ISSN 1551-8086
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   poets list
   Francisco Dominguez & Aire Celeste Norell
   Marie Lecrivain & Angel Uriel Perales
   Sheikha A.
   Steve Abee
   L. Ward Abel
   Carl Abt
   Han Adcock
   Elizabeth Addis
   Aderemi Adegbite
   Adeolu Emmanuel Adesanya
   Neil Aitken
   M.I Akande
   Shahd Al-Shemmari
   Lynn Albanese
   Nicole Alexander
   Gwyndyn Alexander
   Scott Alexander
   Alaina Renee Alexander
   Inalegwu Omapada Alifa
   Maureen Alsop
   Rafael Alvarado
   Steven Alvarez
   Keiko Amano
   Veronica An
   Zack Anderson
   Amy Anderson
   Kristine Anderson
   G.D. Anderson
   Lori Anderson-Moseman
   Grace Andreacchi
   Renae Andruse
   Arlene Ang
   Roger Angle
   Stephen Anstay
   Azure Antoinette
   Theresa Antonia
   Aurora Antonovic
   Maria A Arana
   Carlye Archibeque
   Joseph Armstead
   Feral Artist
   Baron James Ashanti
   Charlene M. Ashendorf
    Askew
   Gregory Austin
   Shawn Aveningo
   maeghanne ayers
   Goodness Lanre Ayoola
   John-Patrick Ayson
   Jim Babwe
   Sophie Bachard
   Vasile Baghiu
   Bridget Bagne
   song-hue bahk
   Michael Baker
   Prerna Bakshi
   Anna Balint
   David Banuelos
   Jared Barbick
   J. Mae Barizo
   Peter Barlow
   Matthew A. Barraza
   James Barros
   Jeni Bate
   Jonathan Beale
   Richard Beban
   Gary Beck
   Gary Beck
   Lytton Bell
   Hakim Bellamy
   Michele Beller
   Laura Bellotti
   Stefanie Bennett
   Hayley Berariu
   Kevin Berger
   Lawrence Berger
   Mike Berger, Ph.D.
   Tom Berman
   luis cuauhtemoc berriozabal
   Catherine Berry
   Nick Bertelson
    Besskepp
   Mary Rose Betten
   Cheryl Beychok
   Gwendolyn Beyer
   François Biajoux
   Heitham Black
   Jarvis Black
   Beau Blue
   Rose Mary Boehm
   Bonnie Bolling
   Julie Bolt
   Lek Borja
   Cristogianni Borsella
   Gerald Bosacker
   Amanda Boschetto
   Wendy Bourke
   Jack G. Bowman
   Jennifer Bradpiece
   Bob Bradshaw
   Marcielle Brandler
   Peter Branson
   Sumiko Braun
   Adam Bresson
   Quiana Briggs
   Jack Bristow
   paulo brito
   Alan Britt
   Michelle Brodeur
   Lynne Bronstein
   Charles Brooks
   Adam Levon Brown
   Jason Sanford Brown
   zoey brown
   Leah Brown
   Deborah Edler Brown
   Bob Browning
   Sir Mark Bruback
   MC Bruce
   Jeffrey Bryant
   Kate Buckley
   Robin M. Buehler
   Ron Burch
   Graham Burchell
   Maria Rose Burgio
   Betsy Burke
   Matt Burns
   Richard Burrill
   Zachary C. Bush
   Tony Bush
   Elissa Calvin
   Joseph Camhi
   Don Kingfisher Campbell
   Dana Campbell
   Velene Campbell
   Don Kingfisher Campbell
   Neil Campbell
   Luis Campos
   Janine Canan
   Lyn Cannaday
   Pasquale Capacosa
   Joey Capone
   Hélène Cardona
   Britton Laine Carducci
   D.J. Carlile
   Julia Carlson
   Alicia Carpenter
   Jonathan Carr
   Patricia Carragon
   Oscar Carrasco
   Jared Carter
   Michael Aaron Casares
   John Casey
   Lisa Castro
   Rachael Kelechi Caulker
   Nika Cavat
   Michael Caylo-Baradi
   Steve Ceniceros
   Michael Ceraolo
    Cerise
   Robert Cesaretti
   Cheryl Chambers
   Lita-Luise Chappell
   Shibani Chattopadhyay
   Lisa Cheby
   Beth Cheng
   Ralph-Michael Chiaia
   Juhi Chowdhury
   David Christensen
   Terry Clark
