Authors Ereen Allen Ereene Allen is a Poetic freelance writer. She grew up in various sections of Los Angeles, California. She fully understands the social & economical issues she writes about. She also understands the desire to love & embrace love how we as humans require & deserve to be. She is currently working with a variety of collaborators with her own pop up poetry program, PopLyfe Poets, geared towards mentoring youth through creative interpersonal writing. Her work can also be found in War for Existence. Carolina Rivera Escamilla Carolina Rivera Escamilla is a writer, performer and filmmaker. Born in El Salvador, she was granted political asylum in Canada in 1985. Four years later, as the Berlin Wall fell and the guerillas of El Salvador made their final offensive; Carolina joined the massive immigration of Salvadorans to Los Angeles so she could be more involved with the culture and politics of her community. She completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing at University of California, Los Angeles. A Fellow in the PEN USA Rosenthal Foundation’s Emerging Voices Program, her story The Funeral was included in Strange Cargo, a Pen Emerging Voices Anthology. Director, writer, and producer of the documentary: Manlio Argueta, Poets and Volcanoes. . Marcellus Davis Jr TELL US, MARCELLUS is an accumulation work out of the Watts Writers Workshop, via the World Stage. This book is an inimitable compilation of groundbreaking literature that echoes the true depth of Los Angeles poetry. “This poet Marcellus catches the eye and ear with truly hilarious human situations. Then, like other quality writers, he is apt bring you to suddenly starring deep into the emotions of a person in misery, over a true or mistaken cause. I think his secret is simply that he has a quirky way of observing people and is willing to show us how he see us in all or colorful, believable, ridiculous, behaviors.” Robert Foster “Once you hear him, you will never forget him.” Hiram Sims Stephany Medina Stephany Medina is a Creative Writing major from Long Beach, CA. She was an only child growing up, until her mother decided to have another baby nineteen years later. She lives for her mother and baby brother and wants nothing more than to give them a beautiful life. Although it was a difficult journey for her to accept who she was, she now lives a proud life as a gay woman. Having the opportunity to be able to write this book is a dream come true for her, and now that she has her foot in the door, she is not stopping. She has so many dreams and ideas to continue helping those in need, this book is just the beginning for Stephany. She has visions of creating a movie or TV show to show some of the struggles people have to face when trying to figure out who they are. She has a way of turning her life experiences into reality for other people. People can connect with her and may even feel like she is telling their story. Stephany was given a big heart and she is more than happy to share it with the world Mo Piquette Mo Piquette is a freelance writer and poet, who grew up in Middleboro, Massachusetts, attended Hofstra University and currently resides in Los Angeles. She has produced and written various short films as well as co-produced an event and publication collective called Tar’d and Feathered (www.tardandfeathered.com) and Volume III of the TF Zine. She currently serves as a Board Member for the Community Literature Initiative (communitylit.org). Born to Waltz is her first published work. Lida Parent- Harris Lida Parent-Harris was born in Inglewood, CA. and raised in Chatsworth. Lida began writing short stories at age 10, and through her study of and love for literature, she developed a love for writing poems at age 17.During her early adult years, Lida worked with developmentally disabled adults, children and seniors as a personal care assistant. Her love of healing was evident, but her talent for writing was still strong, and she continued to write poems for the love of her craft. In 1997, Lida published her first book called “Save The Moment”.In 2014, Lida also connected with Community Literature Initiative (CLI) through Hiram Sims, who paved the way for Lida to publish her first book.Lida’s poems are humorous, reflective, inspiring, love stories, emotions, drafted while living in the city, and having moved on past a heartbreak. Lida Parent-Harris thrives to this day with great heart and thankfulness. She lives in downtown LA with her dog, Mitch. Malaika James J. Malaika Beckford-James is a poet/lyricist from Inglewood, California. She is the creator of The Inglewood Poetry Project, a public art project for the city of Inglewood and was named the June Jordan scholar in poetry during the Inaugural Pan African Literary Forum. James has taught poetry and creative writing in schools, and community centers for the past ten years. She also performs under the rap moniker “Eagle Nebula” under which she has released the albums “Cosmic Headphones” and “The Tiger in My Backyard, Poems and Sounds for Inglewood”. A graduate of Howard University, she currently lives in Inglewood with her husband and garden. Camari Carter Camari Carter is an all around creative personality. She is a poet, blogger, photographer, natural hair stylist, pianist, and singer. Camari is passionate about business, social justice, and the arts. Camari would describe her writing as evocative, painful, yet triumphant and witty. Her photography is loaded with color, beauty, and warmth. She is drawn to create art that pierces the heart. Carter received her Bachelors of Art in Political Science and Masters in Organizational Management. She intends to rock the world with her words, art, and mind. