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First Fridays: A City Lights Reading Series

August 2 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Come join us for City Lights’s First Fridays in collaboration with Beyond Baroque, Los Angeles

featuring Will Alexander, mimi tempestt, and Joseph Rios

hosted by Carlos Quinteros III and soledad con carne

About the readers:

Will Alexander is a poet, novelist, playwright, philosopher, visual artist, and musician. He has published over two dozen books in a variety of genres and has earned many honors and awards including a Whiting Fellowship for Poetry, a California Arts Council Fellowship, the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, a Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, and the 2016 Jackson Poetry Prize. He has also exhibited his artwork in group and solo shows. His work is known for its visionary, oracular surrealism and the influence of Negritude. Among his publications are Refractive Africa (New Directions, 2021/Granta, 2022), which was a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, The Combustion Cycle (Roof, 2021), Across the Vapor Gulf (New Directions, 2017), and The Sri Lankan Loxodrome (New Directions, 2009). His book Compression & Purity (2011) was volume five in the City Lights Spotlight Poetry Series. He is currently the poet-in-residence at Beyond Baroque in Venice, California. He has lived his entire life in Los Angeles.

mimi tempestt (she/they) is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and daughter of California. She has a M.A. in Literature from Mills College, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Creative/Critical Ph.D. in Literature at UC Santa Cruz. Her new book is the delicacy of embracing spirals, published by City Lights in October 2023. mimi’s first book, the monumental misrememberings, was published with Co-Conspirator Press//The Feminist Center for Creative Work in 2020. In 2021, she was selected for participation in the Lambda Literary Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices & Writers, and was a Creative Fellow at The Ruby in San Francisco. Her works can be found in Foglifter, Interim Poetics, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. A native of Los Angeles, she currently resides in Berkeley, CA.




Joseph Rios is a Xicano writer and the author of Shadowboxing: Poems & Impersonations (Omnidawn, 2017), winner of a 2018 American Book Award. He lives in Fresno, California, on Yokuts land.

Beyond Baroque is one of the United States’ leading independent Literary | Arts Centers and public spaces dedicated to expanding the public’s knowledge of poetry, literature and art through cultural events and community interaction. Founded in 1968 as an experimental literary magazine, Beyond Baroque is based out of the original City Hall building in Venice, California. The Center offers a diverse variety of literary and arts programming including readings and workshops. The building also houses a bookstore with the largest collection of new poetry books for sale and an archive that houses over 40,000 books, including small press and limited-edition publications, chronicling the history of poetry movements in Los Angeles and beyond. Through the years, Beyond Baroque has played muse to the Venice Beats, the burgeoning Punk movement and visiting scholars. Many of the city’s leading literary talents, including Dennis Cooper, Wanda Coleman, Tom Waits, Exene Cervenka and Amy Gerstler, are alumni of the Wednesday night poetry workshop. Many of the world’s most well-known independent artists, including Patti Smith, Michael McClure, Dana Gioia, and Viggo Mortensen have performed on its stage.

Beyond Baroque, 681 N. Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, Ph: 310-822-3006, Fax: 310-821-0256, info@beyondbaroque.org

Made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation


August 2
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


City Lights Bookstore
View Organizer Website


Kerouac Alley
between City Lights and Vesuvio Cafe
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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