In Memoriam:
Yvonne De La Vega
100Thousand Poets for Change, Los Angeles 2020 dedication.


Honoring Altaristas Doña Ofelia Esparza and Rosanna Esparza

By: Madison Parsley Doña Ofelia Esparza and her daughter Rosanna Ezparza were honored with the Los Angeles Poets Society’s Spirit of Life Award during the first virtual Tonalli Thursday Open Mic last week. A nationally recognized Altarista born and raised in East Los Angeles, Doña Ofelia has been serving her community with her ofrendas for Dia de los Muertos and honoring her community members who have passed. She has also created a gallery space named Tonalli Studios, “un lugar de salud y creatividad” or “a place of creative wellness” that features local artists from the East side. Before the global pandemic LAPS hosted Tonalli Thursdays, a monthly open mic held at the gallery for poets all

Spirit of Life Award for Doña Ofelia Esparza La Mera Mera Altarista de Los Ángeles

by Iván Salí Doña Ofelia Esparza was born and raised in East Los Angeles where she is known as an altarista for the community. Doña Ofelia lived through decades of perseverance and resilience of people to remember the lives of those that come before us through a much beloved tradition, Dia de los Muertos. It is an honor to present the Spirit of Life Award to an artist that’s dedicated all her wisdom to encourage entire communities to remember their loved ones with love and creativity. In her words, “Dia De los Muertos is a celebration of life.” Doña Ofelia’s family has celebrated this tradition for generations, all the way to her great-grandmother, Mama Pola, or as the family likes to call

LAPS at the 1st Virtual Poets & Writers Connecting Cultures Celebration

by Madison Parsley The Los Angeles Poet Society took part in the Poet & Writers Virtual Connecting Cultures event that brought together literary organizations and readers from New York and California for the first time. LAPS was the recipient of a PW Grant which was used to create the Ekphrastic Poetry workshops that connected art history and creative writing. Founder and Executive Director of LAPS, Jessica M. Wilson, is a Poet who studied both creative writing and art history at the University of California, Riverside. With the PW grant she was able to combine her two passions to create an ekphrastic poetry workshop. “This gave me the opportunity to share my love for art and share my knowle


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