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LOS ANGELES FESTIVAL : The Long, Lyrical Road to Visibility : The festival's 'Women's Voices' series aims to bolster the misunderstood image of literary life in L.A.

August 15, 1993|LYNELL GEORGE | Lynell George is a staff writer in The Times' View section. and

"I really believe artists have these social and political responsibilities," says poet and festival participant Naomi Quinonez. Although she has been called an "urban lyricist," there is nothing superficial about the beauty of her work.

"I'm not from the art-for-art's-sake school. I see myself as a cultural worker, and artists have definite talents, gifts and skills. We need to be able to shed light on the contradictions and problems in society," says Quinonez, who was born in El Sereno and now lives in Alhambra.

"I really find that being part of a program like this is one way to fulfill a social responsibility. It breaks down the wall between the audience and the artist and allows for a more sincere interaction. Being an artist has its privileges--not many, definitely not monetary, but other, greater ones."

Is the ultimate goal to come away with a specific notion about what an "L.A. writer" is? Or that this convergence of writers at the events' conclusion might be dubbed a new "movement" in search of a name?

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday August 22, 1993 Home Edition Calendar Page 87 Calendar Desk 1 inches; 27 words Type of Material: Correction
Wrong group--In last Sunday's Calendar story on the literary component of the L.A. Festival, writer Wanda Coleman was mistakenly said to have been associated with the Watts Writers Workshop.

"I hope not," Wolverton says, acknowledging the wild mix of styles and cultures that run like a current through the city. "I would like to see L.A. writers get more respect, and get more national visibility, but we could only be impoverished by the notion of what an 'L.A. writer' might be."

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