Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mandy Kahn and Douglas Kearney at Bolton Hall Museum on September 25, 2016

Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga Present
Featured Poets Mandy Kahn and Douglas Kearney 
on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 4:30 p.m.
 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042
Plus Open Mike and Refreshments! 

Mandy Kahn

Mandy Kahn is the author of the poetry collection Math, Heaven, Time. In January of 2016, former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser featured a poem from the collection, “At the Dorm,” in his syndicated newspaper column American Life in PoetryKahn collaborates with composers to create works that feature poetry in tandem with classical music and has had readings and signings at Colette (Paris), Motto (Berlin), Shoreditch House (London), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), Printed Matter (New York) and Art Center College of Design (Pasadena). 

She was one of several librettists who wrote the text for the critically acclaimed opera-in-cars Hopscotch; her libretto for the project was subsequently quoted in The New YorkerKahn also works as an essayist, and is coauthor, with Aaron Rose, of the nonfiction book Collage Culture: Examining the 21st Century’s Identity Crisis, which features graphic design by Brian Roettinger. Collage Culture was simultaneously released as a record which paired readings of the book’s texts with a score by the band No Age.

The Tour Guide

I followed the German tour guide
through the hulking old basilica.

He told the group (or so I guessed),
indicating high and low:

This is where the wind begins.

This is where the childhoods of a thousand
martyrs live, untouched.

Wood grain in these pews still curls
to likenesses of patron saints.

Window-holes are cut the breadth
of human souls, when loosed.

Dark paint in the frescoes is crushed ants.
White paint is light.

Leaves and fauna long extinct are rendered
in the porticoes. See that goat
with antlers? Gone from life,
but captured here.
(Hold your breath and it bows its head.)
(Reach towards the ceiling and sigh, and it sighs.)

Worth two times the value of the Bulgar Sea
is that old bell.

(When younger priests
would ring it,
the nuns were warned to shield their hearts.)

He said far more
I can’t recall

and when I tried to pay him,
he spurned my coins, saying, in German,

What good is money,
my child, to the wind?

Douglas Kearney

Douglas Kearney’s collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” 

His third poetry collection, Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014) examines miscarriage, infertility, and parenthood and was a finalist for the California Book Award. Cultural critic Greg Tate remarked that Kearney’s second book, National Poetry Series selection, The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), “flows from a consideration of urban speech, negro spontaneity and book learning.” Someone Took They Tongues. (Subito Press, 2016) collects three of his opera libretti. Fence Books will publish Buck Studies in late 2016. He was the guest editor for 2015’s Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan). 

He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. His work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including Best American PoetryBest American Experimental WritingWide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin, and What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Poets in America. Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley. He teaches at CalArts.

For more information:

Here's a link to a sample poem

Native American stone bowl for grinding acorns into flour.
Collection of Bolton Hall Museum.


Please note that the links to photo albums from past Village Poets readings have all gone dead, when Google, the owner of Picasa Web Albums, decided unilaterally to cancel the contract (we paid them for storage), and move everything to Google Photos, where pictures are in albums but have different address links. So, it will take us forever to restore the albums to their proper shape, and make our glorious poetry history available to the public again. Meanwhile, we have been posting our photos on Facebook, with "public" settings, so these could be visible. 

Ed Rosenthal, Elsa Frausto, Marlene Hitt and Maja Trochimczyk
at McGroarty Arts Center - Word Bites Event, August 20, 2016

Books and Poetry Postcards from our Poetry Clothesline (free to pick)

Here's the album from Word Bites Poetry Readings at the McGroarty Arts Center, a part of the ST Open Studios and a part of Made In LA event on the weekend of August 20 and 21. 

There were six poets reading and we rocked! Who rocked? Elsa Frausto, Marlene Hitt, Ed Rosenthal, and Maja Trochimczyk in the first two segments, and Joe DeCenzo and Art Currim in the second two sets.  A fantastic sextet - we had 20 minutes at every hour between 12 and 4 on Saturday, August 20, 2016. Our books were on display and everyone had fun! On both days, we had a chance of visiting artists' studios and admiring imaginative, inspirational, and creative artwork of our local artists. A wonderful opportunity to mix and mingle with other artistic souls! 

And here's the album from the Elline Lipkin Feature in August, with amazing musicians Heather Donavon and Steve McCormick as Music Features.

