“The Middle Path” a poem by John Barrymore


During the Los Angeles Poetry scene of the late 1980’s into the early ’90’s, John Blyth Barrymore III was a staple poet and poetry supporter.

John Barrymore photo by Yvonne de la VegaAn actor, a director and educator, he writes his poetry in a matter-of-factually confessional style, drawing imagery that haunts the Angeleno ghosts within most of us. John’s eccentric humor that is a cross of slapstick and raunch, is unintimidating and honest, but at all times hilarious. As an acting coach the humor is in the title of his acting workshop: “Act Like A Barrymore”.

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Currently writing an autobiography, his memoirs are entitled, “The Sins of The Father” while “The Middle Path”, the following poem by Barrymore, is a quick look at what to expect in the forthcoming book from this multi-talented and iconic poet who states that his DNA is to blame for most of his adventures, short comings and attempts toward moderation. The famous Barrymore Family has for many generations been known for superior acting skills in the theater and early film.

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John Barrymore‘s future theater performances are eagerly awaited by many as he is set to do in “Hamlet” as well as “Barrymore” by William Luce. 

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THE MIDDLE PATH

by John Blyth Barrymore III

The middle path

is the hardest road

for a man to walk with grace.

I’ve spent my life

in a cold dark cell or else,

well, lost in space.

My heart full of peace, harmony, love,

greeting each one with a smile.

Or hanging out down

on Hooligan Street

with O.J., Erik and Lyle.

People would say

as I traveled their way,

“There goes John;

he’s sober and chaste.”

Or else they would point

as I lit up my joint and say,

“There goes John; what a waste.”

A fit vegetarian,

healthy of frame,

living on sunlight and seeds.

Or making my way

down to Tom’s Number 5

to score a cheeseburger

with speed.

Then back in A.A.,

at least for a day,

with a promise never to swerve.

Or down a dark alley

with a spike in my arm,

determined to fry that last nerve

It’s a struggle, my friends,

to live a moderate life

when your personality

leans to extremes.

Some said it was youth

but to tell you the truth,

I think that it’s mostly

my genes.

Nevertheless moderation’s my goal;

my resolve is unsurpassed…

(Hope springs eternal

in the heart of a man who

refuses to learn from his past).

Still this is my row,

though it’s a hard one to hoe,

and I frequently feel God’s wrath

When I come to that

three-tined fork in the road,

I’ll head for the middle path.

~ John Barrymore III

 

This post is from Los Angeles Poetry Examiner’s Friday Pick

WORDBEAT John Barrymore returns for more wordbeat 04/22 by WordBeat | Blog Talk Radio


WORDBEAT John Barrymore returns for more wordbeat 04/22 by WordBeat | Blog Talk Radio.

Barack in Blunderland: The Carrollian Surveillance State


Lady Libertine

Yesterday, Senator Rand Paul filibustered President Barack Obama’s nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA. Sounds like a normal day in the Senate, right? Wrong. Paul brought back the old-school ‘talking filibuster’ and spoke for nearly thirteen hours to protest the Obama administration’s controversial use of drones in targeted killings. You see, the junior senator from Kentucky sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting clarification on the use of drones in targeted attacks against American non-combatants, and received an ambiguous reply that did not expressly rule out that option.

This sounds like something out of George Orwell’s 1984, but it’s a clear continuation of the Bush-era Patriot Act and the abrogation of civil liberties by our Constitutional lawyer-cum-president. Senator Paul himself invoked Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to characterize the administration’s stance:

They say Lewis Carroll is fiction. Alice never fell down a rabbit hole and…

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Other Than Being a Moral & Human American Debacle the War in Iraq was a Booming Success and a Real Hoot


Scene: Enough

Iraq war

mission accomplished

Like millions of Americans in the summer of 2002 when assorted flaks for the Bush administration began to howl and bark at Saddam Hussein in preparation for an eventual decision to invade Iraq, I wondered what dark orifice or remotest left field this was pulled from.

