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“Southern California Poets United for Ukraine” was founded by the poets Grant Hier (Anaheim Poet Laureate, 2018-2020) and Lynne Thompson (Los Angeles Poet Laureate, 2021-) the week that Ukraine was invaded. Lynne and Grant knew that they wanted to do something to help, but like most of us, were at a loss for what that might be. 

But they also knew that there exists a very large and generous poetry community who would be eager to stand together and not just contribute, but to help promote this fundraiser to all, for artists have never been afraid to rise up and address the challenges of their times. And on August 13, 2022, 80+ poets showed up in the Maguire Gardens at the Los Angeles Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles to stand in unity to help raise both awareness and contributions (and there were even more who were unable to attend). 

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This is not a campaign of poet-only contributors. Rather, this is a campaign of poets sharing a collective voice in calling out to the world, asking everyone for their help. You need not be a poet or artist to donate. If a poem has ever brought you joy, or enlarged your heart, or caused you to see the world with fresh eyes—or if you are just a concerned citizen of the world—won’t you please contribute?

We ask that you mention the inspiration for your contribution in your comments, so that others might likewise be inspired. 

Perhaps dedicate your contribution in honor of a poem that has helped you in a time of need, and mention that poem’s title so that others might then go find it—and so that poem, via your contribution here and now, extends to help those in need in Ukraine right now. 

Consider making a donation in memory of a poet whose work has helped you to heal—and now, through your donation, will also help others to heal. 

Here is an opportunity to do something to both honor poetry and help those in critical need.


Won’t you stand with the poetry community of Southern California in offering help? And please share this link with anyone who might also want to help.

No contribution is too small. Donations will directly aid Ukrainian citizens and refugees in a variety of ways. From providing essential items such as food & water to distributing hygiene kits and baby supplies. From transporting refugees to safe shelters to staffing and supplying those shelters. From supporting Ukrainians who have fled to Poland and Romania to providing mental wellness and protection services, particularly for women and children.

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