Elline Lipkin reads at Bolton Hall Museum

Elline Lipkin

Steve McCormick and Heather Donavon

Village Poets, Seated LtoR: Mira Mataric,  Dorothy Shepherd, Elline Lipkin, Steve McCormick, Kathabela Wilson, Pauli Dutton. Standing LtoR: Maja Trochimczyk, Tim Callahan, Yatindra Bhatnayar, Kitty Kroger, Pete Larsen, Rick Dutton, Cybele Garcia Kohel, Taura Scott, Dalton Perry, Dorothy Skiles, Rick Wilson, and Joe DeCenzo.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Word Bites at McGroarty Arts Center Open House, Saturday, August 20, 2016

Village Poets of Sunland –Tujunga Present 


at McGroarty Arts Center, 7570 McGroarty Terrace, Tujunga, CA 91042 

on Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

There will be four sets by six poets: Maja Trochimczyk, Elsa S. Frausto and Lois P. Jones at 12:30pm & 1:30pm; Joe DeCenzo, Art Currim & Marlene Hitt at 2:30pm and 3:30pm. 

These readings are scheduled in-between Regina Clark's docent tours of this historic site that was home to playwright and California Poet Laureate, John Steven McGroarty. 

All day, local artists will be presenting their artwork in booths and tents on the MAC park-like grounds. The Open House exhibitors-artists are: 

This event is part of the Maiden LA celebrations of art across Los Angeles and of the Sunland Tujunga Open Studios! Visti ST Open Studios website for a list and timeline of open houses locally:

And don't forget, the week after, we have the exquisite poet Elline Lipkin and the sophisticated musical duet, Heather Donavon and Steve McCormick, who present on August 28, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. at Bolton Hall Museum on Commerce Avenue. 

See the post on our blog.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Elline Lipkin Features at Bolton Hall Museum, with Music by Heather Donavon and Steve McCormick, August 28, 2016

Bolton Hall Museum, Photo by Maja Trochimczyk

Poets and poetry lovers are invited to attend the August Monthly Poetry Reading on Sunday, August 28, 2016, starting at 4:30 p.m., at the Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042.

Big Tujunga Wash, photo by Maja Trochimczyk

The reading will include a featured poet, Elline Lipkin, Altadena Poet Laureate selected in April 2016. Poets will be able to present their work in two open mike segments. Refreshments will be served and $3.00 or more donations will be collected for the cost of the venue, the second historical landmark in the City of Los Angeles, that celebrated its centennial in 2013.  The Museum is managed by the Little Landers Historical Society.

Elline Lipkin

Elline Lipkin is a poet, academic, and nonfiction writer. Her first book, The Errant Thread, was chosen by Eavan Boland for the Kore Press First Book Award. Her second book, Girls’ Studies, explores contemporary girlhood in the United States.

Currently a Research Scholar with the Center for the Study of Women at UCLA, Elline also teaches for Writing Workshops Los Angeles.  Widely published as a poet, she has been a resident at Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. She recently served as a mentor for AWP’s Writer to Writer program and is the current Poet Laureate of Altadena.

You may read her sample poem here:

Her book is available on Amazon:

Heather Donavon and Steve McCormick

Two wonderful singers and song-writers, Heather Donavon and Steve McCormick will provide the Music Feature, presenting their songs, with acoustic accompaniment.

Heather Donavon

Heather is a Pro Session Vocalist to Grammy Artists, Voice Coach and an Award Winning Songwriter. Heather's vocals were featured on Melody Gardot's  GRAMMY nominated album, Currency of Man and on KEB' MO's GRAMMY nominated album, The Reflection.  As a songwriter, two of her co-writes are on KEB' MO'S GRAMMY nominated album, Blues Americana and on Live album, That Hot Pink Blues Album.

Her voice has been heard on national commercials for TV & radio, in film and on many albums. Heather has co-written songs with KEB' MO', Bonnie Hayes, Jonathan Hayes, Narada Michael Walden, Steve McCormick, and Nashville hit writers, Gary Richardson, Victoria Shaw, and Todd Hambridge. She has opened for many national acts, including Tori Amos and Fiona Apple. She performed in hundreds of venues in California and beyond. She also has sung and danced, in the musical cast of Both, a Los Angeles based Beatles holiday musical.  Heather lives in Los Angeles and is a member of SAG/AFTRA, BMI and NARAS.

