Beyond Baroque is one of the United States’ leading independent Literary | Arts Centers and public spaces dedicated to expanding the public’s knowledge of poetry, literature and art through cultural events and community interaction. Founded in 1968 as an experimental literary magazine, Beyond Baroque is based out of the original City Hall building in Venice, California. The Center offers a diverse variety of literary and arts programming including readings and workshops. The building also houses a bookstore with the largest collection of new poetry books for sale and an archive that houses over 40,000 books, including small press and limited-edition publications, chronicling the history of poetry movements in Los Angeles and beyond. Through the years, Beyond Baroque has played muse to the Venice Beats, the burgeoning Punk movement and visiting scholars. Many of the city’s leading literary talents, including Dennis Cooper, Wanda Coleman, Tom Waits, Exene Cervenka and Amy Gerstler, are alumni of the Wednesday night poetry workshop. Many of the world’s most well-known independent artists, including Patti Smith, Michael McClure, Dana Gioia, and Viggo Mortensen have performed on its stage.

Here is a message from Beyond Baroque!

Since 1968, Beyond Baroque has nurtured generations of poets, writers, and artists. Join us on October 21 at The Beyond Gala in support of that ongoing legacy. We’ll honor some of the people whose talent and generosity have helped build Beyond Baroque and the wider poetry community over decades. Guests will enjoy cocktails, dinner, entertainment, a silent auction, and more. MC’d by Vanessa Williams (“Soul Food”), the program features our 2023 honorees and performances by folk-rock artists Tom Freund and Victoria Williams and poet bridgette bianca. Celebrate our 55th anniversary! Scroll for tickets and more!

The Beyond Gala

  • Saturday, October 21, 2023
  • Playa Studios, 11260 Playa Court, Culver City
  • 5:30 PM Cocktails, Entertainment, Silent Auction
  • Details below


About the Honorees

George Drury Smith Award
Amy Gerstler – Poet
Lynne Thompson – Poet, Los Angeles Poet Laureate (2021-2022)

Distinguished Service Award
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo – Poet, Executive Director, Women Who Submit
Hiram Sims – Poet, Founder, Sims Library of Poetry

Alexandra Garrett Award for Service to Beyond Baroque
Bob Branaman – Artist, Beyond Baroque Artist-In-Residence Emeritus
Ed Ruscha – Artist (accepting award via video at The Beyond Gala)

Special Recognition
Amanda Gorman – U.S. Presidential Inaugural Poet
(accepting award via video at The Beyond Gala)
Jim Krusoe – Novelist, Beyond Baroque Founding Artistic Director

To get tickets or for more info:

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