LA Times Book Festival

I went with the family to the LA Times Book Festival today. We parked in the same lot as last year, avoiding the snarls off the 405 at Wilshire (signed UCLA) and heading up to Sunset to come in from the north side.

This year, we had got tickets ahead of time for three panel sessions: two for me and one for Mrs Elbeno (who would have also had two but for the fact that her second choice was cancelled). The two panels I attended were on poetry.

The first was “Walking the Line”, on how and why poets break their lines where they do. It featured David St John moderating, with Marvin Bell, Elaine Equi and Jean Valentine participating. It was an interesting discussion for a beginning poet like myself to hear, especially to compare free verse with metrical poetry.

After a nice chicken sandwich from the Organics To Go stall, the second panel I went to was “The Poet’s Voice” featuring Eloise Klein Healy moderating, with Mark Doty, Amy Gerstler and a curmudgeonly (but entertaining) Albert Goldbarth participating. The subject matter here was more wide-ranging, because the panel weren’t really interested in a narrow interpretation of the topic.

A quick potter around the stalls (avoiding the crazies) and it was time for Mrs Elbeno to get to her panel, which was about new fiction. After that we meandered around a few more stalls before heading back to the car and home. Mini-Elbeno stayed awake for a while, but was out a few miles from home and slept for an hour or so all told, totally zonked by the day out.

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