An anthology like this has been a long time coming. For the last fifteen years, every place we come together, whether it was The World Stage, or someone’s party, a birthday gathering, a child’s naming ceremony, a funeral or a home-going, whether it was a cement corner or Fifth Street Dicks (Richard Fulton’s place) backed up by a jazz band, we have always brought words. …We all knew [this anthology] needed to happen, but we were busy living and loving, making babies and building careers. And, of course, we were writing. Yet, we knew a renaissance was happening in Los Angeles, akin to the Harlem Renaissance. But we were caught up in it, shaking, grinding our pencils down, downing endless cups of coffee at a table outside Fifth Street, trying to find the words to say it precisely the way our heart was beating the sounds out.