14 poems exploring the intersection of race and place in Los Ángeles.
“The poetry of Brian Dunlap is a love letter to Los Angeles but simultaneously it’s not afraid to take a strong, hard look at the landscape. Dunlap is plugged into the pulse of boulevards and bookstores. Read his words if you want to find out what’s behind the city’s secret doors.”
–Mike “The Poet” Sonksen, author of Poetics of Location
“Brian Dunlap’s debut chapbook, Concrete Paradise, is a love letter to Los Angeles. Here is a poet loving all that he has touched or who has touched him, despite the landscape’s fractured stories and complicated political history. Dunlap asks us to ‘Look./ See us.’ And when he does, we can’t help but be swept by abuelitas, and life on Abbott Kinney before hipster-yuppies; cumbias and hip-hop sway with the Red Hot Chili Peppers or tiko drums or Kamau Daaood’s jazz-scaped narratives. Street names take personifications reminiscent of William Carlos Williams’ Patterson, or the walking tours of Mike “the Poet” Sonksen. Dunlap questions if this is all lost lore, ‘Where have the angels gone,’ only to answer with grace and honesty: ‘We’re still here.’”
–F. Douglas Brown, author of ICON and Zero to Three, winner of the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize