We see it in the theaters all the time, the young actor sharing screentime with Hollywood veterans. We hear it on the radio, with unconventional duets involving the established singer and the next hot musical act. And now, we can attend it at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 28th, at Frank Pictures Gallery in Bergamot Station, with 3+3 Poetry’s inaugural reading pairing three up-and-coming poets with three distinguished writers.
Organized by Sarah Suzor, Polly Geller and Lizzy Epstein, these three rising phenoms have paired with Dennis Phillips, former director of Beyond Baroque, multiple award-winner Martha Ronk, and Paul Vangelisti, the founding chair of the Graduate Writing program at Otis College of Art and Design.
Each will be reading selections of their work and will feature a limited-edition chapbook of the writing presented by each author, as well as an ars poetica centered on the topic at hand.
“All of the poets presenting have disparate and at the same time similar points where they meet and diverge,” Epstein says. “What we wanted to do was present a reading series where writers could present works they were engaging with, in order to look at the differences and similarities between cross-generational poets.”
“We all met at Otis College as graduate students in writing, and we felt there wasn’t enough of a venue to voice the importance of poetry to the public,” Geller says. “We’d write our hearts out and get limited responses, from reading it to our workshops and families.”
It was the workshop that prompted the three friends to launch a reading series to expand the public understanding of poetry.
“We felt like we really needed to get our words out in the public,” Geller says.
Pairing the developing poets with their mentors, Epstein says gave them the opportunity to continue their learning experiences, as well as have the honor of sharing a stage with such established writers.
“Having a reading series like this is great for emerging writers because it gives them a chance to participate on the same stage with their mentors,” she says. “I’m really honored to work with all of the poets who are presenting, I respect their work tremendously and it’s just an honor to be considered next to these poets.”
A shared bond with languages brought Geller into the world of poetry through Vangelisti, she says.
“I actually fell into poetry because Paul Vangelisti is a brilliant poet and translator,” Geller says. “I speak five languages fluently and that interested me because, how do you bridge the cultural gap?”
Suzor says her writing parallels Ronk’s work the most, but that “it’s an absolute honor to be reading with even one of these people, much less two, much less all five. …
“I respect all of their writing, even Lizzy and Polly, because they’re all amazingly talented people and poets, and I’m honored to be reading with all five of them.”
For information on how to get involved in future readings — projections include anything from monthly to four to six readings a year — send an e-mail to three.plus.three@ hotmail.com.
“We’re hoping to do these monthly and maybe even branch out to do a reading in San Francisco, but we’ll see where it takes us,” Geller says
“We plan to keep presenting the readings, but we’re still in the stages of working on the next one,” Epstein says. “We love the Frank Pictures Gallery and want to keep working with them, and we’ve also had interest in doing readings outside of Los Angeles.
“It’s all in the planning stages still.”
Frank Pictures Gallery is at Bergamot Station, A-5, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica.
“Anyone who’s asked a question and said, ‘I don’t get poetry’ should come to this event,” Geller says.