But the Bush administration had its reasons: making a post-9/11 display, and I emphasize the word display, of American willingness to deploy American military might if looked at sideways anywhere in the world; to pump up hapless Dubya Bush’s sagging poll numbers which were slumping back to their pre-9/11 pre-Afghanistan levels and to give a long-lasting steroidal boost to Republican foreign policy credentials; to retaliate for the foiled Iraq assassination plot launched against the daddy, George H. W. Bush; and with some mad, very, very badly thought out premise to enhance the security of Israel.

Of course if the actual reasons had been…

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Villaraigosa Fracks Up?


Lady Libertine

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former Vice President Al Gore, and Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune gathered at the LA Department of Water and Power to announce that the city would be coal-free by 2025. Apparently it’s an urgent matter. This “press conference” was part of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal initiative, which aims to replace coal with clean energy sources nationwide.  I say “press conference” in quotations because of all the press present– and there was plenty– I was the only journalist to ask a question.

Beyond Coal

The city derives 40% of its energy from two out-of-state power plants in Arizona and Utah. During his speech, Villaraigosa said that energy would be replaced with wind, solar, and natural gas. I wanted to know if the city planned to obtain that natural gas through fracking. This controversial method of extracting oil and natural gas from deep in the ground…

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BOOK REVIEW by Sabne Raznik: Tomorrow Yvonne, Poetry & Prose For Suicidal Egotists by Yvonne de la Vega


The following review was originally posted at Yahoo!

Book Review: Yvonne De La Vega’s “Tomorrow, Yvonne -Poetry &

Prose for Suicidal Egotists”

 
BookCoverImage-1     In literary mythology and legend, poets were beings of a lofty kind. They were prophets, messengers of the gods or at least of the times. They were eccentric, crazy, lonely, fools, and wisdom personified. They were terrifying and compassionate, cold and warm, dazzling and puzzling. They went through the worst life had to deal out so as to sing of the most beautiful.
     But after 1914, two World Wars, Modernism, the bloodiest century in history (the 20th), followed quickly by what is stacking up to be an even more harrowing one (the 21st), we’re all grown up now. We don’t believe the stories. Our poets today are not heros with hearts closer to divinity. They are as dirty and ordinary as we are. And we treat them accordingly.
     Yvonne De La Vega both embraces this notion and challenges it in one breath. Her debut collection (which is also her Collected Poems) titled “Tomorrow, Yvonne: Poetry & Prose for Suicidal Egotists” is a thick volume full of surprises. The language is ordinary, sometimes in the gutter. The rhythms are those of Spoken Word poetry – lending itself more to audio than to text. And indeed, up to now, that is how De La Vega’s poetry has been presented and enjoyed. She is a lady of the street and of the moment, of seedy hangout joints and alleys where nothing much has changed but the drug in vogue. She can tell the stories of folk we tend to overlook: the homeless, the down-and-out, the never-had-glory-days, the castaway veteran, the bewildered immigrant, etc. But she also carries the lofty calling: declaring that poetry without a purpose isn’t poetry at all, that the war between good and evil is real, implying again and again that somehow she is meant by some higher power to write, and even reporting from the front lines of the Occupy Los Angeles Movement.
      This book is larger than life, like the city she writes from. De La Vega has a stated passion for jazz and her poetry reads like jazz, particularly when read as a whole as this book allows. Free-form like water and hard to take in all at once – that’s Yvonne De La Vega. Eccentric, crazy, lonely, terrifying and compassionate, cold and warm, dazzling and puzzling, a witness to our times, and as ordinary as your neighbor. Somehow, she’s all those contradictions. “Tomorrow, Yvonne: Poetry & Prose for Suicidal Egotists” is a contemporary answer to the literary legend.

“What is your Happiest Holiday Memory?” from SugarBuzzMagazine


“What is your Happiest Holiday Memory?” from SugarBuzzMagazine.

