Eladatl: A History of the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines
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About the Author
Sesshu Foster has taught composition and literature in East L.A. for 20 years. He's also taught writing at the University of Iowa, the California Institute for the Arts and the University of California, Santa Cruz. His work has been published in The Oxford Anthology of Modern American Poetry, Language for a New Century: Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond, and State of the Union: 50 Political Poems. His most recent books are Atomik Aztex, a novel; World Ball Notebook, poetry; and City of the Future, poetry (2018). He lives in Alhambra, CA.
Arturo Ernesto Romo-Santillano was born in Los Angeles, California in 1980. His artwork, mostly collaborative mixed media works but also drawing, has been circulated internationally. Fluency, agency and folly are central themes in his practice; he sees his artwork as a companion multiplier, folding folds, netting nets. His art-making is pushed through explorations on the streets of East and North East Los Angeles, which feed into an ongoing series of collaborations with writer Sesshu Foster. He lives in Alhambra, CA.
"Plunge upward into ELADATL's phantasmagoric skies, where Los Angeles outsiders fly pirate dirigibles to legendary cities built of trash. This hip, avant, alternate history wriggles into and out of all ordinariness, transforming oppression into adventure and you, oh fortunate reader, into a witness of the glorious exploits of Swirling Alhambra and his rebel cohort. Get ready to leave the status quo behind and soar beyond the probable to the possible, your brain buoyed by this book's heady mix of fear and joy and outraged delight."--Nisi Shawl, author of Everfair: A Novel
"A fierce, bittersweet, and hilarious antidote to our increasingly deracinated personhoods and neighborhoods, ELADATL: A History of the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines inspires us to hold our ground in a here and now that includes futures and pasts we both know and can barely imagine. Set against the absence of Hollywood--that perfect hierarchical structure that occludes most of the actual labor that goes into making the finished product--Sesshu Foster and Arturo Romo take us through the hood and under the hood while celebrating and mourning the intimacy of social life in all its vicissitudes. Along the way, our fearless guides introduce us to the living politics of a particular place whose accumulated experience reverberates throughout the cosmos."--Ammiel Alcalay, Founder and General Editor of Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative
"'The strange future of war over Los Angeles, zeppelins versus dirigibles . . . ' Sesshu Foster and Arturo Ernesto Romo capture the uncapturable. 'Experience levitation and death, ' 'attune your cellular vibrations to the frequency of Star Beings, ' 'the merciless winds of the human heart, ' 'the Atmospheric Trash Vortex.' Who is the I here? 'The welcoming hosts at the front door, you want to look inside?' The nightmare does not erase the comedy. 'The CIA behind the million faces, hair and fingernails still growing.' 'Sign your sorrow over . . . they're taking everything; let's give it to them, the sober whisky of Love.' Unforgetable read. 'Isn't someone in charge?'"--Sharon Doubiago, author of My Beard: Memoir Stories
"Sesshu Foster and Arturo Ernesto Romo co-pilot the ELADATL phantasmagoric journey across historic/imagined skies with magnificent views of a post-industrial East Los Angeles wasteland that is dotted with cinematic/cultural phantoms: Raquel Welch, Oscar Zeta Acosta, Anthony Quinn, and Brown Berets who invoke the mantra, 'Don't believe the fake dreams of the secret police.' Human skin, dirigible skin, chorizo skins, are simultaneously celebrated as art while being attacked by Zeppelin gunships. ELADATL lifts the reader into a free intellectual airspace where airships of new thinking reign."--Harry Gamboa Jr., author of Urban Exile: Collected Writings of Harry Gamboa Jr.