In the fall of 2017, four poets, Brandon Constantine, Richard Ferguson, Luivette Resto and Marie Marandola, gathered for a closing reception of the works of Los Angeles-based Artist Kimberly Brooks on the occasion of her exhibition "Brazen". Curated and edited by Keith Martin, each poem was read by the poet in front of the painting that inspired it.
American Painter Kimberly Brooks integrates figuration and abstraction to explore a variety of subjects dealing with history, memory and identity. For exhibition information www.kimberlybrooks.com
Brendan Constantine's work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, FIELD, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly, and Ninth Letter, among other journals. His most recent collection is 'Dementia, My Darling (2016 Red Hen Press). He has received grants and commissions from the Getty Museum, James Irvine Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He currently teaches poetry at the Windward School and regularly offers classes to hospitals, foster homes, veterans, and the elderly.
Pushcart-nominated poet Rich Ferguson has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Moby, and other esteemed artists. He is a featured performer in the film What About Me? His poetry has been widely published, and his spoken word videos have appeared in international film festivals. His poetry collection 8th & Agony is out on Punk Hostage Press. His debut novel, New Jersey Me, is available through Rare Bird Books.
Marie Marandola is a badass feminist poet who received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is an editor for the literary press Meow Meow Pow Pow, and the former poetry editor of Lumina Journal. Her work has appeared in Poetry International, Fairy Tale Review, Lunch Ticket, and Dressing Room Poetry Journal, amongst others, and her poem "Poet Groupie" won the Academy of American Poets University Prize for Sarah Lawrence College in 2016. She now lives in San Diego, where she remains in the habit of picking up fallen bits of trees and giving them to people.
Luivette Resto, a mother, teacher, poet, and Wonder Woman fanatic, was born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico but proudly raised in the Bronx. Her two books of poetry Unfinished Portrait and Ascension have been published by Tia Chucha Press. She is a CantoMundo fellow and has served as a contributing poetry editor for Kweli Journal. Some of her latest work can be read in Entropy Magazine, Coiled Serpent anthology, Altadena Anthology 2015 & 2016, and an anthology of Afro-Latino poetry titled Manteca published by Arte P blico Press. Currently, she lives in the Los Angeles area with her three children.
Keith Martin is a community organizer and long time supporter of the LA literary community. He served on the Los Angeles poet laureate selection committee. He was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to the LA County Metropolitan Transit Authority Citizens Advisory Council. He serves on the Clinica Romero executive executive board as fundraising chair and homeless patient advocate. He is the Chairperson of the Golden State Bonsai Federation committee at the Huntington Library and Gardens bonsai pavillion. He volunteers as a Crossing Angel for CicLAvia and also at Beyond Baroque literary center in Venice.