Hiram Sims: Photoetry + CLI
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Hiram Sims: Photoetry + Community Literature Initiative


A reading and discussion by and from two projects from poet/educator Hiram Sims, Photoetry and Community Literature Initiative.


Born and raised in various parts of Los Angeles, Hiram Sims is a poet, essayist and adjunct English Professor teaching at Cal State University Los Angeles, Long Beach City College, and Compton College. He first discovered poetry at the age of five when he plagiarized a decorative poem on his mother’s bathroom wall. In his 4th grade English class, he was proclaimed the “Captain of Limerick Poems.” He later went on to the University of Southern California to receive a B.A. in English: Creative Writing and a Masters of Professional Writing in Poetry. In addition to teaching essay writing, creative writing, and literature, he is the founder of the Urban Poets Society. He has published three collections of poetry, including Poems of a Young, Troubled Mind (2007), Write or Die:An Anthology of Poetry from the Urban Poet’s Workshop (2008), and PHOTOETRY: Poetry and Photography from South Central (2013).

Photoetry is a riveting collection of poetry and photography from a city quite legendary for its ferocious magnetism. The process of creating this lyrical and visual testament to life in Los Angeles involves either creating photographs inspired by completed poems, or writing poems based on captivating pictures. The work found here is a collection of displayed images and poems from the 2007 and 2013 Photoetry Gallery show, featured in various art galleries throughout the western United States. Hiram Sims blends his words with amazing images from photographers Sam Bendall, Adam Tillman-Young, Ammer Espy, Kim Soria, and Charisse Sims to create a truly unparalleled compilation of work.

The Community Literature Initiative is a Los Angeles based non-profit organization focused on teaching writers in the city how to create poetry and fiction of a publishable quality. The CLI course is a 10-month (September to June) training program to refine works-in-progress into finalized manuscripts ready for publication. At the conclusion of the 10-month program, all participants are guaranteed a first-book publishing contract with one of our partnering Los Angeles Small Presses.