John Brantingham

Sep 302012

And now a message from John!

On Sunday, October 7th, I’m going to be on Internet radio. I will be talking about the SGV Lit Fest among other things!

It’s a call in show, so you can hear me either

1. Mumble

2. Act foolishly

3. Curse unintentionally


4. Do a good job.

Please tune in and give me a hard time.

Sep 282012

I’m teaching a writing workshop in Claremont, California to support the San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival.

Writing Your First Poetry Collection

Buddha Mouse, 134 Yale Avenue, Claremont, CA

Sundays from October 21-December 23 10-1

$45 per session or $400 for the entire semester.

Contact me to sign up

John Brantingham —,


I truly love teaching.

The great teaching experiences happen when students are eager for knowledge. The best teaching experiences happen when those students are willing to work.

One of the best teaching experiences of my life has been happening in a store called Buddha Mouse in Claremont, California. I’ve been teaching poetry classes for adult students — all the proceeds going to fund the SGV Lit Fest. We had three sessions over three weeks that were funny at times and cathartic at others. They were always moving.

There are so many people out there who have interesting things to say, important things to say, and they want to write poetry, but they never had the chance to study and learn it. Instead, they’ve spent their lives doing the sorts of things that have made them interesting. They’ve raised children or had careers or spent time helping other people.

These people always turn out to be the best poets. Learning technique, after all, isn’t difficult. Having something interesting to say is impossible, however, unless you are an interesting person. It’s been my great pleasure to work with interesting people.

We all had such a great time, that we decided to continue on with the class, and in fact, we’re going to make it a 10 week course. In that 10 weeks, we will all produce a short collection that we’ll send out for publication both to the small press magazines and eventually to chapbook and book publishers.

Frankly, I can’t wait, and we’d love to have you join us. The information is below, and if you’d like more, contact me!

John Brantingham —,


Join us at one of our upcoming events or enter your already-written chapbook to our popular Chapbook Contest

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made by Scott Creley

Sep 212012

made by Scott CreleyHere’s the way artistic movements work:

Something happens, something changes, 1,000 people in one place have the same idea, passion, and need. People start to see things in the same way and almost all at once everyone is headed in the same direction artistically.

I love what I’m seeing all of the San Gabriel Valley.

Let’s talk literary magazines. Carnival, A Few Lines, Creepy Gnome, and Rind have all appeared in the last couple of years created out of the passion and intensity of some people who take their work seriously but don’t take themselves too seriously.

They’ve had some serious successes too. They’ve published greats like Tony Barnstone, T. Anders Carson, David Caddy, Gerry Locklin, and Jo Scott-Coe. They’ve taken work by local legends and people on their way up. They’ve given a literary vision and voice to our community. And no one should ever mention magazines in this area without mentioning the Chaffey Review. A brilliant magazine.

Readings have popped up all over as well. Out in Riverside, Jo Scott-Coe and Riverside Community College pushes along doing great things for all of us. Dim Lights in Pomona continues to be a staple. The Valley Poets keeps meeting at the West Covina Library on the third Saturday of every month at 4pm. The Hair Club for Poets meets in Downey on the 4th Saturday at 7:30pm. Eric Morago continues to host readings in Whittier at Half Off Books and Vinatero Wine Shop.

This is not to mention all the classes happening all over town, and not to mention the writers who are exploding into the scene as well. Check out Marta Chausee and Michaelsun Knapp and Lloyd Aquino and Michael Torres.

And people like Chris Trevilla and all the people who work with him at the Nuvein foundation.

And I’m missing people. I know that I am.

Murray Thomas recognized how much was going on all over the area (not just the San Gabriel Valley but all of Los Angeles) and he put together where you can find a listing for all of these kinds of events.

But still, I know that I’m missing more than half of what’s happening in our own backyard. Give me a hand here, what else is happening all over Los Angeles? Drop us a notice here.