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The Wanda Coleman Project: Genius

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 07:00pm

The Wanda Coleman Project: Genius

Featuring: Wanda Coleman – Poet, Writer & Journalist, Rated-NR, 86 minute.

Wanda Coleman was an American poet who was known as "the L.A. Blueswoman," and "the unofficial poet laureate of Los Angeles." Poet and writer Wanda Coleman was a blatantly humanist artist who won much critical acclaim for her unusually prescient and often innovative work, but who struggled to make a living from her craft. With twelve books of collected writings, as well as numerous other publications, she has created a body of work that is first of all focused on racism and that, secondly, ponders the "outcast" status of living below the poverty line in California, specifically her birthplace Los Angeles, and the southwestern United States. Anger, unhappiness, hate, and violence are often intrinsic to the themes of her stories and poems. Her subjects are often controversial and her tone unapologetic.

Coleman grew up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles during the turbulent 1950s and 1960s. She has received fellowships from the John P. Guggenheim Foundation, The NEA, and the California Arts Council (in fiction and in poetry), and was the first C.O.L.A. literary fellow (Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, 2003). Her many honors include an Emmy in Daytime Drama writing, The 1999 Lenore Marshall Prize (for "Bathwater Wine"), and a nomination for the 2001 National Book Awards (for "Mercurochrome").

This documentary interview includes interview plus poetry readings.

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