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POETRY READING: Lettres d’un Ami / Letters to a Friend

For Immediate Release

Post Date:07/11/2019

Media Contact: 

Lora Martinolich 
Library, Arts & Culture
818-548-3749  /


POETRY READING: Lettres d’un Ami / Letters to a Friend

GLENDALE, CA  - On Sunday, July 14, 2019 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, a group of area poets have been invited by the Glendale Library, Arts & Culture Department to present an afternoon of readings to honor the memory of their friend, William Benson, a former Glendale resident and library staff member. The event has been named “Lettres d’un Ami” (“Letters to a Friend”) because of Benson’s love of French poetry.

The event is free and open to the public. It will take place in the Downtown Central Library Auditorium, 222 East Harvard Street, Glendale, CA 91205. In addition to the presentations, a limited number of copies of a commemorative chapbook will be available to those in attendance.

Featured readers include Glendale authors Bill Cushing, Tina Demirdjian and Zelman Lara-Salas, along with Gloria Enedina Alvarez, a Los Angeles poet who knew Benson. Cushing noted that this event offers an opportunity “for those who knew William to honor his memory as well providing a way for those who never met him to understand him a bit better.”

The readers will be reading samples of Benson’s writing along with their own original writing. For anyone interested, original works from the featured poets will be available for purchase during the event. An informal reception will follow the readings.

Benson, a transplant from Pittsburg, PA moved to California with his family in 1981. After a stint in the Army, he returned to school, eventually earning a BA in creative writing from USC. Moving to Glendale, he became a computer technician for the library, working there while also being active in community events as well as the Sierra Club before his passing in 2004 to cancer.


Glendale, known as the “Jewel City,” is one of the largest cities in Los Angeles County. With a population of over 200,000, Glendale is a thriving cosmopolitan city that is rich in history, culturally diverse, and offers limitless opportunities. It is the home to a vibrant business community, with major companies in healthcare, technology, entertainment, manufacturing, retail, and banking.

Glendale’s Library, Arts & Culture Department began in 1907 and includes six neighborhood libraries as well as the Brand Library & Art Center, housed in the historic 1904 mansion of Glendale pioneer Leslie C. Brand, and the Downtown Central Library, a 93,000 square foot center for studying, learning, and gathering. For more information call Library, Arts & Culture at (818) 548-2030 or see the website

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