   Darice Clark
   Terry Clark
   Phil Clark
   Charles Claymore
   Jeanette Clough
   Kim Cochran
   Ed Coet
   Tobi Cogswell
   Megan Coker
   Bruce Colbert
   Merrill Cole
   Karen E. Cole
   Christopher Coleman
   Larry Colker
   Beverly M. Collins
   Christiane Conésa-Bostock
   David Concepcion
   Christiane Conesa-Bostock
   Brendan Connell
   Alice Constantine
   Jack Cooper
   Flavia Cosma
   Rachel Coventry
   R. Paul Craig
   David Cravens
   William Crawford
   Natalie Crick
   Rosemarie Crisafi
   Carla Criscuolo
   Chris Crittenden
   Benjamin Crowley
   Susan Culver
   Joe Cyr
   Jim D Babwe
   Morgaine d'Abney
   Karen Corcoran Dabkowski
   Daniel Daian
    Dalton
   Catherine Daly
   Iris Dan
   Marie Lecrivain & Daniel Gallik
   Dan Danila
   Michelle Daugherty
   Piper Davenport
   Kathrine David
   Gareth Davies
   Holly Day
   Frank De Canio
   Gregory De Feo
   Steve De France
   J. de Salvo
   J de Salvo
   kumari de Silva
   Pijush Kanti Deb
   Shalla DeGuzman
   JD DeHart
   Diane Dehler
   Aurelius Demarco
   Darren C Demaree
   Gloria Derge
   Chris Derrico
   Lea Deschenes
   Maurice Devitt
   Theo Diamantis
   Mike Dias
   Martin Dickinson
   Edward J DiMaio
   Mark Dixon
   Peggy Dobreer
   Rosemarie Dombrowski
   Francisco J. Dominguez
   Linsly Donnelly
   Lisa Helene Donovan
   Kevin Doran
   Marvin Dorsey
   Marvin Louis Dorsey
   John Dorsey
   Laura A. Lionello & Douglas Richardson
   Doug Draime
   Donelle Dreese
   Dale Duke
   Jawanza Dumisani
   Henri Dumolet
   Max Dunbar
   t. joseph dunn
   Robin Wyatt Dunn
   Tyler Dupuis
    Durenda
   Walter Durk
   Ron Dvorkin
   Douglas Dvorkin
   Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi
   Alfie Ebojo aka alfie numeric
   Patricia J. Edwards
   Elisabeth Adwin Edwards
   Sabrina Edwards
   Miguel Eichelberger
   John Elison
   Julian Ellis
   Neil Ellman
   K. Eltinaé
   R.M. Engelhardt
   Margarita Engle
   Jon Epstein
   Sufi Erter
   Eli Eshaghian
   Michael Estabrook
   Alexis Rhone Fancher
   Richard Fein
   John Feins
   Emily Fernandez
   Melissa Fischer
   W.S. Fisher
   Jamie Asae FitzGerald
   Amelia Fleetwood
   Jake Fleshner
   John Jay Flicker
   David Flynn
   Arthur Charles Ford
   Liz Fortini
   Sesshu Foster
   Heather Fowler
   Clint Frakes
   Sarah Francois
   Amélie Frank
   Amelie Frank
   Alex M. Frankel
   Allie Frazier
   E.L. Freifeld
   M. Frias Frias-May
   Suzanne Frost
   Delia J. Fry
   Elliott Gabay
   Steven Gabriel
   Timothy Gager
   Daniel Gallik
   J Gamble
   Ishmael Garay
   Jerry Garcia
   Daniel Garcia-Black
   Gabriella Garofalo
   Vince Garofalo
   Yvonne Garrett
   Nelson Gary
   Donna Gebron
   Ulrike Gerbig
   Janice Gero
   Ursula T. Gibson
   Rebecca Gimblett
   Tony Gloeggler
   Steve Goldman
   Vesna Goldsworthy
   Melanie Gonzalez
   Jeffrey Graessley
   Allison Grayhurst
   Jeff Green
   Timothy Green
   Jeanie Greensfelder
   Rhoda Greenstone
   Amos Greig
   John Greiner
   John Grey
   Summer Griffiths
   Danielle Grilli
   Brian Grillo
   John Grochalski
   Wendy Grosskopf
   Andrew Grossman
   Ro Gunetilleke
   Kenneth Gurney
   John R. Guthrie
   Debashish Haar
   Erik Haber
   Hedy Habra
   Tresha Faye Haefner