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Hiram Sims Hiram Sims is a poet, and a Professor of Creative Writing, teaching at the Los Angeles Film School. He is also the founder of the Community Literature Initiative, a publishing program for Los Angeles writers who want to publish books here at USC. He has published three collections of poetry, one amazing textbook. Charlie Becker Charlie Becker is a semi-retired speech therapist who has lived in West Hollywood, California for more than 20 years. Some of his earlier poems are included in a collection created by LGBT seniors called, “My Life is Poetry”. He is also a graduate of the Community Literature Initiative program founded by Hiram Sims. Charlie’s first book of poetry “Friends My Poems Gave Me” which features some of his original artwork debuted in July 2016. Cynthia Guardado Cynthia Guardado is a Salvadorian-American poet and Professor of English. She received her Masters of Fine Arts from California State University, Fresno with an emphasis in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Huizache, Bozalta Journal, The Acentos Review, The Packinghouse Review, PALABRA: A Magazine of Chicano and Literary Art, Crate Literary Magazine, and The Normal School. She translated and transcribed interviews with journalist and Cuban exile, Normando Hernandez Gonzalez which were published in The Madrid Conversations (New Orleans Press 2013). Her poems “Pilgrimage” and “The Only Apartment in the Building without a Backdoor” are forthcoming in [ING] an Anthology about Inglewood. Heather Parker Heather Parker is a poet performer, author, and healer. She is regarded amongst the open mic community as Funky Sunshine. Heather’s awakenings in life have not only helped her find her passion, but it has also helped her birth two amazing projects: the Love Note Movement and Loving a Lioness. “Loving a Lioness: Poetry in Life, Love & Eros,” is Heather’s debut poetry collection which reads as a memoir about experiences with love, relationships and all the triggers, healing and self-love in between.. Melaina Williams Melaina Williams is a writer, vocalist and actor born and raised in Inglewood, California. Melaina studied Creative Writing and Theatre at the University of Southern California. In 2008, Melaina was published in the poetry anthology, Write or Die by Hiram Sims & the Urban Poets. She is a member of the Community Literature Program based in Los Angeles. Melaina also mentors young writers through her Young Writers Creative Writing Workshops and provides guest poetry lectures for local high schools. N’Jedi T’Challa N’Jedi T’Challa – Poet, photographer, and social organizer. N’Jedi, hailing from Savannah, Georgia earned his spoken word chops on the open mic circuit of 7 Cities, Virginia. First as a co-creator and event organizer for Poetic Expressions, an artist collective and community outreach organization, then later as a studious poet/spoken word artist. He and his cohorts have spread the word that poetry is still very alive and is a vibrant art. Producing art showcases at numerous churches, universities, and businesses across America, N’Jedi cites several poets for being influential in his The Book Called: The Album evolution as a writer and activist, including: Saul Williams, Kamau Daaood, Amiri Baraka, Black Ice, Charles Bukowski, and Conney Williams. They have aided in developing his voice and rhythmic style as a powerful storyteller. Rykiell (Rye-key- elle) Rykiell (Rye-key- elle), is a melanated woman who hails from the great state of California, whose heart is rooted in New Orleans. One of many children, family is the foundation of her world, and she holds great value for the institution of family. Rykiell is an evolving artist who has worked as a social worker and mental health counselor and draws much of her creative work from these experiences. She is passionate about living, learning, growing and evolving in all ways that are for the betterment of the world. She is a mother of one amazing young goddess she affectionately calls Babywoman. Rykiell earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Africana Women’s Studies from Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC, and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology-Los Angeles. Rykiell loves travel, and sees this as therapeutic and healing. Rykiell sees the world as her home and is based wherever she goes.