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Watch ‘Black Poets in a Time of Unrest’

Amaud Johnson, Ashaki M. Jackson, Robin Coste Lewis
Top row, from left: Amaud Johnson, Ashaki M. Jackson, Robin Coste Lewis and Khadijah Queen. Bottom row, from left: jayy dodd, Natalie J. Graham, Kima Jones and Douglas Kearney.
(Victoria Smith / Jason Gutierrez / K. Miroire /Michael Teak / jayy dodd / Maya Washington / Kima Jones / Bao Phi)

Watch Los Angeles poet laureate Robin Coste Lewis and seven other poets share their experiences in verse with Times readers.

The L.A. Times Book Club’s virtual meetup, Black Poets in a Time of Unrest, started at 7 p.m. Pacific Sept. 24 and livestreamed on the L.A. Times Facebook page, YouTube and Twitter.

Lewis, USC’s writer in residence, said she tries to offer her students a refuge: art.

“I’m trying to show them that this is in fact what most literature is about,” Lewis says. “Being a comfort to you at hard times. Even if it’s a comedic literature. Even if it’s absurdist literature. Even if it’s something that’s light and fluffy and pastel. All art, hopefully, if it’s good, will give comfort in the most trying of times.”

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Lewis was in conversation with Times arts writer Makeda Easter. She joined these poets: Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Ashaki M. Jackson, Khadijah Queen, jayy dodd, Natalie J. Graham, Kima Jones and Douglas Kearney.

For book news and previews of upcoming events, sign up for the L.A. Times Book Club newsletter.


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