   Matthias Hagedorn
   James Hall
   Tom Hamilton
   David Harrington
   William Harris
   Matt Harris
   Dawnell Harrison
   J. Alana Hauenschild
   Kari J. Hayes
   KJ Hays
   Ann L. Healey
   Jessica Healy
   Eloise Klein Healy
   Jim Heavily
   Dan Hedges
   Paul Hellweg
   Samantha Henderson
   Jack Henry
   David Herrle
   JD Heskin
   Kenneth Hickey
   Jerry Hicks
   Marvin R Hiemstra
   Ed Higgins
   Carlos Hiraldo
   Sherri Hoffman
   Guy Hogan
   Ali Hosseiny
   Dave Houston
   Eric Howard
   Nate Howard
   David Howard
   Bryon D. Howell
   A J Huffman
   Hunter Lee Hughes
   Roger Humes
   Trista Hurley-Waxali
   Elizabeth Iannaci
   Thea Iberall
   Armine Iknadossian
   Gedda Ilves
   Alegria Imperial
   Victor Infante
   Victor D. Infante
   Augustus Invictus
   Susan Irvine
   Alexandra Isacson
   Natalie Itzhaki
   Amber Jacob
   Scott Jacobson
   Larry Jaffe
   Sonika Jaggi
   Emmanuel Jakpa
   Matthew James
   Andrea Janov
   T.A. Jennings
   Ivan Jenson
   Dani Jimenez
   Alex Johnson
   Michael Lee Johnson
   Strider Marcus Jones
   Lois P. Jones
   Tao Jones
   Georgia Jones-Davis
   Jasmin Jordan
   Quentin Josephy
   Liu Jue
   Ruth Juris
   Gene Justice
   Gary Justice
   Pete Justus
   Mikel K
   Scott C. Kaestner
   Sheema Kalbasi
   Peycho Kanev
   Rachel Kann
   Jay Kantor
   Paula Sfier Kattan
   Russ Kazmierczak
   James Keane
   Gretchen Keer
   Aaron Keller
   Collin Kelley
   Kamuran Kelly
   Raud Kennedy
   Bernard Kennedy
   Kathleen Kenny
   Stephen Kerr
   Hari Bhajan Khalsa
   Just Kibbe
   Jerome Kiel
   lalo kikiriki
   Robert S King
   Ashley King
   Franklin Lafayette King
   Sofia Kioroglou
   Rusty Kjarvik
   Kenny Klein
   LeAnne Kline
   Julia Knobloch
   Deborah P Kolodji
   Tracy Koretsky
   Edith Kornfeld
   George Korolog
   Dimitris P. Kraniotis
   Thomas KrÀmer
   Mark Krewatch
   Chris Krueger
   Amanda Krut
   Gerard Kuc
   Christopher Kuhn
   Donna Kuhn
   Len Kuntz
   Craig Kurtz
   Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
   Daniel Lambert
   Anthony Langford
   Donald Langosy
   Ray Lanthier
   Phillip Larrea
   Phillip Larrea
   Kasandra Larsen
   Wolf Larsen
   Ethan Latham
   Lisa LaTourette
   Marie Lecrivain & Laura A. Lionello
   Marianne LaValle-Vincent
   Kevin Lavey
   Judith A. Lawrence
   Eric Lawson
   Richard Leach
   Anne Lecrivain
   Marie Lecrivain
   Noah Lederman
   Pete Lee
   Kevin Patrick Lee
   Emma Lee
   N.M. Leepsa
   Alexandra Leggat
   Laura LeHew
   Gary Lehmann
   Sharmagne Leland-St. John
   Kevin LeMaster
   Michal Lemberger
   Kim Leng
   Roland Lesterin
   Tiffany Lettieri
   P.A. Levy
   Martin Lewis
   Cheyenne Lewis
   Anthony Liccione
   Cynthia Linville
   Laura Lionello
   Zachary Locklin
   Jessica Lopez
   Harold Lorin
   Tess. Lotta
   B.D. Love
   Adam Lowis
   Ron Lucas
   Andrew Lundwall
   Rick Lupert
   Suzan Lustig
   Radomir Luza
   Stosh Machek
   John MacKenna
   Sarah Maclay
   Stefanie Maclin
    Magdalena
   Gary Maggio
   Holly Magill
   Anthony Magistrale
   Marieta Maglas
   Suvi Mahonen
   Donal Mahoney
   Robert Maiolo
   Kelly Ann Malone
   Michael Malota
   Shahé Mankerian
   Angela Consolo Mankiewicz
   Chris Mansell
