Speechless the Magazine

 To render. Be rendered. Awestruck. Awesome.
A magazine of poetry and related arts straight from L.A.



Poetry Then / Poetry Now


Say "Los Angeles" and—unaccountably—poetry does not spring to most people's minds.  (But then, in our times, this end of the Americas, poetry wouldn't spring into most minds even if you said "poetry".) Just the same, the city has harbored, nurtured, and often frustrated, its share of coteries and klatches of poets, swathes of poets, nimbi of poets—gifted writers and dynamic personalities—since its earliest (or at least next-to-earliest) days. Northeast L.A.'s June 4th celebrations of Los Angeles' cultural and historical roots, Lummis Day, prompted this look back at a couple of those poets who got here first.

Poetry Then

Eugene Manlove Rhodes
Before Eugene Rhodes began writing those books the silent movie makers would turn to for good rousing stories on the West, he'd mastered the arts of mining, stonemasonry, well-digging and wild horse taming. In short, before he wrote his first poem, he'd packed in a bit more experience than your average MFA program graduate. So it's right and just that he was paid more for his first poem than many poets get nowadays for their eleventh or twelfth: ten dollars.

Nora May French
Up north in Carmel this wistful short-lived poet of exquisite melancholy has not been altogether forgotten. But many reasonably intelligent people walking around L.A. are a bit fuzzy about her strong Southern California connections.

Poetry Now

The following offers a short cross-section of current voices—long-time L.A. residents and recent arrivals, widely published poets and newly published. In the event some readers have difficultly moving so quickly from turn of the 19th/20th century to the lately turned 21st, some of the poets have included statements describing their artistic intentions and aims, and their views of the art. 

Charles Harper Webb
Elena Karina Byrne
Mark Irwin
Elsa Frausto
Tahirih, translated by Anthony A. Lee and Amin Banani
Charlotte Innes
Suzanne Lummis
liz gonzález
Larry Colker


Speechless Spring 2007
Copyright © 2007 Published by
Tebot Bach