This phenomenon is captured in the 2006 book “California Vieja” by scholar Phoebe Kropp.
Preservation is among the major themes addressed, along with how early boosters used the Spanish past to sell California.
The author examines culture and memory in four iconic California venues: El Camino Real, Balboa Park, Olvera Street, and Rancho Santa Fe.
Eagle Rock-born Renaissance woman Marjorie Light is a one-woman art festival that DJs, teaches, and performs.
The Filipina musician, writer, DJ, educator, performer is at the vanguard of the Northeast L.A. arts community.
Graduate of Eagle Rock Elementary and High School, and then Pitzer College, Light reps Eagle Rock with flying colors.
Aside from her college years, she has lived almost all of her 30 years in the famed district below the big rock.
This week L.A. Letters honors Light, Eagle Rock and Filipino/a history in Southern California.
Considering last week’s catastrophic storm in the Philippines, it’s important to take a moment to recognize the incredible contribution that the Filipino community has made here in Southern California and, for that matter, America.
Filipino sailors were the first Asians in North America in the 16th Century; they were sailing with the Spanish Conquistadors.
The international reputation awarded to the Beat Generation and San Francisco Renaissance poets looms so large that the Bay Area is often the only region on the West Coast considered by the East Coast poetry establishment.
Thoughts on Los Angeles are often reduced to Hollywood, corporate culture and the primary poet associated with L.A. remains Charles Bukowski. Bill Mohr’s HOLD OUTSpublished by the University of Iowa Press, fills in the blanks with a multigenerational account of Southern California’s literary landscape from 1948 to 1992 that connects the dots between the Cold War, Beat Generation, Civil Rights era, the small press movement, punk rock and spoken word.
Recent studies of Los Angeles poetry have included books on Bukowski, the Watts Writers Workshop and the Venice Beats, but Mohr’s volume is the only one I’ve seen to connect the movements mapping out the cultural topography with specific writers, readings, bookstores and literary magazines.