   H.E. Mantel
   April-May March
   Rick Marlatt
   John Marshall
   Agnes Marton
   Francis Masat
   Hyatt Mason
   Lee Mason
   Anthony Mason
   Johnny Masuda
   Mira N. Mataric
   Ellyn Maybe
   Michelle Mazzetti
   Mary L. Mazzocco
   Ted Mc Carthy
   Austin McCarron
   Terry McCarty
   Paul McConnell
   Brendan McCormack
   Deborah McCreath-Akbar
   Catfish McDaris
   Bray McDonald
   Karen J McDonnell
   Matt McGee
   Allen McGill
   Afric McGlinchey
   Terance James McGunigle
   Cat Angelique McIntire
   David McIntire
   david mclean
   Isobel McQueen
   Fernando Meisenhaulter
    Mephistopheles
   Corey Mesler
   Melissa Michaels
    Mike the Poet
   Robert John Miller
   Scott Miller
   Richard Lee Miller
   Hany Haggag Abdl Mobdy
   Richard Modiano
   William Mohr
   Sonnet Mondal
   Jason Monios
   Leslie Monsour
   Amanda Montei
   Patrick Mooney
   Carl Moore
   Greggory Moore
    Albert Lee Moran
   A.J. Morelli
   Christopher Mulrooney
   Frank Mundo
   Barbara-Marie Mundt
   Augusto Munoz
   Mark Murphy
   Craig Murray
   Kristine Ong Muslim
   JL Nathan
   Nimah Nawwab
   Leslie Maryann Neal
   Jason Neese
   Raghab Nepal
   Robbi Nester
   Mindy Nettifee
   Martina Reisz Newberry
   Beth Escott Newcomer
   Peter Nezafati
   Scott Nichols
   keith niles
   Dave Nordling
   Aire Celeste Norell
   Steve Norwood
   Laura Nye
   Charlotte O'Brien
   Toti O'Brien
   Suzanne O'Connell
   Katie O'Loughlin
   Peter O'Niell
   Tom O'Reilly
   Akor Emmanuel Oche
   A.J. Odasso
   Rita Odeh
   Kirsten Ogden
   Daniel Olivas
   Maurice Oliver
   Marc Olmstead
   Philip ONeil
   Nzingah Oniwosan
   Chika Onyenezi
   Sergio Ortiz
   David Ishaya Osu
   Scott Thomas Outlar
   Holly Painter
   Lizbeth Palma
   Heather Palmer
   Greg Patrick
   Miss Natalie Patterson
   David E. Patton
   Tim Peeler
   Steve Pelcman
   Angel Perales
   Alice Pero
   Angela J. Perry
   Helen Peterson
   Brenda Petrakos
   Adam Phillips
   James G Piatt
   Rebecca Pierce
   Gareth Pike
   James Pinkerton
   Rob Plath
   Kushal Poddar
   Contributors to poeticdiversity
   Meg Pokrass
   Traian Pop Traian
   Bethany W Pope
   Wayne E. Popelka
   Elisha Porot
   Adrian Potter
   Ren Powell
   Frank Praeger
   Kristena Prater
   Luke Prater
   Shannon Prince
   Stephany Prodromides
   Hattie Quinn
   Octavio Quintanilla
   Beverly J. Raffaele
    Raindog
   Catherine Rajca
   Steve Ramirez
   Mauricio Alejandro Ramos
   Vishnu Rao
   Ingrid Rattay
   James Rauff
   Kasey Ray
   Bili Redd
   Brian Redfern
   Marie Rennard
   Luivette Resto
   E.W. Richardson
   John Richmond
   Francisca Ricinski-Marienfeld
   Lillian Ridgeway
   Kevin Ridgeway
   Dee Rimbaud
   Elijiah Rios
   Cat Risinger
   Ariel Robello
   Ebi Robert
   John D Robinson
   Paula Rodriguez
   Nydia Rojas
   Daniel Romo
   Emily Rose
   Rina Rose
   Diana Rosen
   Poet-broker Rosenthal
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   Walter Ruhlmann
   Gina MarySol Ruiz
   Cody Rukasin
   Cody Rukasin
   Ashley Rumery
   David W. Rushing
   Maryann Russo
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   Howard Sage
   Russell Salamon
   April Salzano
   Bryan Sanders
   Lisa Marie Sandoval
