National Poetry Month

Lafayette Journal & Courier
Margaret Christopherson - September 7, 2022

The Los Angeles Press
Greg Bell, August 28, 2022


METRO desk

Have you heard of The L.A. Poetry Beach Festival!? Me neither.

an INTERVIEW with Erik van Loon, by Greg Bell for The LAPress

About mid-November 2021, I got an email from a friend about a guy from the Netherlands announcing he was “still” receiving poetry submissions for the L. A. Poetry Beach Festival, to be held in December.

My creative home is Beyond Baroque, and I hadn’t heard of this event. Dubious but intrigued, I sent a poem, which was quickly accepted. It seemed the founder of the festival was on his way across the Atlantic, soon to hop on a ‘Poetry Train from NY – LA.’

His name is Erik van Loon. The reading was slated for 8:00 PM at the Venice Poet’s Monument. After a rainy day, it was a chilly night, and the Boardwalk was mostly deserted. Eventually, I found Erik and a woman hanging out at the unlit monument and asked if this was ‘the festival.’ To his credit, he laughed in response. He’d secured a space for the reading at Hotel Erwin and was waiting to guide late-comers. He gave me directions and remained a few more minutes to pick up stragglers.

I made my way and found the room with about a dozen poets getting acquainted. In a few minutes, Mr. van Loon brought in more poets, went to the bar for bottles of wine, and the poetic convocation of 2 dozen people achieved lift-off. It was a wonderful event. The host was gracious and unflappable.

That’s not the end of it. In celebration of National Poetry Month this year, Erik returned to the U.S. in April, rented a car, and drove across country, visiting bookstores, train stops & libraries, leaving posters along the way, to announce the 2022 Poetry Train, LAPD (L. A. Poetry Downtown,) and the L. A. Poetry Beach Festival.

Read the whole interview at The Los Angeles Press

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