Words and Meaning: An Exploration of DTLA
A photo essay by Alexis Rhone Fancher
I’ve always known that my beloved Los Angeles has a dark, gritty side. But until I moved downtown in May of 2013, I never understood the poetry of these mean streets. I was bombarded with semiotics; the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation. As a poet, I paid close attention. As a photographer, I began to connect the text with the DTLA surroundings. When a friend pronounced the results “semiotic,” I began documenting in earnest. Here are just a few of those photos.
“Repent! Follow Jesus”
“Finally Got An Interview”
“They Who Can Give Up”
“Spare Any Left OveRs”
“King Eddy’s Saloon”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Poet/photographer Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Rattle, Hobart, Verse Daily, The New York Times, Petrichor, The MacGuffin, Plume, Tinderbox, Diode, Nashville Review, Wide Awake, Poets of Los Angeles, Pirene’s Fountain, Cleaver, Glass, Rust + Moth, Duende, The American Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. Her books include: How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen & other heart stab poems (Sybaritic Press, 2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), Enter Here, (2017), and The Dead Kid Poems, (2019), and Junkie Wife (Moon Tide Press, 2018), an autobiographical chapbook chronicling Alexis’s first, disastrous marriage. She’s been published in over 60 anthologies, including the best-selling Nasty Women Poets (Lost Horse Press, 2017), Terrapin Books’ A Constellation of Kisses, (2019),and Antologia di poesia femminile americana contemporanea, (Edizioni Ensemble, Italia, 2018). Her photographs have been published worldwide, including the covers of Witness, Nerve Cowboy, Chiron Review, Heyday, and Pithead Chapel, and a spread in River Styx. A multiple Pushcart Prize, Best Short Fiction, and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis has been poetry editor of Cultural Weekly since late 2012. She and her husband live 20 miles outside of downtown L.A., in a small beach community overlooking the Pacific. They have an extraordinary view.
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