"Night and the City: L.A. Noir in Poetry, Fiction and Film" is the sweeping title of a monthlong collaboration between the Los Angeles Poetry Festival and Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center. With screenings of noir classics, panels and poetry, it's enough for any fan of the genre to get their hard-boiled L.A. fix. James Ellroy, Naomi Hirahara, Robert Polito, Justin Tanner and Denise Hamilton are just a few of the writers taking part at venues all over town. Festival director Suzanne Lummis (pictured), who is also director of the L.A. Poetry Festival says, "I'm always searching for ways to wind poetry together with my other fascinations. In a sense I've been working a long time toward this fusion of poetry and noir, but the means and the method only occurred to me recently. Los Angeles is the ultimate noir city. And this is true not only because it's given rise to the quintessential noir film, Double Indemnity and the quintessential post noir film Chinatown, inspired by the treachery and subterfuge behind the development of the San Fernando Valley, and not only because of the brilliant writings of Raymond Chandler, in which the city itself is a central character. It's because noir loves paradox, and there is no more paradoxical place than L.A. All this sunshine, optimism and shiny hope. All these notorious murders, the Black Dahlia, the Sleepy Lagoon Murder, the Hillside Strangler, the Night Stalker . . . All this promise. All this historical corruption a long interesting list. All these aspiring talents bursting their hearts on their own dreams like surf on the rocks. That's a pretty mediocre line of poetry, but, well that's what ya get for a nickle." Runs all over town Oct. 15-Nov. 13; For full program of events: lapoetryfestival.org.
Oct. 15-Nov. 13, 2011