   Cecile Sarruf
    Sasparella
   Ethan Sassouni
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   Lorraine Sautner
   Rati Saxena
   Iftekhar Sayeed
   Frances Schiavina
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   Peter Schwartz
   Sondra L. Scott
   Ken Scott
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   Justin Scupine
   LB Sedlacek
   Lisa Segal
   Anthony Seidman
   Anthony Seidman
   Oleg Semonov
   Sanjeev Sethi
   John W Sexton
   Jack Allen Shafer
   Dahn Shaulis
   Tom Sheehan
   Jake Sheff
   Steve Shickman
   Nancy Shiffrin
   June Shiitake
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   Rishan Singh
   Durlabh Singh
   Kalpna Singh-Chitnis
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   Apryl Skies
   Knute Skinner
   Sam Skow
   Ratpack Slim
   Lee Sloca
   Carol Smallwood
   Danielle Smith
   Clinton Smith
    smzang
   Kate Soto
   Ghetto Speare
   Jeanne Marie Spicuzza
   Richard Spuler
   Matina Stamatakis
   Jan Steckel
   Julia Stein
   Eric Steineger
   Carl Stillwell
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   Alex Stolis
   Karr Stratynberg
   Kevin Stricke-9
   Keith Stump
   Daniel Suffian
   Annette Sugden
   J. C. Sullivan
   Mani Suri
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   John Duncan Talbird
   Sister Taxi Hopscotch
   Jonathan Taylor
   Barbara A. Taylor
   Mark Taylor
   Allen Taylor
   Paul Kareem Tayyar
   Alene Terzian
    The Unarmed Man
   A. Thiagarajan
   G. Murray Thomas
   Lynne Thompson
   David Thornbrugh
   Kari Thune
   Sarah Thursday
   Ilona Timoszuk
   Tim Tipton
    TJungle
   Chrys Tobey
    tolbert
   Imani Tolliver
   A. TOMIC
   Anthony Torchia
   Mary Torregrossa
   Zev Torres
   Evan Traiger
   Davide Trame
   Tri Tran
   Ryan Tranquilla
   Alain Marcel Treadaway
   Pedro Trevino-Ramirez
   Ben Trigg
   Paul Tristram
   Maja Trochimczyk
    Troy
   The TruthHearse
   Tatiana Tulskaya
   Yelena and Roman Tunkel
   John Turi
   Danny Uebbing
   Amy Upham
   Amy Uyematsu
   Philomena van Rijswijk
   Gene van Troyer
   Wanda Vanhoy Smith
   Brenda Varda
   Luis Rubio Vargas
   Carmen Vega
   Ms. Veronica
   Papa Vic
   Clee Villasor
   Ajise Vincent
   Curran D. Vinson
   Jason Visconti
   Anca Vlasopolos
   Daniela Voicu
   Claire Walker
   toren wallace
   r.k. wallace
   Evan Walsh
   Sharieff Walters
   John Wariner
   Deborah L Warner
   Christopher Watkins
   Brian Watson
   Lafayette Wattles
   Charlie Weber
   Ellen Webre
   Justin Weiler
   Viola Weinberg
   Florence Weinberger
   Desmond Weindorf
   Cindy Weinstein
   Denise R. Weuve
   Rev. Dave Wheeler
   Leigh White
   Megwynn White
   Kelley White
   J.T. Whitehead
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   Claire Williams
   Patrick Williamson
   Martin Willitts, Jr
   Jessica Wilson
   Robert D. Wilson
   Amye Wilson
   Alicia Winski
   Tyler Joseph Wiseman
   Joseph Wistren
   Wayne Wolfson
   Terry Wolverton
   Nina Womack
   Seth Woolf
   Kirby Wright
   Gianna Wurzl
   Abigail Wyatt
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   MÌesser Yeniay
   Julie Yi
   Britney Young
   Gregory T. Young
   Omar ZahZah
   Mariano Zaro
   Michael Zeltser
    
