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latimes.com

Who wants to define the psychogeography of Los Angeles?

By Hector Tobar

2:49 PM PST, December 12, 2012

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Maybe you're a writer who got lost in Los Angeles once and discovered a corner of the city you never knew existed. Or maybe you've simply enjoyed wandering about Los Angeles and feeling its history, a history that seems largely hidden, and which no one ever talks about.

If you're that kind of writer, then the people at Heyday Books have an idea for you.

Heyday, a nonprofit publisher based in Berkeley, is seeking writers to help craft a kind of experiential and literary map of L.A., a book project with the working title “Los Angeles Atlas.” It’s a book that seeks to combine “literature and landscape,” the publisher says in a news release.

Heyday cites several other similar books as an inspiration, including: “Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer” by Peter Turchi and “You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination" by Katharine Harmon.

But the book that really seems to have inspired them is Rebecca Solnit's magical exploration of San Francisco, “Infinite City.”

“Infinite City,” published in 2010, is a gorgeous and groundbreaking work, with writing inspired by one of my favorite novellas ever, Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities.” Its 22 maps include: “Green Women: The Open Spaces and Some Who Saved Them,” and “Monarchs and Queens: Butterfly Habitats and Queer Public Spaces.”

“In particular, we are interested in representations and perspectives of the city's history and landscape that time and again, are overlooked or forgotten,” Heyday’s news release says. “The Los Angeles Atlas isn't a guidebook, nor is it a list of statistics or 'best of' LA. What we're reaching for is something that engages the imagination historically, visually, balancing the curious, amazing and substantive through great writing.”

Heyday is asking that any writer who loves the L.A. landscape and has something to say about it to submit a short, two-page “letter of intent” for essays to be included in the book. The deadline is Dec. 31.

Interested? Write to editor Patricia Wakida for more information at losangelesatlas@gmail.com

hector.tobar@latimes.com

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