Equally a scholar and performer, Mike Sonksen, also …known as, Mike the Poet, is a 3rd-generation L.A. native acclaimed for poetry performances, published articles and mentoring teen writers. Following his graduation from U.C.L.A. in 1997, he has published over 500 essays and poems for a wide range of journals and websites. His first book I Am Alive in Los Angeles! has been added to the curriculum of several universities and high schools. His weekly KCET column L.A. Letters celebrates literary Los Angeles. Most recently in June 2014, he completed an Interdisciplinary M.A. in English and History from the California State University of Los Angeles. His next book, Poetics of Location is forthcoming from Writ Large Press and he presently teaches at Southwest College.