Mike Sonksen, who also goes by Mike the Poet, is a third-generation Los Angeles native acclaimed for poetry performances, published articles, mentoring teen writers and leading poetic walking tours.

Sonksen first fell in love with the Westside while attending UCLA in the 1990s. His work has since been a part of programming for KCET, the Los Angeles Public Library and Friends of the Los Angeles River. His most recent book, “Poetics of Location,” was published last year by Writ Large Press. According to the Los Angeles Times, “he might well be the hardest-working bard in Los Angeles.”

“Mike the Poet sings the history, people, dreams and even shadows of L.A. city, one of the most seen and filmed cities of the world, yet little known or understood,” said Los Angeles Poet Laureate Emeritus Luis J. Rodriguez. “His poems are instant pop-and-crackle chronicles, more news than the 11 p.m. news hour, yet they are also jackhammer words crashing onto concrete walkways, the palm-drenched horizon through smog-laden sky, the truth that dares to include everyone.”

On Oct. 1, Sonksen is giving free poetic walking tours in Santa Monica as part of the city’s Open Streets event. Tours happen from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and begin from the Camera Obscura building in Palisades Park. Visit smgov.net for more information.

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