Poet, Author, Peace Advocate
Mandy Kahn is a poet based in Los Angeles. She’s the author of three poetry collections, Holy Doors (Hat & Beard Editions, 2023), Glenn Gould’s Chair (Eyewear Publishing, 2017) and Math, Heaven, Time (Eyewear Publishing, 2014). Kahn’s poems have been included in the Best American Poetry anthology series and in former poet laureate Ted Kooser’s syndicated newspaper column American Life in Poetry.
Kahn has given readings at Cambridge University, the London Review Bookshop and Shoreditch House in the UK, at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and at the New School in New York.
She is also an opera librettist; she’s written several works with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid, was a librettist for MacArthur grantee Yuval Sharon’s opera Hopscotch, and has received commissions from the new music orchestra Wild Up. Her work as a librettist has been performed by orchestras around the world, including Santa Fe Opera and the Breakout Music Ensemble in Berlin.
Kahn has received commissions to write poetry that responds to fine art exhibitions at the Craft and Folk Art Museum and at Bridge Projects, and has given readings at each.
In addition to writing books, Kahn creates works of interactive literature she calls immersive poems. She builds these immersive works by combining lines of formal poetry with musical technique, audience participation and a cast of performers. She presented a concert of immersive poems at the Getty Museum in a program called “Gateways to Peace,” and also gave a concert of her immersive poems at the Barrick Museum in Las Vegas.
Mandy Kahn has been interviewed by BBC Radio, the Los Angeles Review of Books and KPFK/Pacifica Radio. She’s been profiled in magazines including Flaunt, Issue and Malibu.
Kahn’s poetry is the subject of Courtney Sell’s feature-length documentary Peace Piece: The Immersive Poems of Mandy Kahn, which was released by IndiePix and is available on many streaming platforms, and also as a DVD.
A devoted advocate for peace, Kahn began presenting a monthly series of peace-themed concerts at the Philosophical Research Society in June of 2019. In 2021, Kahn presented a peace concert at Meditation Mount in Ojai in conjunction with Dot Maver, director of the National Peace Academy, Fumi Johns Stewart, executive director of May Peace Prevail On Earth International, and Michael Lindfield, Meditation Mount’s board president. She has been a featured speaker at many peace events, including at Peace Week, World Unity Week and One Planet Peace Forum.
In September of 2020, Kahn began hosting Peace Class, a free, weekly Zoom-based gathering that brings participants together to build inner peace and world peace in community. Now in its third year, Peace Class welcomes participants from around the world at its Wednesday night meetings, which are presented by the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles. At each Peace Class, Kahn gives a talk on one aspect of the nature of peace. She is currently in the process of turning these talks into a book.
Kahn served as the Artist-in-Residence at the Philosophical Research Society from 2019 through 2021, and then became the PRS’s Writer-in-Residence. She now serves as a PRS Contributing Writer.
Kahn’s first book was Collage Culture: Examining the 20th Century’s Identity Crisis (JRP/Ringier, 2011), which she coauthored with Aaron Rose. Collage Culture was designed by Brian Roettinger.
Mandy Kahn holds a degree in English from U.C. Berkeley. She lives in Los Angeles, where she was also born and raised.
Holy Doors, Mandy Kahn’s third collection of poems, is a lyrical, luminous, and highly spiritual journey exploring meditation, prayer, the afterlife, the poet’s love of peace, and the ever-accessibility of grace. It is also a record of what life is like as our spiritual nature begins to live more fully in the body. Each of Kahn’s poems begins with earnest inquiry and ends with an ecstatic moment of communion with the part of the self that is connected to all things.
All evolution is towards the expression of your peaceful and loving inherent nature. If you are not yet experiencing that nature, then you are still learning. If you are experiencing that nature now, you have already learned.
— Mandy Kahn
Mandy presents an immersive villanelle at the Getty Museum
Mandy's program "Gateways to Peace" at the Getty Museum
Mandy conducts performers at the Getty Museum
The audience participates in Mandy's immersive poem Bridge Piece at the Getty Museum
The audience forming a bridge in Mandy's Bridge Piece at the Getty Museum
Performer Christine Wood presents Mandy's text as part of Bridge Piece at the Getty Museum
An audience member receives their line of Mandy's immersive villanelle at the Getty Museum
Mandy's peace-generating Beach Ball Piece at the Getty Museum
The audience participates in Mandy's Beach Ball Piece at the Getty Museum
Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.