Amy Uyematsu, Ron Koertge, and Brendan Constantine

DIESEL, A Bookstore in Brentwood welcomes Red Hen Press poets Amy Uyematsu, Ron Koertge, and Brendan Constantine to the store to celebrate the LA poetry scene and the release of Amy Uyematsu’s new collection of poems, Basic Vocabulary, on Sunday, October 23rd at 3:00pm. Each poet will be reading from their most recent work.

Amy Uyematsu’s new poetry collection, Basic Vocabulary, confronts today’s complex world of drone warfare and post 9/11 unease with boldness, curiosity, candor, and insight. She unites the political and spiritual and welcomes what she calls, “Elegant disorder / even my mind / leaping branch to branch”. Amy Uyematsu is a third-generation Japanese-American poet and teacher from Los Angeles. Uyematsu’s poems consider the intersection of politics, mathematics, spirituality, and the natural world. She is the author of several poetry collections including, 30 Miles from J-Town, Nights of Fire, Nights of Rain, and Stone Bow Prayer. Her first book was awarded the 1992 Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Amy was a co-editor of the widely-used UCLA Asian American Studies anthology Roots: An Asian American ReaderBasic Vocabulary will be released on October 1st. Copies will be available for purchase at the event.

Ron Koertge wants to do nothing but delight. In his new collection of poetry,Vampire Planet, released in April 2016, Koertge, armed with wit and brains, introduces readers to Dr. Frankenstein’s frustrated fiancee and gives an alternate reading to the Bible story about Lot’s nameless wife. He rues the loss of a favorite pair of underpants, attends a bachelor party where Mr. Magoo makes an appearance, and suggests what cheerleaders will be like in the future. Like Reverend Ike and John Lennon said, “Whatever gets you through the night”–this book will do that and carry you right into the next day. Guaranteed. Ron Koertge was published widely in the 60s and 70s in such seminal magazines as Kayak and Poetry Now. His first book, The Father Poems, was published in 1973, and was soon followed by many more, including poetry, prose, novels-in-verse, and fiction for teenagers. His books have been honored by the American Library Association, and two have received PEN awards. After teaching for thirty-seven years at the city college in Pasadena, he retired and now teaches at Hamline University in their low-residency MFA program for Children’s Writing. He currently lives in South Pasadena, CA, with his wife, Bianca Richards.

Brendan Constantine is the author of the recent poetry collection Dementia, My Darling. As with Constantine’s previous titles, Dementia, My Darling can be enjoyed at random or in order. However, when taken in sequence, the poems construct a thesis on life as we remember it from moment to moment. What is your first memory of love? How soon will you forget answering that question? Brendan Constantine’s past collections include, Calamity Joe, Birthday Girl with Possum, and Letters To Guns which is now taught extensively in schools across the nation. His work has inspired artists in a variety of other mediums, from the canvas to the concert hall, and he has received grants and commissions from the Getty Museum, James Irvine Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A popular performer, he has presented his work to audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe, also appearing on NPR’s All Things Considered and KPFK’s Inspiration House. He currently teaches poetry at the Windward School in Los Angeles, California, and regularly conducts workshops for hospitals, foster homes, and with the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project.

For more information regarding this event, please email [email protected]