“What is your Happiest Holiday Memory?” from SugarBuzzMagazine


Yvonne here… I was recently honored to be asked to contribute to a Holiday write. There are many cool responses and stories from personalities, poets, rockers, punks and pretty people in this sweet and sentimental piece. My epic response is the very last one. Happy Everything Everyone… only Love. ~ydlv

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“What is your Happiest Holiday Memory?” click here for the full article on SugarBuzz Magazine

“What is your Happiest Holiday Memory?”
By Lucky and a Host of Friends

Chaos reigns supreme during the days leading up to Christmas. It seems no matter how early I start there is always so much to do and so little time to do it. The shopping, wrapping, decorating and preparing takes its toll and damn near negates the real meaning of the season. So I’d like to take some time, reflect and refrain, and think about times past and my Happiest Holiday Memory.

The year was 1993, four days before Christmas. Financially I had hit the skids despite working a full time job and a second one (DJ at The Rainbow Bar and Grill) to boot. Money was real tight, food, rent and a few Christmas presents took priority over fluff. My son, whom mainly lived with his mom, but stayed with me two or three days of the week,  kept asking me “Daddy, how come you don’t have a Christmas tree?”. How do you explain to a four year old that you can’t afford one? In a way he seemed to sense all was not quite right at Dad’s place.

That night I went to work and upon walking into the back kitchen, Tony, one of my bosses, said “Hey Lucky, don’t forget to pick up your Christmas bonus.” Now I have worked all my life and I have never had a Christmas bonus of any sort. It was a check for $50. It might as well have been for $50 million I was so happy.

So as soon as I could I cashed that sucker and hit a small tree lot on Highland, just down the road a way from the Hollywood Bowl and scored a decent tree for $35. I took it home and decorated it. I will never forget the look on my son’s face when he saw that tree. I secretly cried like a baby. I treasure those memories despite all the hardships, and will always be thankful.

Last year I sent out a question to the masses and the response was so amazing that I decided to do it again this year in hopes to discover a treasured memory of friends and colleagues.

So without further adieu, “What is your happiest holiday memory?”  keep reading!


 

 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Punk Hostage Press Catalog 2012

Punk Hostage Press Catalog 2012

 Fractured by Danny Baker

Fractured by Danny Baker

Authored by Danny Baker

Introduction by Iris Berry

Cover design or artwork by Billy Burgos

Edited by A. Razor
Associate editor Iris Berry 

Fractured is the first book of poems by Danny Baker and the first offering from Punk Hostage Press.This book has a lot of impact in its imagery and well-crafted lines that capture emotional states from the edge looking back into the abyss of existence, measuring the distance of all that lies in between.

Price: 12.95 , to order this book now, go here: https://www.createspace.com/3838652
Publication Date: Apr 07 2012
ISBN/EAN13: 0985129301 / 9780985129309
Page Count: 138
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Poetry / General           https://www.createspace.com/3838652

Better Than A Gun In A Knife Fight by A. Razor

Authored by A. Razor

Introduction by Bucky Sinister

Cover design or artwork by Geoff Melville
Edited by Iris Berry 

A Collection Of Prose and Poetry from A. Razor, who has published and written and shared his work on the road and from inside prison for many years, now here is the writer’s work in one book that presents many styles and influences all worked out with a genuine love that has driven a lifetime struggle for peace among the words of this world.

Price: 18.95 , to order thsi book now, go here: https://www.createspace.com/3837987
Publication Date: May 19 2012
ISBN/EAN13: 098512931X / 9780985129316
Page Count: 232
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Poetry / American / General      https://www.createspace.com/3837987

 The Daughters of Bastards by Iris Berry

The Daughters of Bastards by Iris Berry

Authored by Iris Berry

Foreword by Dimitri Monroe

Introduction by Pleasant Gehman

Cover design or artwork by Geoff Melville

Edited by A. Razor

Associate Editor: Gwenn Morreale
Associate Editor: Michele McDannold 

The long awaited book from Punk Hostage Press founding editor Iris Berry, entitled the Daughters Of Bastards, is a ride through the dirty streets of 1980s Hollywood that never stops delivering the real taste of a womanhood claiming a place for itself surrounded by the perverseness of a crumbling mystique that was once a golden tinseled dreamland.

