Alta Editors

The New California Curriculum

Readers’ California Canon Picks

We asked our readers what titles they’d include in John Freeman’s “The New California Curriculum,” an essay describing how recent literature reflects the real Golden State.

Readers Share Their California Heritage

We asked our readers to help define what makes someone a Californian.

The History of the Future

Alta considers the appeal and legacy of science fiction in this special collection of short stories, essays, and articles.

First Drafts of the Future

Alta considers the appeal and legacy of a misunderstood form defined by possibilities.

Clockwise from upper left: Arkansas Black apples, Musquee de Provence squash, Hungarian Hot peppers, and Cara Cara oranges.

Have You Figured Out The Alta List?

Each quarter, we subtly publish a list of about 30 related names, words, or phrases that reveals something about life in California and the West. Can you guess this quarter's connection?

For many drivers, a common place to see the bells is along California highway 101 or 82, or El Camino Real; this gold-painted bell sits in front of San Bruno City Hall.

Bells Controversy Rings Loud

Alta readers share passionate responses to Marcela Davison Avilés’s article on a onetime tourist campaign that recalls California’s checkered missionary past.

Luis J. Rodriguez is the author of 16 books, in genres including poetry, children's literature, and the best-selling memoir, "Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A."

Talking with Luis J. Rodriguez

Essays from a former Los Angeles poet laureate argue for the power of verse to unify, inspire, and heal our nation.

Camp Like Kerouac in a Fire Lookout Station

From fire-prevention campouts to publicly maintained casting ponds, this quarter’s Alta Picks offer a breath of fresh air. 

Alta Asks Live: Luis J. Rodriguez

Poet and author Luis J. Rodriguez joins Alta Asks Live and host Heather Scott Partington on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. PST for a discussion on his latest book, the role of identity, and the necessity of poetry in difficult times.

Alta Asks Live

Novelist and critic Steve Erickson joins Alta Asks Live and Alta Editor at Large Mary Melton to take us from The War of the Worlds to Get Out (with stops on Battlestar Galactica and The X-Files in between) to learn how scifi keeps pace with the real world.

Culture from Your Couch

Exhibitions, live performances, and classes are on hiatus, but that doesn’t mean art and culture are taking a break. Try these digital alternatives to an IRL event.

Spring 2020 Nonfiction Picks

Complicating the ordinary, letters from home, the arrival of a meteorite, and the disappearance of a son: E.J. Koh, Dinah Lenney, Harry Dodge, and Roman Dial take us into very different, very real worlds with these nonfiction selections. 

You Are Alta’s Next Cover Star

Transform the background of all of your Zoom meetings (and make everyone jealous) with one of these picturesque backdrops inspired by Alta magazine covers. 

Well of the Scribes $10,000 Reward

$10,000 Reward for Lost ‘Well of the Scribes’ Sculpture

The Well of the Scribes mysteriously disappeared 50 years ago from the Los Angeles Central Library gardens, but a recent article in Alta led to the return of a section of the famed bronze fountain. Join the search and help recover this valuable piece of history.

Alta’s Best Podcasts 2019

These six podcasts from 2019 range from an intimate conversation with Vietnam War resister David Harris at his Marin County home to an evening with jazz singer Paula West before a live audience


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