Poetry is the catalyst.  It inspires creative solution.  Poetry can only speak truth. It is based in love and compassion for every living thing that has inherited the Breath of Life. ~Yvonne de la Vega


Today Michael Rothenberg and I marveled at the rapid growth of this project. Having just jumped on a week ago, I am not yet overwhelmed but realistically, having organized large events in the past,  I teased him on the telephone with little whispers of, “Ya think you’re swamped now? …It’s gonna get worse.” I asked him when he had started. I think he said 4 months ago.

I remember a couple of months ago on facebook, running into the crazy stop you in your tracks event title. 100 Thousand Poets For Change it said. Right there I signed on. I facebook chatted with Michael Rothenberg for a while, told him I was in Los Angeles and yada  yada… I couldn’t get to really working on the event just yet due to a family tragedy and a very strong fetal curl.

But here we are today, I’m beat too I tell ya… and everyday an average of around 10 cities join up. A lot of the poets are not on it quite yet. They read around their cities probably once a week if there’s a weekly reading in a coffee shop they frequent, so September feels like a quite some time from now. But for us organizers, this is a bit late in the game. Being in Los Angeles you need way more than 3 months. There is an obligation to the major city. If you stand up and call shotgun, well you better have your over-under 12-gauge ready for rock n’ roll. There are so many great poets that should read. We need a venue, we’d love sponsorship now.

It’s the third day of Summer and it’s getting very sexy ’round here in Los Angeles. I haven’t heard diddly squat from any of the other organizers. But they’re all baddasses. They’ll pull it together. And it’s all on me. I’m the control freak that grabbed the reigns and told everybody, “Hey c’mon we’re going to save the world, get in.”

So it’s on me to find the sponsors, write the nicely worded can y’all throw us a bone letters.

Ben Rattray of Change.Org told me nicely,  “Thanks for the note, Yvonne. 100 Thousand Poets for Change looks awesome. We’ve unfortunately already made all the sponsorships we’re able to make this year, but we will be enthusiastically cheering you from the sidelines.”I pictured him with pom-poms when I read that. He’s on the sidelines and a bunch of us are sweaty, and.. Boy oh boy is he a hottie. And an activist for Change. (melting with heart visibly pumping through my t-shirt).

yada yada yeah, right. The truth is, the large dot org has already been where Michael Rothenberg, me and a host of others  are standing right now at this very moment in time.. We’re stretching on our way to the starting line. Everyone has to begin from behind that line and wait for the gun to go off. The only difference is, and it’s a big difference, is that all of us on this particular track, well we don’t really have our team uniforms yet and we may never get them. We are the Bad News Bears, in Levis and flip flops. some of us are barefoot.

But it matters not, we’re gonna do this. We are going to save the world. We are the last poets. And this our time. And here’s a beautiful thing, I learned something new and valuable today. Just when you think you know it all, and way too much for comfort, right when you come to terms with intolerance from all the accumulated wisdom and been there done that, there comes a drop of holy water from out of nowhere. It comes from heaven and plops on your forehead splattering kindly to accompany tears that often arrive with revelation.

It dawned on me that with 100 Thousand Poets for Change, there had to be a way to bring all those various cries together as one, and it dawned on me that it had not yet been defined for me. I told Michael on the phone, Michael, there is a problem I believe. With so many different cries for so many different pains in the body of humanity, how are we going to successfully carry out Change in one day?

Michael said, “I always answer the same thing when someone asks me.” He continues with, “I always answer that all in all we are seeking Peace and Sustainability”.

I thought about it for 2 seconds and immediately began the edit process. “Sustainability is not an attractive word. Nor is it poetic.We do need a motto though. A phrase we can attach to this… ”   yada yada. Michael and I are a lot alike and we argued very politely by just talking normally but over each other. The word is not… and… he says But it is the exact word and it defines our desires, all of ours every one of us… I said, let me get on the thesaurus and find something that sounds like The Black Eyed Peas said it first. Michael is still talking over me with   sustainability this and, sustainability that  – and I say, on google with my phone on speaker clicking my tongue when I come to…  the Three Pillars of Sustainability.

I stopped talking over Michael who was still trying to convince me that it is the... I was already gone. The Three Pillars of Sustainability had found me, stopped me in my tracks, and revealed to me the totality of the process and success of The Good Fight is... sustainability. The word itself had the properties of Eastern thought. A strange hard sound that had no appeal whatsoever until it is understood in its full capacity. And its full capacity was not full at all, but instead, balanced.

And I realized today, that as super heroes of this Earth, there will be no high-speed flight with clenched fists before us, but instead our voices will simply speak in harmony with this planet and our word will teach others to seek balance and as Michael brought me to the understanding of the last poets, it is the balance and the Sustainability, which is simply the technical term for Peace, that will bring us all the happiness we seek. And the Earth does have hope in knowing the formula for man on Earth today. this is the formula that will finally work, as the last poets this is what we’ll all speak of, regardless of which issue or topic.

