Poetry: Lin Nelson Benedek, Elline Lipkin, Lynne Thomas

In her debut collection, I Was Going to Be a Cowgirl, Benedek writes poems with the reckless joy of someone who knows she has been loved and is still being loved, such that memory becomes a tender place to reclaim pleasures forgotten or lost and to heal wounds. Bees, cowgirls, rock and roll, motherhood, booze, juicy steaks, riotous women and the myths of American western history all come together in this woman’s leaping imaginings.

Lin Nelson Benedek is a psychotherapist, well-being coach, writing teacher. She has her MFA in poetry from Pacific University, Oregon, where she studied with Kwame Dawes, Dorianne Laux, Vievee Francis, Anna Journey, and others.

Through the use of nuanced observation, rich language, and an original voice, Elline Lipkin explores contemporary womanhood, cross-cultural themes and family legacy. Recalling the feminist themes of Adrienne Rich, the steely resolve of Sylvia Plath, and the feeling for loss and spliced cultural heritage that Eavan Boland expresses, The Errant Thread serves as the next link in a lineage of women poets.

Ellline Lipkin is currently Poet Laureate of Altadena and the author of The Errant Thread and Girls' Studies. She teaches for Writing Workshops Los Angeles and is a Research Scholar with UCLA's Center for the Study of Women.

"Lynne Thompson's Start with a Small Guitar is a dazzling collection of love poems, wickedly wise and stitched with the darkest nuances of desire. These poems are rich in childhood play and the adult pleasure of consolation, yet even at their most reflective and speculative these poems are fleshed by the carnal. These new collection is either a handbook to bliss or the abyss, and she insists that the reader - each one of us - decide." - David St. John

Lynne Thompson was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, by parents born in the Windward Islands, West Indies. She received her B.A. from Scipps College and a J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law. She currently serves as the Director of Employee and Labor Relations at the University of California, Los Angeles. An active member of the Los Angeles literary scene and a Pushcart Prize nominee, her poetry has been widely published and  anthologized.