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Marie Lecrivain
February 2006
   

 

Holly Prado:
poet, publisher, teacher, and author of These Mirrors Prove It

Holly Prado is a touchstone in the constantly evolving Los Angeles literary scene. She's a poet, a visionary, a teacher, a wife and mother, a publisher, and an inspiration to both past and future generations of writers who attend her workshops and classes.

Whenever Holly's name is mentioned by a friend, fellow poet, former student, or admirer, the same reaction occurs; the speaker's posture straightens, and then a smile appears. These respectful and affectionate gestures remind me that one can feel her presence even when she is miles away - and that can certainly be discerned in her writing. Holly's work spans over three decades, most recently her compilation These Mirrors Prove It: Selected Poems and Prose, 1973-2000 (2004 Cahuenga Press), which chronicles the development of Holly's unparalleled poetic vision. Holly's work represents and exemplifies the best qualities that modern American poetry has to offer the rest of the world: a precise, organic, and mythic perspective.

Holly graciously took time out of her busy schedule to participate in this interview, and for that I thank her.




ML: When did you first realize you were a poet? What were those moments like for you when you wrote your first poem; the thoughts, the feelings, the process, and how does that differ from writing a poem today?



HP: Realizing I was a poet took many years. The first poem I remember writing was when I was ten years old. It was about the moon. So, without knowing it, I'd already found my attitude toward writing - a lunar, intuitive path. But I came from a Midwestern, middle-class family. No one was an artist of any kind. Artists were "nuts," as my father put it. I was in my early thirties before I really began writing seriously, choosing to live a creative life.

Of course, when I was ten years old, I had no idea what I was doing as a writer. Now when I write, I bring many years of inner reflection and craft to the page. It's much more pleasurable and rewarding to be consciously involved with my work than to be child-like, spontaneous and ignorant



ML: How much has poetry, for good or ill, determined the course of your life?



HP: Poetry has enriched my life enormously, and, yes, I do believe in fate, a destined course, although we certainly can choose to cooperate or not with that course. For good or ill? Writing both poetry and prose has always thrilled me. I've been lucky to find a small audience who's willing to read what I've written. That's wonderful. I'd write, though, no matter who did or didn't read my work. I love the creative act. I love the mystery of it and I love grammar, too.

The downside, I suppose, is the sacrifice of making a lot of money, being seen as a successful American who sells a popular product or owns a company. Although things have often been edgy in my life, financially, I've never yearned to have more than I do, or to accomplish anything other than what I've done.

It would be nice to get prestigious grants and awards; that's something which has always eluded me. But, still, I've gotten along fine without that sort of boost.



ML: In what ways have your Midwestern beginnings as well as your years as an Angeleno shaped you into the poet you have become?



HP: I carry the prairie of Nebraska in my blood and a Lakota spirit in my heart. The American buffalo, which I grew up with, is a guardian for me; I've written a lot about that. But Los Angeles has been a true home, the place I've lived longer than anywhere else 45 years now. The literary community in L.A. has been a great support and source of friendship. Without the people who care about poetry and non-commercial, creative writing in general, without those who share creative passions, it would be a struggle to keep my spirits up.

The natural world here ocean, mountains, desert and the drama of earthquakes, mudslides, brushfires our neighborhood crows and possums the plants, from simple geraniums to those exotic birds of paradise all this feeds me and finds its way into my creative imagination.

Also, being an Anglo Saxon Midwesterner, I love the Latin warmth of Los Angeles. It's in the psyche of the city itself, and in our Spanish name: Los Angeles, the angels. I do feel angels here. Not all of them are helpful; some bring destruction. But so far I've been blessed. (The disasters I have experienced were shocks I've needed in order to move on in my life.)



ML: In Poets of the Non-Existent City: Los Angeles in the McCarthy Era (2002 University of New Mexico Press), there is a mention of your teacher Alvaro Cardona-Hine. How did his style and lyricism influence your own?



