Redondo Beach Power of Art Festival Reading

Despite a stubbornly recurring sore throat, I made the journey down to Redondo Beach yesterday to read a few poems at the invitation of the Redondo Beach Power of Art Festival. It was a pleasure to join the lineup with such a diverse group of locals: Jared Johnson played Eastern melodies on his specially-tuned guitar, then read a few linguistically dense, abstract poems; Professor Anthony Lee read brave pieces about the human experience; Chicano poet Marcelino Miyares recited rhymed and unrhymed poems with a Christian influence; Charles Indika Perera read a variety of poems in his sonorous Sri Lankan accent; Brenda Petrakos performed pieces at the front of the stage combining poetry, song, and dramatic monologue; Barbara Rabinowitz read work ranging from haiku to mini-epics lamenting the environmental crisis in the Gulf of Mexico; and Hannibal Tabu recited poems about the shared plight of Mexican- and African-Americans, a love poem, and a poem about comic books. Scheduled between a lively backstage drum circle and poetry workshop conducted by Prof. Lee, we read to a receptive audience at the beautiful and well-appointed Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center theater. Clearly, this small coastal community is doing something right to celebrate the “power of art” in such style. Thanks again to Barbara and the Festival for having me.

L to R: emcee Bert Riddick, Hannibal Tabu, Barbara Rabinowitz, Jared Johnson, Robert Peake / Brenda Petrakos, Charles Indika Perera, Anthony Lee, Marcelino Miyares. Photo by Charles Indika Perera