At the end of my divine revelation, I wiped away the water drops, powered down the Mac, closing that portal to the world-wide web from where we have all become one army for Change,  and I took a catnap.

Our goal in reaching Peace and Sustainability will be reached by

1. Doing justice.

2. Showing mercy to the poor and needy and

3.   Exemplifying good and righteous character.

This is the message we will bring to the world.

With our Voices we will save the world!

With our poetry that supports Justice, and Mercy,

Exemplifying Righteousness in all actions


All things Economic, all things Environmental,  and all things Social.

Remember these, the Three Pillars of Sustainability.

The pillars we shall begin to erect on 100K PFC Day are all things Economic, every value Environmentally and Socially.  Each pillar must be supported by justice and without fail show mercy to those in need,  all of our actions must be exemplified in righteousness. This is basis of every message we’ll share.

Never before have the poets gathered in this way, committed and decided, to speak on a day set aside for them,  to finally be heard by the rest of the world that awaits in hopes for answers, for inspiration, and creative solution toward all global crisis.

And we the poets are anxious as well. On this day, we will finally be heard, the world is going to stop and listen. And we will make that Change.

-Yvonne de la Vega


And for those of you who have never heard poetry for Change here is one example from a Los Angeles poet.


June23, 2011                            L.A. POETS UNITE!

To define the outstanding persona and quest of the L.A Poet, would entail the run through of the history of the city itself. There is much history in every humanistic aspect of plight in regard to oppression and racism, and the progress of change. If you study the rise of the Los Angeles Boosters, and the violence it took to create this mecca in a dry desert wasteland, there’s no wonder that film noir originated here. Go even further back, during the war between the United States and Mexico in 1846, Los Angeles was occupied by an American garrison, but the citizens drove the fifty-man brigade out of town.

Because of the city’s history, Johnston McCully recreated Los Angeles in the early days for his setting, as it was a perfect place from where his hero Zorro arose in defense of whom? … THE PEOPLE!

All in all, because we as poets fight the Good Fight, the Los Angeles Poet is one that uniquely bonds to his fellow poet and there  is love, honor and camaraderie between us. We know one another personally, and have known each other for decades. We help each other with the organization of events and support each other without having to be on the bill. We support one another for the love and sake of the Spoken Word. This is just one of the beautiful things about being a Los Angeles Poet.

Charles Bukowski stands out in our minds among the best poets of modern poetry. He wasn’t really one of the Beats, although his readers like to romantically place him among them. But Hank was different. He spoke with a rolling realism and a subtle humor beneath every bottom line and the difference between Bukowski and the Beats is, Charles Bukowski was an L.A. Poet. full on, full-out, through and through. And it is his realism and sincerity,  however cynical, that has attracted many to his poetry and short stories.  Of course… he was one of us. LA POETS UNITE!

On September 24, 2011 a global grassroots event titled, 100 Thousand Poets For Change will take place in more than 245 cities and 55 countries worldwide. It will be a definitive day for all of humankind and history in the making.

Many topics of change and the need for change shall be presented from the voices of the people, represented by the Voice of Humankind: The Poets.

In Los Angeles, each Organizer will host a one and a half hour poetry reading. – We will host our readings back to back from noon to midnight. – There will be four booked bands featured before each quarter of our Event. The L.A. Poet Organizers of The Los Angeles Poets For Change are:

Michael RothenbergFounder of 100 Thousand Poets For Change. A poet, songwriter, editor and publisher of Big Bridge. With Michael’s vision, poets of the world are coming together for the first time in history! In Los Angeles, some of the finest poets of the city will speak to our brothers and sisters, our children, our neighbors and especially to our Nation’s Leaders.

Yvonne de la Vega – Event Coordinator of The Los Angeles Poets For Change. Yvonne is known as a poet/recording artist with many spoken word and music tracks and anthologies, collaborated with several “greats’ in the music world. She is the Los Angeles Poetry examiner for Examiner.com, and created WORDBEAT Radio a podcast that highlighted poets calling in to share their works while de la Vega and co-host John Barrymore deejayed jazz in an improvisation and LIVE delivery.  www.yvonnedelavega.com

Poetri Smith – “To regard Tony Award winner POETRI as just a poet would be underestimating his abilities. As a writer/producer, he has worked on “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam” on HBO and Broadway, for which he was a featured player as a prominent Def Poet” …read more about Poetri at: www.Poetri.com

Milo Martin – Creator of The Overhead Projector Series of the legendary ONYX Readings.  2 Time Slam Champion Winner with The Hollywood Slam Team, Poetry Editor at TheNervousBreakdown.com, and DJ Host of WordBeat Radio, Milo is a street poet with a Master’s Degree in Poetry from UCLA. His book “Poems for The Utopian Nihilist” is one filled with finely channelled poems in a unique and honest voice that always finds the good in every observance, transposed by the well-travelled poet and nuance archiver that Milo Martin is.

