Luis J. Rodriguez, Poet Laureate of Los Angeles,



Luis Rodriguez

Los Angeles Poets and the Temper of Our Times.

October 11, 2016

Let us dare haunting verse of the oppressed,

poems with hoodies, finger-tapping, ambling.

I mean pissed off and ardently expressed,

poems delirious as midnight rambling.

Bebop, Hip Hop, a decima or slam,

Tia Chucha's Cultural Center & Bookstore's mural depicting the tree of life, the masculine/feminine generating principles of the world, and the wholeness of self, community, earth, and spirit.

From an Indigenous Mind—The Four Key Connections

August 18, 2016

First, a number of greetings in the language of a few native peoples on this continent:

Yaa'teeh – “It is good” in Dine/Navajo

Kwira Va – “We are one” in Raramuri

Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodríguez and his wife Trini.

What Do Notions of Race or Cultural Superiority Serve?

July 29, 2016

Ideas of racial/cultural purity or superiority are alive and well in the United States. These are oppressive, non-biological, and unnatural concepts, pushed on us like other lies and illusions in our society. This wouldn’t matter much except people believe them.

Poem for a New Dream

June 18, 2016

In the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub massacre, Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2016

By Luis J. Rodriguez


Hate becomes death becomes hate.

The world unravels in fear.


Columbine: 13 students and a teacher gone.

North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains. Photo by Henry Hooper.

“Poet in Motion”—North Carolina and Transgender Justice

May 21, 2016

North Carolina has some of the most diverse terrain of any state—from the Great Smoky Mountains, which includes the Blue Ridge peaks of the massive Appalachian mountain range, to the Outer Banks on the Atlantic coast. The state is rich in bio-diversity, history, and people.

1994 photo of Luis Rodriguez and his then 19-year-old son Ramiro.

Los Angeles Industry—Where the Past and Future Collide

April 19, 2016

Any good craftsman carries his tools.
Years ago they were always at the ready.
In a car. In a knapsack.
Claw hammers, crisscrossed heads,

Luis J Rodriguez

Why Children Should Not be Treated as Adults for Crimes

March 02, 2016

Walk with the young, America;
be young, again, America,
among the defiant and awake,
solid in their dreams.
Be the revolution in the marrow
where passions, ideals, fervors,
purpose and courage,
are not just qualities
people had in history books,

Luis reading at L.A. Times Festival of Books at USC, April 2015

City of Angels, City of Poets

January 21, 2016

On historic Central Avenue near East 45th Street, the Vernon Branch Public Library looks like a jail—tall fences surround the circa 1915 building and a fenced walkway leads up to the doorway. Like the surrounding neighborhood, the library appears worn, beaten down.

John Trudell

Grandmothers Talking: My Time and Teachings with John Trudell

December 14, 2015

Crazy Horse
We hear what you say
One Earth one Mother
One does not sell the Earth
The people walk upon