Price: 15.95 , to order this book now, go here: https://www.createspace.com/3884122
Publication Date: Oct 01 2012
ISBN/EAN13: 0985129328 / 9780985129323
Page Count: 122
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Non-Fiction/Criminals & Outlaws
https://www.createspace.com/3884122

 Drawn Blood by A. Razor

Drawn Blood:Collected Works from D.B.P.Ltd., 1985-1995 by A. Razor

Authored by A. Razor
Introduction by Maureen McNally
Edited and Designed by A. Razor

This book is a collected works of poetry and prose that appeared on the now defunct Drew Blood Press, Ltd. imprint in 11 different chapbook titles from 1985 until 1995.
It is representative of the diversity in voice A. Razor developed early on as a poet and prose writer. The meticulous work to use form and create new styles within those forms in order to better describe the environment that the writer was immersed in.
This book is a collection of many of the pieces and a chronology of how they appeared, along with the titles of the chapbooks they appeared in, up to the year 1995.

Price: 9.95 , to order this book now, go here: https://www.createspace.com/3923496
Publication Date: Jul 12 2012
ISBN/EAN13: 1478156899 / 9781478156895
Page Count: 254
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Poetry / General     https://www.createspace.com/3923496

‘impress’ by C.V. Auchterlonie 

impress by C.V. Auchterlonie

Authored by C.V. Auchterlonie

Introduction by Michael Mc Aloran, Rob Plath

Cover design or artwork by Geoff Melville, Photograph by Sean J. Heavey
Edited by A. Razor 

This book a refreshing and invigorating journey into imagery and emotion as layered in the language of the soulful living in the moment, with a grand visage of the past and hopeful beacon into the future. The poetics here are exemplary and profound, with a spirit that endures and heals as it goes with you hand in hand.

Price: 15.95 , to order this book now, go here: https://www.createspace.com/4017727
Publication Date: Nov 09 2012
ISBN/EAN13: 0985129336 / 9780985129330
Page Count: 136
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Poetry / Women Authors  https://www.createspace.com/4017727

 Tomorrow, Yvonne by Yvonne De la Vega

Tomorrow, Yvonne. Poetry & Prose for Suicidal Egotists by Yvonne De la Vega

Authored by Yvonne De la Vega
Foreword by Ray Manzarek 

Poet Yvonne de la Vega’s body of work is compiled in her first book. The book’s Forword is a wonderful contribution by Ray Manzarek of The Doors. An author himself, the forward is a beautifully written piece of prose that is an ode to Jim Morrison’s “City of Night”, as well as a promise that all who read Yvonne are in for “a hell of a good time. “Ray’s apparent love for LA. is that common thread that runs through every LA Poet from Bukowski to Morrison, and he honors de la Vega’s work from that familiarity of the city they’ve both shared a lifetime in. Ray muses that, “Yvonne is the lucky little lady in the lights.”

Price: 18.95 , to order this book now, go here: https://www.createspace.com/4012245
Publication Date: Nov 20 2012
ISBN/EAN13: 0985129379 / 9780985129378
Page Count: 276
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 8.5″ x 8.5″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Poetry / Women Authors     https://www.createspace.com/4012245

 Beaten Up Beaten Down by A. Razor

Beaten Up Beaten Down by A. Razor

Authored by A. Razor

Introduction by S.A. Griffin

Cover Design by Geoff Melville
Edited by Antonio Maranzano 

An up and down poetic ride through the life and times of an American writer living in the margins and his sometimes surrealist/situationist/realist view of the world around him.

Price: 18.95 , to order this book now, go here: https://www.createspace.com/3884090
Publication Date: Nov 22 2012
ISBN/EAN13: 0985129344 / 9780985129347
Page Count: 212
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Poetic Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
https://www.createspace.com/3884090

 ‘miracles of the BloG’ by Carolyn Srygley-Moore

miracles of the BloG: A series by Carolyn Srygley-Moore

Authored by Carolyn Srygley-Moore

Introduction by Dom Gabrielli
Cover design or artwork by Geoff Melville, Carolyn Srygley-Moore
Edited by A. Razor
This is a book of language/concrete post-modern paradox poetry that has the ability to transport the reader into a multi-dimensional experience of the literary extreme. Carolyn Srygley-Moore is well-versed in the art of succinct imagery with pertinent line formations that create an inner and outer exploration in every verse.