Steve McCormick

The music of Steve McCormick is based in Americana. His soulful guitar playing and raspy voice carry the influence of iconic American artists like Townes van Zandt, Ry Cooder, Little Feat and The Meters. Raised in the Midwest, his interest in roots music led to a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he wrote his senior thesis on American Music. In the years that followed McCormick honed his recording skills by working with tube microphone guru Steve McKinstry and his Salmagundi Studios. Shortly thereafter, McCormick’s songwriting led to a publishing deal with Nashville based Wrensong.

McCormick now resides in Los Angeles and is a studio owner, producer, performer, session player, composer/songwriter and microphone builder. Steve McCormick is a card-carrying member of the Hollywood Local 47 Musician’s Union. Though his playing skills are highly sought after, his songwriting and recordings have set him apart as a voice in music today. His songs have been alongside the Counting Crows, Peter Gabriel, and The Pretenders in the hit NBC show “Homicide”. He’s worked with such notable artists as Stan Behrens (Canned Heat, Willie Dixon), Eric Lynn, Richie Hayward (Little Feat), Stevie Di Stanislao (CSN, Joe Walsh, Loggins and Messina, David Gilmore), Phil Cody, and Pete Wasner (Vince Gill, Lowell George) in a wide variety of collaborations.

Just as McCormick’s guitar playing led to songwriting, his songwriting led to music production and a recording studio of his own. And now his studio work has led to microphone building and other custom audio projects as McCormick’s quest to make the music come alive spills over into recording, production, audio engineering and other currents of sonic philosophy.

M.Trochimczyk, C. Corbusiero, M. Hitt, B. Cushing, and J. DeCenzo

Photos from the July 23 "Notes and Letters" Program by Bill Cushing and Chuck Corbusiero, with a guest appearance by Mariko Kitakubo, Kathabela Wilson and Rick Wilson, in a tanka program, are available on Facebook and Google Photos. Of over 50 individuals, poets and friends posted for a group portrait by Gene Schultz:

"Notes and Letters" Presentation poets on July 24, 2016:
L to R, Standing: Maja Trochimczyk, guest, Pauli Dutton, Mira Mataric, Joe DeCenzo, Pete Larsen, Rick Dutton, Taura Scott, Dalton Perry, Deborah P Kolodji, Rick Wilson. L to R, Seating: Elsa Frausto, Marlene Hitt, Bill Cushing, Chuck Corbusiero, Kathabela Wilson, Mariko Kitakubo, Cecil.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Notes and Letters" by Bill Cushing with Chuck Corbisiero, and a Visit by Mariko Kitakubo on July 24, 2016

Continuing its monthly poetry readings, The Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga will feature a duo for its monthly poets reading on July 24, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. Two former NYC neighbors, Bill Cushing and Chuck Corbisiero, join musical-poetic forces in L.A. for a performance at the historical landmark.
Held at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga at 10110 Commerce Ave. (91042), which marked a century of existence in 2013 and is the second historical landmark named in the city of Los Angeles, the event begins at 4:30 p.m. The group requests a $3 or more donation to assist in the building’s upkeep; refreshments are offered.

As it happens, this reading took over 40 years to happen. Nearly 50 years ago, Chuck Corbisiero and Bill Cushing grew up across the street from each other. After Bill began serving in the Navy in 1970, the two found their lives on separate paths. Now they have joined forces to present a show blending Bill’s poetry with Chuck’s musical talents dubbed “Notes and Letters.”

The two reconnected at the end of 2015 when Bill participated in a reading commemorating his publication in the award-winning anthology Stories of Music. Bill, an MFA graduate from Goddard College in Vermont, has lived in the Los Angeles area since 1996 and teaches English at area community colleges. He has been publishing professionally since 1987 and began poetry as a serious avocation two years later.

Chuck, a guitarist who plays Jazz, Blues, Brazilian and various other musical genres, earned his B.F.A. in Musical Performance and Arranging at the City University of New York - The City College during Gil Evans' tenure as Artist in Residence. He also plays stand-up bass and worked as Eddy Arnold's guitarist. He moved to the area in 1991.

Copies of an accompanying chapbook will be available for purchase during the event.

            for Joseph Conrad

I have always taken 
the four a.m. watch:
those three hours before dawn when,
inhaling the moist sweetness
of a new day, we awake
and escape last night’s darkness,

leaving technology
to experience
quiet and primitive satisfaction.

