Emerging Voices series, Interview, Poetry, Spring

Episode #127: Erika Ayón, poet and author of ORANGE LADY

We’re kicking off National Poetry Month a few days early with an episode with Erika Ayón!  Rachelle and Erika talk about Los Angeles, the color and fruit orange, and migration.  Tune in!

Erika Ayón emigrated from Mexico when she was five years old and grew up in South Central, Los Angeles. She attended UCLA and graduated with a B.A. in English. In 2009 she was selected as a PEN Emerging Voices Fellow. In 2014 her poem “Hibiscus Skies,” was selected as a top ten poem from the Poetry in the Windows VI project sponsored by the Arroyo Arts Collective. Erika has taught poetry to middle and high school students across Los Angeles. She was a 2016-2017 Community Literature Initiative Scholar. Her debut collection of poetry Orange Lady was published by World Stage Press in March 2018. Available at http://www.worldstagepress.org/product/orange-lady.  Erika currently resides in the San Fernando Valley where she lives with her husband and two cats.

Emerging Voices series

Episode #10: Marissa Tinloy

Join Rachelle as she interviews PEN EV Fellows # 7, Marissa Tinloy.

on Friday, August 21st at 10 am PST.



Marissa Tinloy is a recipient of the 2009 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellowship. She grew up in Alameda, California and graduated from UCLA’s English Department with a concentration in Creative Writing in 2008. Marissa won first place in UCLA’s annual May Merrill Miller Competition for Fiction. She is currently working on a novel set in 20th-century China and San Francisco that encounters memory, sisterhood and the conflicting emotions of love and hate.

Emerging Voices series

Episode #8: John Boucher and Sylvia Sukop

Join Rachelle as she interviews PEN EV Fellows # 5 & #6, John Boucher and Sylvia Sukop,

on Friday, July 17th at 10 am PST.



John Boucher started writing in 2005 in HIV+ Writing Workshops sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AIDS Project Los Angeles, and the LA Gay & Lesbian Center. His first published piece, “Speaking in Tongues,” appeared in Washburn University’s inscape literary journal, where it won the Best Nonfiction of 2009 award. A 2009 PEN Center USA Emerging Voice Rosenthal Fellow, John is compiling a collection of humorously dark nonfiction stories. John attended Corcoran College of Art and Design and earned his MFA from Claremont Graduate University. Born in 1962 and raised in Los Angeles, John lives in West Hollywood.

Sylvia leafy(2)

Sylvia Sukop writes about art, faith, community, and other good
causes. Photography has been an integral part of her own journey as an
artist and storyteller. A first-generation American raised in rural
Pennsylvania, she is a graduate of Bucknell University and of New York
University’s joint Master’s program with the International Center of
Photography. In 1995-96 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to
study photography in Germany. She moved to Los Angeles in 1997 where
she provides professional communications support to nonprofit cultural
and philanthropic organizations. In 2007 she founded Boulevard Without
Borders, a collaboration among artists and teenagers from 10 Los
Angeles high schools documenting the diverse communities along LA’s
Pico Boulevard. The project was featured in “LA Flash” at Los Angeles
County Museum of Art in September 2008. In 2009 Sukop received PEN
USA’s Emerging Voices Fellowship in support of her creative nonfiction
writing. Her work has appeared in Flaunt and Exposure magazines, and
on the political blog, The Huffington Post. She is currently working
on a memoir of her teenage brother’s death and on the story of the
modern-day lesbian community on Lesbos Island.

Emerging Voices series, Summer

Episode 3: Erika Ayon and Your Summer Listening Schedule!

It’s almost summertime!  Compile that summer reading list, but don’t forget your literary listening dose.  Check out The Blood-Jet’s Summer 2009 schedule.

I’m starting a new series on the PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellows, which I am proud to be a part of.  Again, check out the summer schedule for the line-up.  My first guest is poet Erika Ayon.

This Friday, June 5th at 10 am PST.  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/onword


Erika Ayón emigrated from Mexico when she was five years old. She grew up in South Central Los Angeles.  She graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in English. Erika was selected as a 2009 PEN Emerging Voices Fellow.  She  is currently working on a collection of poetry entitled Orange Lady. The title stems from her childhood experience of selling oranges with her family on the streets of Los Angeles,  in order to survive financially. Through her writing, Erika addresses issues such as poverty, race, cultural implications, gender, and the immigrant experience.