Love is in the air at Long Beach Airport with customized poems for travelers

Don’t be surprised if love is in the air when you’re traveling via Long Beach Airport on Valentine’s Day. Poet Brian Sonia-Wallace will be writing love poems—with the satisfying clack-clack-clack of an antique Remington typewriter—for Friday jet setters willing to share their love stories.

“Airports are spaces of transition, connection, transformation,” said Sonia-Wallace. “Many couple’s first serious test of commitment is traveling together. For others, the airport is a place of reconnection. I’m excited to invite the public to commission love poems for each other in this space, to hear some of the thousands of stories that pass through an airport every day.”

Sonia-Wallace, who has made a career of offering his storytelling expertise through on-demand poetry, will ask participants to share their love stories, he’ll then typewrite them on the spot for their significant other. There will also be a second typewriter available to passengers who wish to write their own poems or messages.

It’s all part of team LGB’s effort to make flying less frustrating with a series of pop-ups called “Make Flying Fun Again,” not that they need to make the extra effort. But perhaps that’s why, for the umpteenth time, LGB was named one of the nation’s 10 best airports, just last month.

Yet again: Long Beach Airport named one of the nation’s 10 best

This first pop-up in the new series is a way to “inject a little bit of whimsy, fun and even culture into the airport experience,” said Kate Kuykendall, airport public affairs officer. “We came up with the ‘We Make Flying Fun Again’ pilot series to really double-down on our reputation for stress-free travel, with a little dose of fun and quirky thrown in.”

Future pop-ups may include a basketball activity for March Madness, a magician, a jump rope performer (ready for some Double Dutch?), a sand sculptor kicking off summer travel, a massage pop-up with free five-minute massages, and a pet lounge.

While the pop-ups will be for traveling ticket-holders only—located past security screening—Kuykendall said they’re considering some activities that may be better for pre-security in the future, such as spotlighting local restaurants. Free samples? Now that’s poetry.

Brian Sonia-Wallace will be at Long Beach Airport on Friday, Feb. 14 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more about the Sonia-Wallace here. His first book of essays, “The Poetry of Strangers,” comes from HarperCollins June 30.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.
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