The ocean rushing underneath,
its volume
dependent upon current hull speed,
spills a phosphorescent wake —
the only natural source of light
besides the moon.

Rolling up and down,
swaying into balance
on the balls of my feet while
cradling the warmth
of a mug’s contents.

an orange sliver appears
and grows, as the sun
finds the seam in the weld

that fixes sea to sky.

By Bill Cushing, published in River Poets Journal Signature Poem Anthology


Up where the mountains
curl like sleeping dragons,
peaks piercing
far above the clouds,
in another world
two miles
above sea level sits
the center of the Incan empire,
Cusco: a pupute,
bellybutton of the world.

Like a crouching panther
this place,
all diagonal
slopes, everything
hard stone: boulders, smooth squares
of grey granite the size
of a room; cobblestones,
loose ovals of softer pastels;
and of course, interrupting
the landscape is the weighted
masonry of churches with arches
lifting statues
promising spirituality
but instead
delivering conquest.

In the morning comes
the hammering from the town square:
a stonemason crouches amid
rocks, boulders, and stones.
His song rings out
with each ping of the steel
striking the rock
he works on. Not far,
the finisher chips
discretely on the rough work,
trimming the rock into shapes
that could easily
have come from a lathe.

Then there are the people,
the cusqueños:
Trudging along
the sloping roads and paths,
they carry belongings
or wares in the lliclla
colorful blankets sprouting
babies, flowers, hay,
or more stones,
the wraps that
around stooping shoulders
and seem to push the carriers
into their own incline
as they make their shuffling way
up these narrow and steep
streets while we tourists steep
coca tea in our rooms,
attempting to adjust
to the heights.

At midnight
we bolt awake, our bodies
gulping air to catch breath; feeling
a tingling in fingers,
we drown in thin air.

The cusqueños,
like the stones surrounding them,
are squat, browned,
with hearts enlarged
and noses slightly widened:
equipment for the altitude.
The old ones peer
through occidental eyes
cracked and peeling
from age and
knowledge ancient
and pure.

The look says,
"Nokanchis ocmanta causanchis:”

we will endure."

by Bill Cushing, published in Metaphor in 2015



Prior to the main feature, we will welcome Mariko Kitakubo with Kathabela Wilson and Rick Wilson (flutes), in a special appearance dedicated to Asian music, instruments and the art-form of tanka. Village Poets featured them together in March 2014, and we are looking forward to the new program. In June 2016 Mariko, Kathabela and Rick were together for almost two weeks in Kamakura and Karuizawa Japan. On June 5, they performed tanka together at the 8th International Tanka Festival in Karuizawa, Japan. Her new book of tanka, "Indigo" has just been published by Shabda Press, 2016.


Born in Tokyo, Japan, Mariko Kitakubo lives in Mitaka-city, Tokyo and is an accomplished poet. She is a member of the Association of Contemporary Tanka Poets, Kokoro no Hana, The Japan Writers' Association, Japan PEN Club, Japan Tanka Poets Club, Tanka Society of America, and Tanka Online Project. She published 6 books of tanka including 2 bilingual ones: On This Same Star and Cicada Forest. She has also produced a CD of her tanka, entitled Messages. her most recent book of tanka was issued by Shabda Press in California.

Mariko is an experienced performer who has presented her poetry on at least 100 occasions, 50 of them overseas. Tanka as a form pre-dates haiku, in fact haiku was born from it. It is emotional, musical, lyrical. and free. Mariko hopes by her presentations to encourage more poetry lovers worldwide to appreciate and practice tanka. 


 Kathabela is a California poet, artist, editor, the founder and leader of Poets on Site and Tanka Poets on Site, a FB group of over 400 poets who write on shared themes. She is also the Secretary of the Tanka Society of America. Kathabela is the author of hundreds of poems, published in many journals and books, including Maja Trochimczyk’s Chopin with Cherries anthology published by Sunland’s Moonrise Press in 2010. Kathabela is also the editor of over thirty Poets on Site anthologies inspired by art and gardens in California and featuring the work of hundreds of poets. She hosts local tanka meetings at her home salon and at Caltech in Pasadena. She is the secretary of the Tanka Society of America.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Village Poets Present the June Featured Poet, Judy Barrat (June 26, 2016)

The Village Poets are pleased to invite poets and poetry lovers to the Monthly Poetry Reading on Sunday, June 26, at 4:30 p.m., at the Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042. The reading will include a featured poet, Judy Barrat, and two open mike segments. Refreshments will be served and $3.00 or more donations will be collected for the cost of the venue, the second historical landmark in the City of Los Angeles, that celebrated its centennial in 2013.  The Museum is managed by the Little Landers Historical Society.