HP: Alvaro Cardona-Hine led a poetry workshop which I joined in 1970. He was from Costa Rica, had a Latino/Zen spirit which helped me accept the irrational source of much poetry. He and the other members of the group were instrumental in getting me to take myself seriously, to clean up my sloppy writing habits and to consider publishing at a time when I had no idea I could aim for that.

One of the people in the group was Ameen Alwan. He's still a friend, after all these years. He's a professional gardener. When I was going through a divorce, he started a garden in my back yard. He just came over and did it one afternoon before I got home. It was a godsend, a way to help me understand how to grow things, how to respect and nurture plants which could feed me or offer me beauty. And I began to use a lot of nature imagery I hadn't used before in my poems, out of gratitude for what I learned in that garden.



ML: What has been the most difficult obstacle in the journey that shaped your poetic vision, and what has been your greatest encouragement?



HP: Most difficult obstacle? Myself, of course: the Inner Critic, the Doubter. Yet my greatest encouragement has also come from an inner self who longs for a life of self-examination, who loves study and real work, who isn't afraid of doing what's asked of her by The Muse even if the demand makes no sense to begin with. The meaning does come clear as the writing unfolds.



ML: What advice would you give to a writer who wanted to explore, and then acquire the ability to connect with nature and mythos on the level you have achieved?



HP: Advice about connecting with mythos and nature? Look within yourself, identify your own passions and conflicts, see where those are reflected in the world's mythology and in whatever kind of nature you're most deeply attracted to. Watch your dreams. Read and read. Keep a journal/ writer's notebook that's a secret, so you're free to explore fearlessly everything about yourself and about life. Be alert to everyday symbolism and metaphor. Be attentive.



ML: What is it like to be married to another poet (Harry Northup)? How does sharing your life with someone who practices the same art you do affect your poetry/writing?



HP: Harry and I fell in love because of poetry. He and I have always shared our devotion to that, but we've never tried to influence each other's writing. He knows what he needs to do; I know how to approach my own work. We don't agree about everything. But we cheer each other on.
Cahuenga Press was Harry's inspiration. The press is now about to publish its fifteenth book, Harry's Red Snow Fence. Along with Phoebe MacAdams and James Cushing, we've managed to put poetry into the world in a way we're proud of. Harry and I work at home on the press. Again, we don't always agree, but we get things done. Both of us like to make our ideas actual in the world, and we're willing to put energy into doing that. We don't sit around making up grandiose schemes we can't carry out.



ML: Diane DiPrima said of your book Esperanza: Poems for Orpheus (1998 Cahuenga Press): "These poems hold a sweet ripeness, a vast dark promise; poetry will heal us, heal our world. From grief, the music. We come back to it, There is no other way." How does your poetry, or poetry in general "heal the world" as Ms. DiPrima states?



HP: How does poetry heal the world? Mysteriously, the creative act enters the collective psyche, whether the outer world is aware of it or not. I believe this helps to counter violence, injustice, war. But we need more and more people to participate in creative efforts of the deepest kind this is a moment in history when each of us has to be heroic. Extroverted acts of heroism matter, but the use of the imagination, the poetic soul, is much more valuable to the world than we usually think. Poetry isn't an escape; it's an engagement with the human potential to heal through ever-increasing consciousness.



ML: These Mirrors Prove It: Selected Poems and Prose, 1970-2003 (2004 Cahuenga Press), in my experience, is an indispensable collection of poetry and prose. Can you share some of the details of its inception, the editorial process, and the coming together of the final manuscript? What are your thoughts when you hold the book in your hands and read its contents?



HP: About These Mirrors Prove It: Because this is a selection of thirty years worth of writing (1970 2003), I had many, many choices to make. I started at the beginning with writing I'd done in Alvaro's workshop. Over two years, I sorted through all my work until I was up to date. The process was slower than I'd thought it would be because it was powerfully emotional for me. I'd expected it to be simply, "This goes in; this doesn't," but I re-lived my creative and personal history as I re-read everything I'd written. So, I couldn't do a lot all at once; I had to give myself time to absorb what I was feeling.

