“[…P]oetry as observation, […]poetry as piecing together, […] poetry as a way to see beneath the surfaces of a city that still, to some extent, defines itself by surfaces is central to “Wide Awake.” It is both a diverse collection and a consistent one, a framing of voices, all trying to make sense of not Los Angeles in the abstract, but on the most concrete, experiential terms. Lummis is an ideal guide for this endeavor — poet, anthologist, long-time L.A. literary booster [...H]er intent here is not to showcase any particular school or aesthetic, but rather the range of Southern California poetry."— David Ulin, Los Angeles Times
Poetry. California Interest. WIDE AWAKE draws together nationally acclaimed poets and gifted newer writers—one hundred twelve poets of Los Angeles and its surrounding territories—whose work speaks to the humanity, pathos and comedy, of what may be the most romanticized and scorned, disparaged and exalted of the world's great cities. With respect to style, the selections range from the narrative to the more open-ended or non-sequential, classic formal verse to robust vernacular, and in this way speak to the lively state of North American poetry in our age. Poets include David St. John, Wanda Coleman, Cecilia Woloch, Lynne Thompson, Timothy Steele, Kate Gale, Gail Wronsky, Terry Wolverton, Luis J. Rodriguez, Tony Barnstone, Robin Coste Lewis, William Archila and Melissa Roxas.
On February 28, 2018 the group had a poetry reading and discussion. Each member picked 5-10 poems which the group read as a round robin and we discussed our resonance, joy and despair with each. It was magical!