Venice, CA: A City State of Mind by John O’Kane / 978-1626464032 / 240 pages
A longtime Venice, California resident, John O’Kane edits AMASS Magazine there. A journalist, poet, and fiction writer, his new book, Venice, CA: A City State of Mind, has just been published. It is an exploration of Venice’s history, culture, and its heyday as an alternative creative community – and the challenges that lie ahead.
O’Kane also brings to life the places, people, and creative energies that made Venice a well-known haven for the Southern California Beat Generation and small-press poets, writers and artists. Though O’Kane didn’t come to live in Venice until the 1980s, he became friends with or acquainted with many of those who were well-known in Venice in that earlier era.
O’Kane also considers Venice’s continued evolution. Central to the book’s theme are the changes that the community is is currently undergoing; gentrification threatens to potentially destroy its funky, storied Bohemian character in favor of a wealthy enclave for the privileged.
O’Kane gives the reader a colorful tour through Venice’s past, present – and possible future.