Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Reading at the Old Zoo

                                               May 19th, 2013 at 5:30pm
                                            The Old Zoo in Griffith Park

                                                             Chiwan Choi
                                                       Melinda Palacio
                                                       Diana Wagman
                                                         Amanda Yates

                                          and musical guest Bloody Death Skull

RSVP on Facebook Event page

Facebook: Griffith Park Storytelling Series Twitter: @griffithparklit

The Independent Shakespeare Company has detailed maps and directions to the Old Zoo. They also have hot pink signs up along Crystal Springs Drive, which point the way to the Old Zoo.

If you are familiar with the park, make your way to Merry-Go-Round Lot #2. Walk through the trailhead towards the picnic areas and turn left. Take any trail, making your way toward the stairs. Go up the stairs, and you will see the Old Zoo across the open field to your left. We will be inside one of the enclosures-- probably the second or third. We will have signs up pointing the way, and chairs and a refreshment table set up inside the enclosure.

Detailed directions: 
Make your way to Los Feliz Blvd. and turn onto Crystal Springs Drive into the park. We will have signs along Crystal Springs to assure you that you are headed in the right direction.
Continue straight through the first stop sign, which is the turn-off for the 5. 
Soon, you will reach another stop sign. We will have a sign up here, and there will likely be many other signs up as well. The Ranger station is to your right, but you will turn LEFT, following signs for the MERRY-GO-ROUND.
At the top of the hill, turn right into the parking lot. This is Merry-Go-Round Lot #1. Drive through this lot to the next parking lot, Merry-Go-Round Lot #2. Park here. The Old Zoo is a short (5-7 minute) walk from the parking lot.

                      Walk straight along the road, but do not turn right down the hill. 

Continue walking straight through the trailheads towards the picnic areas. We will have a sign up at the trailhead.

                    Turn left, staying on the trails, which look like pavement covered in sand. 
                                                     Do not walk towards the cars ahead.

The trails around here all lead in sort of the same direction, so don't worry too much about staying on a particular trail. Soon, you will see a purple fire hydrant. Turn left up the hill and keep an eye out for staircases. There are two staircases, and either one will lead you to the Old Zoo.

Walk up the stairs and there will be a wide open field before you. Head left towards the ruins.

We will be in one of the enclosures. We will have chairs set up, a refreshments table, and a sign at the entrance. The Independent Shakespeare Company has an event ending around 5pm, so we think the area will be cleared out by 5:30. We look forward to seeing you there!

Chiwan Choi has published two books of poetry, The Flood and Abductions. He is also a co-founder of Writ Large Press, and shares the highs and lows of being an independent LA publisher on his weekly column, "Literary Alchemy," on Cultural Weekly. Learn more about his work online at and

Melinda Palacio
loved going to Griffith Park as a child from South-Central. Her novel, Ocotillo Dreams, won the Mariposa award and the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award. Her poetry book, How Fire Is A Story, Waiting, was a finalist for both the 2013 Milt Kessler and the Patterson Poetry Prize. Visit her online at

Diana Wagman is the author of four novels. Her second, Spontaneous, won the 2001 PEN West Award for Fiction. Her latest, The Care & Feeding of Exotic Pets, was chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Pick. She has been published in many literary journals and is an occasional contributor to the Los Angeles Times.

Amanda Yates explores the ways the overlapping stories of individuals and events compose the “spirit” of places. Her work has appeared in the literary journal Black Clock, and Synema Publikationen (Austria), among others. Her performance rituals, Happening Magic, have been conducted throughout Los Angeles at venues ranging from Public Fiction to Human Resources.

Bloody Death Skull special musical guest Bloody Death Skull really began the day Daiana Feuer and Gerard Olson met at CalArts and plotted to kidnap Tim Burton and keep him as a pet in a closet. Upon having Beth McNamara over for karaoke one day, it became apparent she was "one of us." Later, they added Donna Suppipat and her arsenal of toys to fill out the percussion section, which at the time consisted of Beth playing the (silent) yarn shaker. This band was raised on Wild Kingdom and televised space shuttle launches. They sing about fun things like their favorite movies, science and the cosmos, flirting with boys, and understanding the prostitute psyche. Sometimes they cover songs, usually romantic numbers. Musically, the band swirls together ukulele with whatever sounds, toys and instruments they enjoy into a pleasant, lo-fi pop sound, rooted in the sort of fun, sappy, playful and sneaky tunes you find in late-50s American Rock and Soul. Visually, the outfits, toys, lights and bubbling test tubes are a feast. It’s a PBS daycare playset. And physically, well, they’re a very attractive band too.

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