My decision to organize the book chronologically made sense and gave me a framework to fill. I think it's an easy way for a reader to enter the work, too. I'm still happy with that.

This is a book I'd wanted to do for quite awhile. I'm in my sixties. I'm at a stage in my life when I've done the major portion of my writing. This is a good time to gather my past and then let it go a paradoxical process of taking in and releasing.

The cover photo is one my father took of me when I was ten years old (about the time I wrote that first poem). I wanted to honor his documenting of my childhood and of our family. He was a gifted photographer. And I wanted to recognize the girl who did know, inside herself, that she would have a writing life someday.

I love this book. I'm enormously grateful to Cahuenga Press, for the support I got from everybody. These Mirrors Prove It lays it all out my strengths and my flaws. It's my grand experiment.



ML: Considering all you have written, what are three of your favorite poems, and why?



HP: Three favorite poems? All of my writing is meaningful to me in individual, distinct ways. I don't think in terms of favorites. One poem which comes to mind, though, is "The Tall, Upheaving One" from my book Esperanza: Poems for Orpheus (Cahuenga Press, 1998). It captures the mysterious quality of relationship between the actual and the invisible. This is a numinous place between worlds which is, I believe, where lyric poetry has its origins. Much of my work attempts to describe this place that's especially true in Esperanza, I feel.



ML: How much has your role as a teacher affected your writing?



HP: Teaching has given me great gifts. I work with writers who are committed to their writing in ways that inspire me. The Tuesday workshops I teach at home have been going on for nearly thirty years. The Wednesday night group is newer, but has still been in place for a long time. I've been teaching a poetry writing class in the graduate writing program at USC for sixteen years. I never get tired of being part of people's creative development.

Teaching enlivens me. Some writers think teaching steals their creative life. Anyone who feels that way shouldn't be teaching. Teaching is sacred.



ML: Who are some of your favorite poets and novelists?



HP: Favorite poets and novelists: No one outshines Harry Northup. His clear-eyed honesty, his emotional accuracy, his understanding of powerful imagery are qualities we can all emulate in our poetry. Wallace Stevens was an early life-saving poet; I still read his work with deep love. Jean Valentine is a recent exciting discovery for me, although she's been writing for years. (We find what we need when we need it.) I'm a fan of Diane Wakoski's writing, too. I marvel at her ability to mythologize personal experience. And Larry Levis is in my pantheon of great poets. He doesn't get the attention he should.
Novelists: I usually read contemporary American writing. I'm a big Thomas Pynchon fan. I like Don DeLillo, too. There's a young fiction writer named Alicia Erian who's terrific. She has a short story collection out, and a new novel called Towelhead.

I read non-fiction a lot. I like personal essays. Personal writing of any kind. Right now, I'm reading Don't Try This at Home, which is a collection of essays by professional chefs about disasters they've had in restaurant kitchens. I love to cook. No failure I've ever had in my own kitchen can top the stories in this book they're funny and revealing.



ML: Do you have any plans for another volume of poetry? If so, when will the next book be released, and what themes will you explore?



HP: Plans for another volume of poetry: Tebot Bach Press in Huntington Beach will bring out my Monkey Journal sometime this year. It's a year-long literary journal, both poetry and prose, which took its theme from the Chinese Lunar Year of the Monkey in 2004. The themes emerged from what was going on around me during the year Harry's a prominent character; the death of the poet Paul Brooks is important; my learning T'ai Chi figures into things; and there are contemplations on love, my small garden, friends, the moon, birds, and, of course, the monkey of the title.

In 2005, I wrote a chapbook length book of poems called Branch, which renews an old theme of mine: the too-early death of my mother, and the loss of/redemption of the feminine soul. This wound and its healing always finds their way back to me.






Holly Prado, a legend in the Los Angeles literary community, has been writing and publishing for many years. Her work, which combines the personal and the mythic with evocative intensity, has appeared in more than a hundred publications and a dozen anthologies, both nationally and internationally. Her seventh book, Esperanza: Poems for Orpheus (Cahuenga Press, 1998), has been highly praised, particularly in The Women's Review of Books (Wellesley College) and The Chicago Review. In 1999, she received First Prize in the Los Angeles Poetry Festival's Fin de Millennium Awards. She teaches both privately and in the USC graduate writing program.

copyright 2006 Marie Lecrivain