Price: 15.95 , to order this book now, go here: https://www.createspace.com/4055156
Publication Date: Dec 03 2012
ISBN/EAN13: 0985129352 / 9780985129354
Page Count: 114
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Poetry / Women Authors     https://www.createspace.com/4055156

HOLIDAY APPRECIATION GIFT PRICED COLLECTION…
  Small Catastrophes in a Big World by A. Razor

Small Catastrophes in a Big World by A. Razor

Authored by A. Razor
Edited and Designed by A. Razor

This book is a humble attempt to show appreciation for all the support received in 2012 for the author and Punk Hostage Press. This modestly priced collection is available to you in order to promote the works that Punk Hostage Press plans on putting forth in 2013 and beyond. Enjoy.

Price: 4.95 , to order this book now, go here: https://www.createspace.com/4071090
Publication Date: Nov 26 2012
ISBN/EAN13: 1481089978 / 9781481089975
Page Count: 48
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Poetry / American / General  https://www.createspace.com/4071090

 8th & Agony by Rich Ferguson

8th & Agony by Rich Ferguson

Authored by Rich Ferguson
Introduction by Bob Holman
Cover Design by Geoff Melville
Edited by A. Razor

In this book you will find a diverse style and approach to poetry and prose writing that speaks of a lyrical lifetime experience not usually apparent in a premiere collection for a writer. Along with the experience, there is the craftsmanship of a songwriter, a modern bard of contemporary musicality. This book is an amble down the open road as well as the dark alley ways and then across a soft beach sand and on into vibrant sunsets that shine on contoured boulevards of dreams both broken and healing.

Price: 15.95 , to order this book now, go here: https://www.createspace.com/4017761
Publication Date: Dec 15 2012
ISBN/EAN13: 0985129360 / 9780985129361
Page Count: 136
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Poetry / American / General

https://www.createspace.com/4017761

Punk Hostage Press * PO Box 1869 Hollywood CA 90078 * www.punkhostagepress.com

                                                             The  Basic Deal

  • At Punk Hostage Press, a book is a project between the author and publisher/editor, a collaboration.
  • All rights to the material belong to the author/artist.
  • The publisher/editor is a vessel for the work to be disseminated.
  • This is a non-profit – we are not a profiteering enterprise.

It is our intention to be completely up front and above board about how we can be of service to our authors, to the project goals and to the community, as well as what we expect (or don’t expect) in return. Each book project is tailored to meet the individual needs of the author we are in alliance with and to foster the agreed upon outcome of the project using the resources currently available from Punk Hostage Press.
Following is an outline of our publishing model from which all projects are approached.

PRINT ON DEMAND

All books will be released and offered primarily as Print On Demand. Authors will be able to purchase copies at cost. Copies purchased by Punk Hostage Press will be sent out for review, placed in bookstores for sale and donated to programs we are working with. Profit from Print On Demand sales will be split 60/40. 60% going to the author at the end of every fiscal year and 40% retained by Punk Hostage Press. Punk Hostage Press will use this money to cover operating costs such as advertising, review copies and to put money back into the non-profit in hopes of expanding outreach in the future.

KINDLE EBOOK

All authors will have the option to have their books available as e-books. Any profit from these sales will be split 60/40. 60% goes to the author and 40% to Punk Hostage Press.

SMALL PRINT RUN

A small print run, 100-500 books, is possible but completely optional. Punk Hostage Press is committed to working with independent printers that are already involved in social justice and environmental issues, using recycled paper stock and soy based ink. As a commitment to the book, the press and the mission of Punk Hostage Press, we ask that authors cover the entire cost of a small print run. This is an option, not a requirement. Punk Hostage Press will not take into consideration whether or not the author is willing to make this commitment when deciding which books to publish or which authors to work with. The resulting books of this small print run will be split 60/40. 60% going to the author and 40% staying with Punk Hostage Press. The 40% that Punk Hostage Press receives will be used to send out review copies, place in bookstores and table at festivals and readings. Most importantly a percentage of these books will be made available for free to people that participate in our visits to institutions, outreach programs and creative writing groups.