Born in the Bronx, New York, Judy was for most of her teenage years what she calls a “closet  writer” of poetry and short  fiction.  When she moved to Los Angeles in her 20's and got married, had two children, and subsequently became a single working mom writing became a thing of the past but she slowly began dabbling again in poetry and fiction, having  found sunny California  a bigger, warmer closet in which to write and about 5 years ago, was convinced by a friend that it was time to bring her writing into the light.

She has been sharing her thoughts and words at various poetry and music venues around Los Angeles and has had her work published in several quarterly magazines and anthologies, including  the Pelham Parkway Times, the San Gabriel Valley Quarterly, Spectrum, Then and Now and  Wild Women of Words, as well as on-line journals.  Not too long ago, Judy began to fuse her writings with a musical background of jazz or blues, both instrumental and vocal, adding another dimension to her repertoire.  

In October of 2015 she presented a one woman show at the Gardenia Club in Hollywood to musical accompaniment, eliciting a wonderful review in Cabaret Scenes Magazine.  Her writings  (quoting Jody Jaress, actress, vocalist): “are poignantly descriptive, carry a depth of insight and mystery, and no matter what her subject or genre,  are poetically, brilliantly, and sometimes defiantly a lot like Judy herself... wonderfully enjoyable to say the least.”

                                              Grass in Descanso Gardens, spring 2016, Photo by Maja Trochimczyk


As children my best friend and I climbed a grassy hill
  that seemed to kiss the sky; it was dotted with flowers.
We thought when we reached the top
  The clouds would be just within our reach.

Along the way we passed some trees,
 giant oaks and maples and a lone weeping willow.
And there were birds, bluebirds and robins
 and we thought “this is where they learn to sing”.

Once at the top we’d sit in the cool grass
  picking honeysuckle, drinking nectar from the stems;
We held buttercups to each other’s chins
  To see the bright yellow reflection on our faces.

And then there were of course, the wild daisies
   Which swayed in the grass and called for us to
Pick one to determine whether the boys we liked
   Liked us back – he loves me, he loves me not.

Now all grown up I wander through a field
  Of flowers and stoop down to pick a daisy,
Reminded as I am, of those carefree daisy days.
   I look around, find myself alone and begin,

I gaze at this lovely perfect flower which seems
   to look right back at me with its big yellow eye
As one by one I gently pull petals until
   the last petal is gone: “he loves me not”.

He loves me not?– I stare in disbelief at
   that unblinking yellow eye and tearfully ask:
          “Is that your final answer?”

                                    © Judy Barrat, December 2011

Photo by Maja Trochimczyk


The double-feature reading on May 22, 2016 was a great success and we are grateful to Marcia de la O and Jerry Garcia for sharing their words and ideas with the Village Poets. Here are some pictures taken by Joe DeCenzo.

Photos by Joe DeCenzo and friends.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Village Poets Present Marsha de la O and Jerry Garcia on May 22, 2016 at Bolton Hall

On Sunday, May 22, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. Village Poets will present two fascinating contemporary poets Jerry Garcia and Marsha de la O, in the monthly Open Mike Reading at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga (10110 Commerce Avenue). The reading will include two segments of Open Mike and refreshments - coffee, fruit, snacks or cakes - depending on the Village Poets' fancy.  This reading is one of "tenderness" - or "kindness" and "gentility" - because there's not enough of these three virtues in our world these days... 

The building, fascinating with is frontier beauty (facade and fireplace built of huge river-rocks) and storied history (Los Angeles's Historical Landmark No. 2, built in 1913), is managed by the Little Landers Historical Society that organizes events and quirky exhibits as well as invites the poets for their monthly feasts free of charge. Nonetheless, Village Poets do make donations to the LLHS, and for that purpose pass the hat, also historic - and formerly owned by the Bolton Hall builder, George Harris, to collect suggested donations of $3 per person that are then used to purchase refreshments for the poets and guests, and to donate funds to the Little Landers Historical Society.

