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8th Annual Beyond Baroque Awards Dinner

Beyond Baroque
Event organized by Beyond Baroque

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KAMAU DAÁOOD - The George Drury Smith Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry

JACK GRAPES - The Distinguished Service Award

Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center honors two legendary Los Angeles poets at its 8th Annual Awards Dinner on Sunday, May 20th. The event will take place at the Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill St., starting at 6:00 p.m.

Beyond Baroque’s Annual Awards dinner is a major event on the Los Angeles literary calendar, and we invite you to participate in one of the city's great celebrations of poets and poetry by attending the dinner or making a donation to Beyond Baroque in one of the winner's names by using the Donation ticket type.


Kamau Daáood will receive the George Drury Smith Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry. Previous recipients include David St. John, Wanda Coleman, Eloise Klein Healy, Bill Mohr, Suzanne Lummis, Holly Prado, and Paul Vangelisti. The award is given to a Los Angeles based poet whose work has raised the profile of poetry outside the bounds of Los Angeles and has brought widespread attention to the craft of poetry in Los Angeles.

A mythic figure in the Southern California arts scene, Kamau Daáood is a performance poet, educator and community arts activist who is widely acknowledged as a major driving force behind Los Angeles' black cultural renaissance. Born and raised in Los Angeles, the multi-talented poet and artist was instrumental in transforming Leimert Park into the cultural center it is today. In 1989 he and drummer Billy Higgins teamed up with a handful of artists to establish the World Stage. Under Kamau's and Billy's leadership this store-front performance gallery became Los Angeles' black creative epicenter. The author of Ascension, Liberator of the Spirit, and The Language of Saxophones: Selected Poems of Kamau Daáood, Kamau's work has been translated into Spanish and was featured in Ten Contemporary American Poets. He developed his literary skills as a young member of the legendary Watts Writer's Workshop. His tenure as a "word musician" with the Pan African People's Arkestra under the direction of Horace Tapscott, helped to shape his bebop-flavored poetic approach. A veteran of hundreds of readings, Kamau developed an underground following in the west coast performance circles, where he has been known to bring an audience to its feet. His readings have brought him to podiums with Gil Scott Heron, The Last Poets, Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez, and have taken him as far away as Egypt and Somalia.

Jack Grapes will receive the Distinguished Service Award. Previous recipients include S.A. Griffin, Amélie Frank, Rick Lupert, Mike Sonksen, Elena Karina Byrne, Luis J. Rodriguez, Wayne Lindberg, and Hilda Weiss. The award is given to a Los Angeles based poet who has inspired public interest in poetry through his or her good works, and raised the pursuit and practice of poetry to new heights through community action.

Jack Grapes is an award-winning poet, playwright, actor, teacher, and the editor and publisher of ONTHEBUS, one of the top literary journals in the country. He has won several publishing grants and Fellowships in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts. He's also received nine Artist-in- Residence Grants from the California Arts Council to teach writing in various schools throughout Los Angeles. He is the author of 13 books of poetry, including Trees, Coffee, and the Eyes of Deer, and Breaking Down the Surface of the World. A spoken-word CD, Pretend, was issued by DePaul University. Over the last 30 years, he has taught over two thousand poets and writers, through both UCLA's Extension program and in privately-held classes. He has also taught poetry in over 100 Los Angeles schools, was Los Angeles Coordinator for California Poets-in-the-Schools, served on its Board of Directors, and was also a board member for PEN Center USA West. In 1988 he founded the Los Angeles Poets & Writers Collective, which sponsors readings, publications, classes, seminars, and workshops.

Please consider taking out a congratulations ad in our Awards Dinner Program.

Deadline for ad artwork is May 7, 2018.

For more information about the the event contact: sharyl@girlrockltd.com

For ad submissions and inquiries contact: adolfo@beyondbaroque.org

Dinner will take place at The Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Free street parking is available.

Doors at 5:45 | Cocktails at 6:00 | Dinner at 6:30 | Awards Ceremony at 8:00 PM