First Press Reading Series, 2019-2020

The Moria Literary Magazine “First Press Reading Series” for the 2019 – 2020 school year is set. Check out the lineup of events below:

September 30: Douglas Manuel
November 11: Lory Bedikian           
February 24: Richard Garcia         
April 27: Lynne Thompson


Monday, September 30 :: Douglas Manuel


Douglas Manuel was born in Anderson, Indiana. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and a MFA from Butler University where he was the Managing Editor of Booth a Journal. He is currently a Middleton and Dornsife Fellow at the University of Southern California where he is pursuing a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing. He has served as the Poetry Editor for Gold Line Press as well as one of the Managing Editors of Ricochet Editions. His poems are featured on the Poetry Foundation’s website and have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, The Los Angeles Review, Superstition Review, RHINO, North American Review, The Chattahoochee Review, New Orleans Review, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. His first full-length collection of poems, Testify (Red Hen Press, 2017), won the 2017 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for poetry. Manuel’s poems explore identity, race, and masculinity. Grounded in autobiography, his first book tracks a speaker struggling between worlds. In an interview with Sofia Bosch, Manuel remarks, “I think the two biggest catalysts of Testify would be my mom’s death when I was 8 and my father’s long prison sentence. I was raised by my auntie … so, I was always kind of straddling those two worlds. I was always told when I was in the black space … I wasn’t black enough and then when I was at school, suddenly, I was too black—I always felt out of place.”

Fear No Lit, Tour Grind: Douglas Manuel Interview



Monday, November 11 :: Lory Bedikian


 Lory Bedikian received her BA from UCLA with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Poetry. During her time at UCLA, she was twice nominated for the Ina Coolbrith Memorial Prize in Poetry. She earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon, where she received the Dan Kimble First Year Teaching Award for Poetry. Her manuscript has been selected several times as a finalist in both the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition and in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award Competition. She has received grants from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial fund and from AFFMA: Arpa Film Foundation for Music & Art. Her poems have been published in the Connecticut ReviewPortland Review, Poetry International, Poet Lore and Heliotrope among other journals and have been included in Blue Arc West: An Anthology of California Poets. Poets & Writers chose her work as a finalist for the 2010 California Writers Exchange Award. Bedikian’s The Book of Lamenting won the 2010 Philip Levine Prize in Poetry. She currently teaches poetry workshops in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Review, review of Lory Bedikian’s The Book of Lamenting




Monday, February 24 :: Richard Garcia


Poet and writer Richard Garcia was born in San Francisco and started writing in his teenage years. Since then, he has authored various books of poetry, including The Flying Garcias (1991), Rancho Notorious (2001), The Persistence of Objects (2006), Chickenhead (2009), The Other Odyssey (2012), The Chair (2015)—chosen by Poetry Magazine editor Don Share as the best book of the year—and Porridge (2016), winner of the Press 53 Prize. Praised by Nobel Prize Winner Octavio Paz for his “emotion…verbal economy [and] tone,” Garcia’s recent work with prose poems has also received accolades. The recipient of many prizes and awards, including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Cohen Award from Ploughshares, a Pushcart Prize, and the Georgetown Review Poetry Prize, Garcia’s poems have also appeared in CrazyhorseBest American Poetry and various anthologies. A former instructor at the College of Charleston, Garcia has also taught creative writing in the Antioch University Los Angeles MFA Program.


The editors of Poetry Magazine discuss Richard Garcia’s poem from the May 2019 issue



Monday, April 27 :: Lynne Thompson


The recipient of a Fellowship from the City of Los Angeles in 2015, Lynne Thompson is the author of three poetry chapbooks as well as three full-length collections, Fretwork—winner of the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize—Start With A Small Guitar, and Beg No Pardon, winner of the Perugia Press Book Award and the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Thompson’s work has appeared in the North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Pleiades, Colorado Review, and Ecotone, as well as the anthologies, Coiled Serpent, Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles, and Resisting Arrest: Songs to Stretch the Sky. She is Reviews & Essays Editor for the literary journal Spillway and Chair of the Board of Trustees at Scripps College.

Poetry.LA Interview



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