PARTICIPATION IN NONPROFIT ACTIVITIES

Punk Hostage Press is committed to providing relevant literature and opportunities for discussion and reflection in such institutions as prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, homeless and women’s shelters and treatment programs. We work toward these goals by providing free books and contact with authors for people who are not able to access these things as easily as others are. Punk Hostage Press will provide opportunities for the author to participate in outreach by reading at these institutions so that there is a potential for a physical connection to writers made possible, not just their books. This is an option and not a requirement. We recognize that not every author will feel comfortable in participating at this level and we do not demand it. However, bridging the gap on literacy deficits by distributing relevant contemporary literature and providing opportunities for people to engage in creative writing of their own that is inspired by interacting with other writers and contemporary literature is one of the primary goals of the Punk Hostage Press and it’s non-profit concerns.

PROMOTION

Punk Hostage Press will use all available resources and connections to obtain book reviews, author interviews and opportunities for events and readings. Authors will be included in our efforts to promote the press as a whole in press releases, internet/social media campaigns etc. We expect our authors to participate in and enhance the promotional efforts of Punk Hostage Press wherein it concerns the projects we have agreed to work on together… putting effort into their own promotion, reviews, interviews and readings.
We do NOT want any author to ever promote at the expense of another press or author’s reputation. They must refrain from conducting any promotion that is meant to harm or malign the reputation or work of others.

DISTRIBUTION

Punk Hostage Press has considered several distribution models that include well-established entities in small/indie press distribution. At this time we feel that we are best served by building our own alliances with independent bookstores and booksellers that we already have relationships with. Mainly these are bookstores in the greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area at this point. We are working on expanding that network into other regions and states, as well as other countries, based on personal contacts that we have had with publishers and booksellers over the years. We hope to grow in this sense and welcome all interested parties to contact us for more details about our offerings and how they can be obtained at wholesale prices. Quite frankly, we have lived D.I.Y. for nearly 35 years, and we are prepared to go it a little further down the road for now, but all offers of support and partnership are considered seriously and equitably. This is about a hopeful community that we want to be part of, so anything that is geared toward growing community among artists and support groups is important to us.

We are also grant writing and donation seeking for more support as soon as our
non-profit status is secure, in order to be able to provide more free books for other
non-profit programs, such Prison Literacy Project and the like.

————-
All of this is done in the spirit of partnership, never a hierarchical approach where we attempt, at any point, to manipulate that an author owes us anything other than what we asked for up front. Our support will remain even after the author publishes with others or if the author is unsatisfied with their experience with Punk Hostage Press. We stand by the commitment to the work and the art.
We want to foster an unconditional approach based on a common love of the form:
the written word as presented in books.

Punk Hostage Press

Punk Hostage Press ó PO Box 1869 Hollywood CA 90078 ó www.punkhostagepress.com


Veglam

Some of L.A.’s finest writers have come together to form Punk Hostage Press, delivering to you extremely progressive, underground literature and vivid poetry in the romantic but dangerous tradition of the Beats and Bukowski. They have already convened a killer line-up of some of the punk era survivor’s most cutting edge writers, like founders Iris Berry and A Razor, along with Yvonne De La Vega, and Danny Baker, who all will be imminently releasing books by this forward-leaning new publishing company. Iris is a hypnotic, old-school, Hollywood punk rocker, perhaps best known for her notorious L.A. bands, the Lame Flames and the Ringling Sisters, but she is also a movie actress, a community organizer, and an intensely gifted writer. Most recently, she was featured in the glossy coffee-table literary mag, “Slake”, interviewing “L.A. Free Press” founder, Art Kunkin. Her essential book, “Daughters Of Bastards” is a cinematic mixture of autobiographical…

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