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Brian Sonia-Wallace Heads To Jewish Women's Theatre For Special Zoom Event

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The October 11 Sunday program will also feature one of JWT's signature performances, along with some unique Sonia-Wallace poetry samples. 

Brian Sonia-Wallace Heads To Jewish Women's Theatre For Special Zoom Event

Santa Monica and virtually everywhere. He travels America, meeting fascinating characters who stop by his "Poetry Store," a wobbly street table with a vintage typewriter perched on top. When they do, he asks them a simple question: "What do you need a poem about?"

Now, Brian Sonia-Wallace, author of the critically acclaimed book The Poetry of Strangers: What I Learned Traveling America with a Typewriter, will share some of the extraordinary stories he learned from ordinary people when he joins The Braid/Jewish Women's Theatre for a special Zoom event on Sunday, October 11, at 11 am PDT, 2 pm EDT.

The New York Times describes Sonia-Wallace as having "the soul of a young searcher." Its glowing review continues with, "He charms us.... full of optimism and wide-eyed wonder." He will now bring the stories of how his art helps build community and empathy to JWT's virtual audience when it hosts A Timely Talk with a Traveling Poet.

"At a time when the quarantine is causing so much isolation, many of us forget that there are bright sides to life. I think Sonia-Wallace will be a remedy we all need," says Maureen Rubin, emeritus professor of journalism at Cal State Northridge, who will interview the author at JWT's popular Sunday morning program.

A Timely Talk with a Traveling Poet is free to attend, but JWT hopes viewers will consider choosing a virtual ticket from its website. For the link to register and more information on how to use Zoom, visit: www.jewishwomenstheatre.org/zoom.

Sonia-Wallace is the winner of the Amtrak and Mall of America Writer-in-Residence competitions, with additional residences from the City of Los Angeles, National Parks System, and Dollar Shave Club. His work has been published in The Guardian and Rolling Stone, and he is the founder of RENT Poet, a poetry-for-hire company featured on NPR's How I Built This. Brian was born on a shower curtain in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in Los Angeles, where he currently lives with 30-plus typewriters.

"JWT audiences might remember Sonia-Wallace from the typewriter poems he wrote for our patrons at JWT's fall parties in 2017 and 2019," says Ronda Spinak, JWT's founding artistic director. "At our events, like the hundreds of others he visits each year, Brian found that passersby open up to him, often sharing some secret hopes, dreams, and disappointments."

The October 11 Sunday program will also feature one of JWT's signature performances, along with some unique Sonia-Wallace poetry samples. The charismatic author will talk about his numerous cross-country journeys and reveal how people of all ages, genders, and walks of life find poetry healing.

"Poetry," he says, "can diminish loneliness." Its effect is universal, whether he is meeting folks in "dying" towns plagued by unemployment, encountering them on trains, or connecting with them as they get in their 10,000 steps at malls.

This special event is made possible in part with grant support from the City of Santa Monica.

The Braid/Jewish Women's Theatre, recently voted Santa Monica's "Most Loved" performance venue by the Santa Monica Daily Press and voted one of the "Best Live Theatres on the Westside" three years in a row by The Argonaut, presents inspiring Jewish stories, art, and other programming that highlight Jewish contributions to contemporary life. Now in its 13th (bat mitzvah) season, JWT's salon theatre of original dramatic shows, each written to a specific theme, displays the diverse and eclectic community of writers, artists, and creators who celebrate Jewish life, one story at a time. Learn more about JWT at: www.jewishwomenstheatre.org.

For virtual tickets to A Timely Talk with a Traveling Poet, featuring Brian-Sonia Wallace, visit: www.jewishwomenstheatre.org/zoom.



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