Weather (Cahuenga Press)

"The last time I saw Holly Prado, whom I’d known forty years, we were part of a group performance of Song of Myself at Beyond Baroque. Now we have her experiment in the long poem, Weather, a single, book-length poem in the larger tradition of Whitman’s personal epic, presenting the account of a voyage, lasting from fall 2015 to fall of 2018, through the inner seasons of a mythically conscious woman’s Los Angeles. 

"In a more specific tradition, Prado’s work is in the line of Diane Wakoski, Anais Nin, Diane DiPrima, Lyn Hejenian, and other women who have written with wisdom and courage about their resonantly three-dimensional inner lives. Sadly, it is her last book; but a near-compensation is, it is her best. Farthest and deepest in reach, a modernist collage orchestrated by a expressive hand, the poem is open enough to be entered virtually anywhere, yet organically shaped by a mature mythic awareness to have narrative momentum and coherence. Beautifully turned phrases, sentences, and lines abound. An example: "Out in the huge autumn sky, / leonid meteors give us their message: Don’t think too much / of your human pursuits. Don’t think you won’t be / dissolved in everything wilder than you. Enter / your myths with your open-palmed hands on your knees."

“Dissolved in everything wilder than you” — that is the state of feeling and vision Prado’s imagination makes available to us. It is also the promise all real poetry makes: that our veil of pursuits be lifted, that we see the wild truth."

—James Cushing

Please join us to celebrate the work of this important local poet, with readings by Harry E. Northup, Phoebe MacAdam and James Cushing. 

Holly Prado spent her early years in Nebraska, then Michigan. After graduating from Albion College, Albion, MI (Phi Beta Kappa) in 1960, she came to Los Angeles, which has been a true home for her writing. In the early 1960s, she worked at secretarial jobs and at high school teaching. In 1973-74, she was hired by Poets in the Schools under a grant from the federal Dept. of Labor as Master Poet-Teacher for Southern California. Prado also taught widely in alternative educational situations, such as the Los Angeles Woman's Building and Beyond Baroque Literary Foundation. From 1989-2009, she taught poetry in the Master of Professional Writing Program at USC. From 1975 to 2017, she taught private writing workshops. She lived with her husband Harry Northup, a film actor and poet. They are both founding members of Cahuenga Press, a poets publishing cooperative which has been publishing books of poetry since 1989. (Please see

Harry E. Northup, a poet & actor, has had eleven books of poetry published, the latest being: East Hollywood: Memorial To Reason (Cahuenga Press, 2015).  He received his B.A. in English from C.S.U.N., where he studied Verse with Ann Stanford.  Northup made a living as an actor for thirty-four years, acting in thirty-seven films, including "Mean Streets" (1973), "Taxi Driver" (1976 Palme d'Or Winner at Cannes), "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991 Oscar Winner for Best Picture); he starred in the acclaimed cult film, "Over the Edge." Harry has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1976.  Lewis MacAdams, in the L.A. Weekly, wrote, "Northup is the poet laureate of East Hollywood."

Phoebe MacAdams was born and raised in New York City, but has lived in California most of her adult life, first in the poetry community of Bolinas in Northern California, and then in Ojai in Ventura County. She has been active in the Los Angeles literary community since her move here in 1986. She is a founding member of Cahuenga Press, the poets’ cooperative press which was founded in 1989, with the poets James Cushing, Holly Prado and Harry Northup. Our goal “is to create fine books of poetry by poets whose work we admire and respect; to make poetry actual in the world in ways which honor both individual creative freedom and cooperative support.” For two years, Phoebe ran the Gasoline Alley reading series on Melrose Avenue with poet Bill Mohr. She taught English and Creative Writing at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights for twenty-six years until her retirement in 2011. She has published seven books of poetry: Sunday, Ever; and with Cahuenga Press, Ordinary Snake Dance, Livelihood, Strange Grace, Touching Stone, and her most recent Cahuenga title, The Large Economy of the Beautiful, New and Selected Poems. In 2017, Beyond Baroque published Every Bird Helps: A Cancer Journal. According to Amelie Frank, “What she reports back to us from her daily pilgrimages should give us hope: truth and beauty are at hand everywhere we look and always just as we need it most.” She lives in Pasadena with her husband, Ron Ozuna.

James Cushing, born 1953 in Palo Alto CA, holds a doctorate in English from UC Irvine. In the early 1980s, he hosted a live poetry radio program on KPFK-FM in Los Angeles which gave early exposure to Dennis Cooper, David Trinidad, Amy Gerstler, Wanda Coleman, Leland Hickman, Scott Wannberg, and many others. Since 1989, he has taught literature and creative writing at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and served as the community’s Poet Laureate for 2008 – 2010. Cushing’s poems have appeared in many journals, and his 30-year association with Cahuenga Press has resulted in six full-length collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Solace (2018), which Brendan Constantine called “astonishing... All the territories of the heart are explored here.” He currently hosts weekly a jazz program on KEBF-FM, 97.3 “The Rock” in Morro Bay ( His daughter is the New York-based poet Iris Cushing.

Event date: 
Sunday, February 2, 2020 - 3:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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