In 2021, Dutch artist Erik van Loon gave America a five day coast to coast poetry festival to celebrate his 50th birthday. To promote his third Los Angeles Poetry Beach Festival during April’s National Poetry Month, he will visit again all independent bookstores, public libraries and trainstations in 64 cities/town in 20 states between NY and LA. Last year he rented a car. This time he will drive the 3,400 miles with the Poetry Cab and one poet a city can earn a free ride!
This is a NYC yellow cab which he will turn into the Poetry Cab March 28 till April 1. The beauty is inside, the car will get a metamorphosis. At the backseats he will create a “Hollywood-style” film studio as he will film each selected poet reading their poem. All selected poems will also appear in the Poetry Cab Anthology 2023 and the selected poets, one poet a city, will get a free ride in the Poetry Cab.
In this endeavour he gets support from QML Taxi. QML says about Erik: ‘We love this guy, his guts, his vision and his wish to bring poets together with the Poetry Cab. ‘We the drivers, including myself, brought almost 1 million people together in New York over the past 30 years. People of all ages, background, religions, men, women, count on us! We kept New York City running 24/7, in good times and bad times.
National Poetry Month Promotion Tour
This April, National Poetry Month, Erik will visit all independent bookstores (260), public libraries (60) and train stations (64) along the route of the Poetry Train for the second year. Last year, he distributed 400 posters to poetry enthusiasts. This year, he will spread 15,000 flyers about his poetry festival.
3rd L.A. Poetry Beach Festival
LA Poetry Beach Festival is a five days festival from September 20 till 24th and it consists of the following three poetry events:
(DAY 1-3) 3rd Poetry Train
This poetry festival starts each year at Penn Station, New York when the whistle of the Poetry Train blows. Like each year the Poetry Train will depart at sunrise 6.45 am at Wednesday, September 20, and it will stop in 64 cities / towns in 20 different states to pick up and bring as many poets as possible to poetry paradise Los Angeles. The Poetry Train connects poets in big urban cities on the East and West coast with poets in small rural towns in between and gives poets a cheap, fun and unforgettable opportunity to meet, talk, learn and work with other poets while traveling from NY to LA!
(DAY 4) 2nd Los Angeles Poetry Downtown
The 2nd annual Los Angeles Poetry Downtown will start on Saturday, September 23, just a few hours after the Poetry Train arrives at Union Station, Los Angeles. Los Angeles Poetry Downtown will be kicked of with the ‘We Need More Poetry’ talkshow and after the talkshow local (LA) poets will read together with poets from the Poetry Train their work in various places like bookstores, libraries, museums and cafes in greater Los Angeles. Last year, we organized poetry readings at Union Station, Skid Row Museum and Archives and Chevalier’s Books. This year we will organize 9 different poetry readings to introduce poets on the poetry train and local poets to various poetry enthousiast in Los Angeles and to get them ready for the main and final event LA Poetry Beach.
(Day 5) 3rd LA Poetry Beach
The 3rd edition of LA Poetry Beach will be held in front of the Venice Beach Poet’s Monument in Los Angeles on Sunday September 24 from 11.11 am till 6.45 pm (sunset)! The final day will start with a
commemoration of deceased poets at 11.11 am and after that there will be book presentations, signings and readings with the 12 best poets of LA Poetry Beach 2023. This five day poetry festival will end with a small beachparty till sunset.
Theme: I Never Could Talk To You
Deadline: September 1
Theme of LA Poetry Beach this year is Sylvia Plath’s ‘I Never Could Talk To You’ and poets from all over the world can submit a poem. We picked this line from Sylvia Plath to give suicidal people inspiration to write about their problems, their depressions, their struggle. Since Sylvia Plath died by suicide in 1963 and it turned her into a crudely tragic symbol. From Virginia Woolf to Sarah Kane, everything she did, everything she created during her life becomes part of a death-drive narrative. With this theme we also hope to support people who lost of a loved one and give them some relief and solace,
Bringing amateur and professional poets from of all over America once a year to bring them into contact with a diverse audience helps communities to promote literacy. Erik choose poetry above prose, an Haiku for example, can already improve the skills listening, speaking, reading and writing. Poetry helps to improve vocabulary, sentence formation, syntax, fluency and creativity.
Two Anthologies and a Zine
We will publish this year two different Anthologies and one Zine. First and most important the annual LA Poetry Beach Festival Anthology with max 52 selected poets. A Poetry Cab Anthology will be created for the Poetry Cab. For the poets on the Poetry Train he will manually print and staple a Zine (magazine) with (art)works drawn or written manually or typed at an old vintage Underwood typewriter. The Poetry Train Zine will be published, briefly after the trip and it will not be reprinted.
Three Times Charm
2021, one poet. 2022, 5 poets. 2023, Erik hopes to welcome 64 poets (one poet each stop) on the Poetry Train. Like the first two years we will travell this year again with AmTrak. 64 paying poets is too small to lease a whole train but it’s enough to rent in 2023 two extra cars. In 2025, Erik van Loon, want to find enough Poets and Sponsors to lease their own train with a coach, restaurant, sleeper, disco, bar, and library cars where poets can meet each other.
A crowdfunding was recently created for the Poetry Cab. Go to https://www.poetrycab.com/crowdfunding for more info.
Erik van Loon
Erik Van Loon
EU +31 6 E VAN LOON (+31 6 3 826 5666)
US +1 424 443 9707