Freshly squeezed orange juice was a must in mid-century California. 
Items from the current display at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga. 


Jerry Garcia is a poet, photographer and filmmaker from Los Angeles who is too old to have been named after The Grateful Dead guitar hero.He has been a producer and editor of television commercials, documentaries and motion picture previews. He is currently producing Poetry Films based on his and the poetry of others. 

In 2006, Jerry was chosen by the L.A. Poetry Festival to participate in Newer Poets XI Series as part of the L.A. Central Library’s Aloud Series.  In April 2015 he was winner of Terry Wolverton’s dis•articulationsreader Poem series.

His poetry has been seen in Askew, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Chaparral, The Chiron Review, Palabra, Verdad Magazine, KCET’s Departures: Poetry L.A. Style, Tia Chucha’s Coiled Serpent Anthology and his chapbook Hitchhiking with the Guilty. 

Jerry is a past-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets and former president of Beyond Baroque’s Board of Trustees.

While Walking the Dog
Last Evening

I saw a falling star,
its tail so long,
its head so black,
surely it must rest this morning 
in a neighbor’s backyard, 
blackened rock, warm to the touch,
conspicuous on a thick bed
of blue grass.

If it struck like the truth
it could be the famous Boson
and if it had not been honest,
the prayers of many
would nod as they hold on to tomorrow
while the rest of us scramble
to keep the day intact.

Sometimes, what is visible in the black,
like reflected branches
and multi-galaxies of matter,
would support belief in substance,
while to others
the flickering sky expresses
the Divine.

(c) by Jerry Garcia 


Marsha de la O was born and raised in Southern California. Both sides of her family arrived in the Los Angeles area before William Mulholland built the aqueduct that brought in water from the eastern Sierras. 

Her latest book, Antidote for Night, won the 2015 Isabella Gardner Award and was published by BOA Editions.  Her first book, Black Hope, was awarded the New Issues Press Poetry Prize. 


as far south as possible – to live – the ache  
on the edge of what can’t be endured, 
Monterey cypress on the spit, this remnant— 
when will longing be done with me—
parched, parched St. Catherine’s Lace 
fuming her last, and Sister Datura, 
mi loca, my girl, her closed mouth 
twisted like paper, horses in the 
shallows, piebald and panicked, rearing 
in the foam, ghost eyes wide, oh 
far-ranging roans, blue multitudes 
why oh why can’t I, rushing the horizon—  
naturally I dream the length of summer 
days & nights when the moon lives 
for weeks in my room, staggering in late 
every night drunk, slip sliding off her 
shoulders into an ivory pool on the carpet 
and still she will not ease me

(C) by Marsha de la O



The beautiful, inspired, whimsical, sensuous, and richly woven from a tapestry of words and images reading by featured poets Lois P. Jones and Alice Pero will remain among the highlights of the season. Not just the featured poets rose to the occasion, other readers celebrated the Earth Day of April 22 and commemorated the Armenian Genocide of April 24.

Poetry took us to the stars, inside a drawing by Leonardo, and on nature hikes, to see dragonflies in the Tujunga Wash. We learned how to eat a mountain and what Odysseus did when Sirens sang their irresistible song.  We listened, we thought, we laughed, we cried... 

Lois P. Jones thus summed up her experience: "The air was clean and crisp, the sunlight dappling, the poetry served al dente, warm and welcoming. There was humor and pathos (a powerful poem on the anniversary of the Armenian holocaust), odes to spring and renewal, the whimsical dynamism of Alice Pero and the welcoming light of MC, Maja Trochimczyk. A poet afterward offered something which I will take with me forever. "Your poetry opens the soul." Better than any awards or flashy publications. I must remember to keep my eye on the soul."

PHOTO L To R: Seated: Tim Callahan, Lida Abramian, Susan Rogers, Lois P. Jones, Alice Pero and Marlene Hitt . Standing: Maja Trochimczyk, Joe DeCenzo, Beverly M. Collins, Mark Evans, Bo Kyung Kim, Pam Shea, Elsa S. Frausto, Dorothy Skiles, Joe, Mira Mataric, Kathabela and Rick Wilson, and Janet Nippell.  Other photos are on Facebook and will find their way to an online album.