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Please Welcome The Poet Laureate Of Los Angeles

The Guild Complex is honored to host author, publisher and activist Luis J. Rodriquez for a reading in Chicago on Saturday from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. at the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, 4048 W Armitage Ave. The event is open to the public, and an open mic will be part of the program. Admission is a $5 suggested donation.

Luis J. Rodriguez is a co-founder (in 1989) of the Guild Complex and was active in Chicago with poetry, gangs, prisons, the homeless and migrant communities for 15 years.

He now lives in Los Angeles where in 2014 Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed him the official Poet Laureate of the city.

Rodriguez has 15 books in poetry, children's literature, fiction and nonfiction, including Always Running, La Vida Loca and Gang Days in L.A.

He is founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and co-founder of Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley.

His last book, It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing, was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award.

"Luis Rodriguez was one of the inspirations for the early work of the Guild Complex, as a writer, an activist, as a publisher, and as a human being," says poet Reginald Gibbons, also a co-founder of the Guild Complex and current board member. "When Guild and Tia Chucha Press were together in Chicago, we published wonderful books by poets who have become essential to our times. Luis has been one of our great examples of how to champion the cause of youth education and cultural empowerment, and one of the great community leaders of the nation."

The Luis J. Rodriquez reading is sponsored by Poets & Writers, Inc., and is co-presented with the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center (SRBCC). SRBCC realizes its mission to preserve and promote appreciation of the culture and arts of Puerto Rico and its African heritage, through innovative programing and cultural events for the community. Formerly the Karlov Theater, their current space was built in 1925 and includes five retail spaces, two apartments, and a theatre area. SRBCC currently completed the conversion of the former theater into a multipurpose space.


See also:

Meet Luis J. Rodriguez.


Gang life.


Escaping gang life.




"His oldest son Ramiro had been sentenced to 28 years in the Illinois state prison system for three counts of attempted murder, but after a total of 15 years with three separate convictions Ramiro is now free, no longer involved in gangs or drugs, and has worked in gang prevention/intervention in Chicago."


Comments welcome.


Posted on June 9, 2015

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