Mike The Poet Sonsken- Co-founder Getunderground.com. & Jointz Magazine. Famous for his L.A. City Tours. As a third generation L.A. native, his tours of Hollywood with Red Line Tours & the Museum of Neon Art incorporate poetry & L.A. history. Also host of the perfect poetry readings at Stella Adler Conservatory in Hollywood. His book of poetry. “I Am Alive In Los Angeles” is used in many of the curriculums of High Schools and Universities around Southern California.

Jessica M. Wilson – Los Angeles Poet and Writer,  founder of the Los Angeles Poet Society, the downtown Art Walk’s Writers’ Row, and also the SoapBox Poets, which is a group consisting of writers, musicians, and artists that enjoy delivering their work in the raw to the masses.

Douglas Steindorff –  Ex-Marine and poet who will host a group of ex-military writers. They will speak on topics ranging from the flawed and unfair judicial system to police brutality. His line- up to date includes Poet ‎Steve Abee ,Dennis Cruz, and ‎Paul Gallagher banned UK writer, comic, filmmaker, activist.

Christian Elder – Organizer of the Lollapalooza Poetry Slams. Producer and co-host of the classical LA poetry series, SpokenHeard with LA Poet Mauro Monteiro and The LA Speak Easy with Nelson Gary Author “Twin Volumes” (Ethelrod Press). Christian has long been dedicating himself to the Los Angeles poetry scene’s most distinctive voices.

LOS ANGELES POETRY ORGANIZERS CONTACT: losangelespoetsforchange@gmail.com

“The L.A. Spoken Photograph” by Christian Elder

“The LA Spoken photograph was inspired by a terrific documentary called “A Great Day in Harlem”. And that documentary was about a day when several great jazz musicians gathered to pose for one photograph on a stoop in Harlem, New York. And these were guys like Count Basie, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Mingus, all the greats basically. So I’m looking at this movie in my tiny apartment in Hollywood and I can’t help thinking that this same idea could theoretically apply to the LA poetry community. So I started putting the wheels in motion, assembled a team, and produced the event. And as far as gathering the participants, I made so many contacts running the Lollapalooza slams that all I needed to do was open my phone book and get on the horn. But the idea truly took on a life of its own, people gravitated to it; I was merely a conduit. What I’m really proud of is that I helped bring together a wildly diverse group of spoken word artists ranging from Ellyn Maybe, to Dr. Mongo, Larry Hankin, The Carma Bums, the late Merilene Murphy, and the legendary Watts Prophets.” –  Christian Elder(read more)

Where is Change needed? Healthcare, Racial Crimes,The Judicial System, Care for the Elderly, the overall cost of living and even the cost of dying, The planet, the slaughter of the Dolphins and the Whales by ignorance and greed, resulting in a dangerous imbalance of our entire eco-existence. The conditions inside our jails, The lack of music education in public schools. the issues are plenty.


There will be art on display, by artists who use their expression just as we the poets do, with “voice, awareness, enlightenment and conviction”.  Just as poetry begins from the heart of every city, village or township so does the street art that in Los Angeles has risen to equal the art of the “high brow”. Today artists that began on the streets of Los Angeles such as Shepard Fairey and Mear, OG Able and others, are now being appreciated for their skills and techniques. The world of fine art has taken notice and now admire their works because of the arresting beauty of social conscience on canvas. These visual artists with the poets of Los Angeles have been speaking aloud from the Underground Awareness that is, and always has been a major catalyst for Change.

David & Goliath David & Goliath

Delusions of grandeurDelusions of grandeur

SUPPORT WELCOME —————————— We are currently seeking organization sponsorship as well as venue donation for the Los Angeles segment of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a global event of a nature that has never been possible, until now. Obviously, this is a newsworthy event, and will be televised as well as broadcast online. If you have ideas or resources you would like to share, any support will be considered so please:

SEND ALL INQUIRIES REGARDING THIS EVENT TO: losangelespoetsforchange@gmail.com


About Yvonne de la Vega

Poet & Thinker. Joker. Laugher. Part time safe trickster. Visionary for Peace On Earth, Favorite quote: Love is all we need Message: Visualize Peace Visit my website at http://www.yvonnedelavega.com

4 responses »

  1. Fill me in on what’s going on—Outstanding idea !

  2. […] gonna get worse.” I asked him when he had started. I think he said 3 months ago …read more of The ThreePillars of Sustainability _____________________________________________________________As L.A. Poets Unite To define the […]

  3. I would like to speak to you about your David & Goliath piece. I would like to request permissions from the artist to use this image for our magazine. Please contact me at your convenience. PRISMMagazine.org

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