Kelly Grace Thomas

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READING: The Poetry Circus

he Poetry Circus is a free event for all ages. It includes merry-go-round rides, poetry readings by over 30 well-known poets, tables housing several Los Angeles publishers and literary organizations, interactive poetry performances, haiku balloons, face painting, crafts, and more. This year’s Circus features all female poets, in celebration of the 97th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

The Poetry Circus was inspired by the release of the collection, In the Circus of You, by Nicelle Davis, published in 2015 by Rose Metal Press. Part workshop, community outreach, performance, ride, dance, and creation, the Poetry Circus blurs the line between performer and audience to allow everyone the chance to run away and join the circus. By presenting poetry in an alternative venue, the egalitarian characteristics of poetry are amplified. Poetry IS for everyone, regardless of where we come from or how we got there; we all process and understand the world through metaphor.

Griffith Park is one of the largest parks in the United States. Over 120 years old, it is located in the middle of the sprawling and congested cities that make up Los Angeles County. These 4,310 acres form a sacred refuge. Here the majestic California wilderness helps us reflect on our place in the larger universe. It is “The People’s Park,” created from a long history of regret and redemption. It is forged from humility, and because of this Griffith Park remains one of the few egalitarian strongholds in Los Angeles County. Like Griffith Park, the Poetry Circus is for the people.