Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia (Poetry) | Studio City, CA

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Jerry Garcia is a poet, photographer and filmmaker. Born and raised in the corner of East Los Angeles that became Monterey Park in Southern California, he spent his childhood fearing “The Bomb” during the cold war, was a teenager during the fabled “Summer of Love” and studied Communication Arts during Richard Nixon’s Watergate Era. He is too old to have been named after the guitar hero of the same name, but can rock and roll just the same. These are the circumstances that inform his writing with references to pop culture and mid-20th Century history.

Garcia has served the iconic Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center of Los Angeles in various capacities including president of the board of trustees. He is a producer and editor of television commercials, documentaries and motion picture previews. His poetry has been widely published online and in print, including: Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Series), The Coiled Serpent Anthology (Tia Chuchas) and his chapbook Hitchhiking with the Guilty.


On Summer Solstice Road (Green Tara Press, 2016). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

Jerry Garcia’s poems are fully situated in time and place, and in the liminal spaces of emergent identity. Set against the backdrop of the City of Angels, these poems offer snapshots of the evolving self. This work will resonate with anyone who has wondered who they are meant to be in the world. Readers will find a brother, a friend, a kindred spirit in each piece.
—Dr. Nancy-Jean Pément, Ventura County Arts Council

On Summer Solstice Road is a compelling, resonant collection of poems. Jerry Garcia takes us on a cruise through his Los Angeles. Guitar music plays on the radio while profound images roll across the pages—a brown-skinned mother “incessantly” scrubs and polishes her copper to keep it from turning green like the steeple at Bullock’s Wilshire and “a Del Taco wrapper floats over suburban lawns.” Car models evolve, and males grow from a Catholic schoolboy, “harangued by adult fears” and shunned by a girl, into “mustachioed men” who snort coke and drive drunk. The city also transforms—a boy’s friends disappear when his neighborhood is demolished to build Interstate 60, and “generations of concrete bury that old green field” on “3rd and Fairfax.” But hope revs the engine forward. Kick back and enjoy the ride.
—liz gonzález, poet, writer, and director of Uptown Word & Arts

Garcia’s work at its most linear is, certainly, emanating from the poetic imagination, but appears more qualified as autobiographic interludes viewed in the ragged vertical tradition. With a bitter glitter of city-dweller intensity, he eschews the suspect poems of sunset over seascape manic-depressions and becomes a firebrand observer of urban grit.
—Michael C. Ford, poet, playwright and Grammy-Nominated recording artist

Jerry Garcia’s wonderful On Summer Solstice Road starts in the streets of Los Angeles, and goes onto to show us that city from countless angles. What makes this book special is the way this start expands out to take us through all of California, and beyond to the larger scope of American history. These are poems filled with vivid imagery and evocative ideas, all the stronger for the warmth beneath them. These are poems about a city, and a country, but filled with heart
—Robert Krut, Poet This Is the Ocean

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