Annual Jean Burden Poetry Reading featuring Luis J. Rodriguez

Date and time
Thursday, April 18, 2024 - 5:15pm to 7:30pm
Wallis Annenberg Sciences Complex Courtyard and Rosser Hall Lecture Hall (ASCB, room 132).

Cal State LA's Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics welcomes Luis J. Rodriguez as our 2024 reader in the Jean Burden Poetry Series. Through the power of words, this acclaimed poet, novelist, children’s book author and journalist saw his way out of poverty and despair. Successful as a Chicano poet, Rodriguez thought he had put the streets and his own days as a gang member behind him—until his young son joined a gang. Rodriguez fought for his child by telling his own story in the national bestseller and New York Times Notable Book, Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. This vivid memoir explores gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that haunts its participants. The book has been included on school reading lists nationwide but has often been the subject of controversy due to its frank depictions of gang life. Always Running was adapted as a play in 2019 by LJR and Hector Rodriguez. In 2012, Rodriguez published a sequel titled It Calls You Back: An Odyssey of Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing.

Free and open to the public.

For more information, please go to the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics webpage.

(323) 343-4001