Friday, January 12, 2018

Susan Dobay's Book, Her Art and Her Poets - January 28, 2018


To start the year 2018 Village Poets present the book "An Incessant Search for the Essence of All Art" by Hungarian American artist Susan Dobay, including slides of the paintings and digital art, as well as poems from the book ready by California poets. The event will place at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga (10110 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, CA 91042) on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.  The reading will also include Open Mike and refreshment. The George Harris Hat will be passed around to collect suggested donations of $3 per person for refreshments and to make a donation for the upkeep of the Bolton Hall Museum, Los Angeles Historical Landmark built in 1913.


SUSAN DOBAY - RESUMÉ

Hungarian by birth, Susan Dobay resides in California. After studying graphic arts both in Hungary and the U.S, she served as an illustrator for advertising agencies, magazines, and newspapers.  Wanting to explore more creative options, Susan Dobay moved from commercial to fine art, and in 1968 she was invited to join and exhibit with the Alliance of Hungarian Artists both in the United States and abroad.
In Los Angeles Dobay helped found the Arany Janos Hungarian Literary and Cultural Circle. Dobay’s art is represented in collections in London, Switzerland, Hungary,  Transylvania, Canada, New York and Los Angeles.


ARTIST'S STATEMENT
“Although I derive inspiration from various sources –e.g., music, nature, the human condition -I try to find the balance between mind and spirit. My goal is to involve viewers in a creative game where both the mind and the heart are stimulated.”

LISTINGS
Hungarian Painters and Graphic Artists 1988
California Art Review 1989
Contemporary Hungarian Lexicon 1999
International Women Artists 1997
Who's Who in America
Who’s Who in the World

DOCUMENTATION
Deri Museum, Debrecen, Hungary
San Diego Museum, California
Hungarian National Museum, Budapest
Szepmuveszeti Museum, Budapest
Vasarely Museum, Budapest
M.H. de Young Memorial Museum. San Francisco, CA
The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.
Long Beach Museum of Art, CA


SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2015 Museum Gallery  Science Center, Debrecen, Hungary
2014 DVD presentation Hungarian House Los Angeles
2014 DVD presentation Bolton Hall Museum CA
2014 DVD presentation Altadena Public Library
2014  Shumei Hall Art Gallery, Pasadena, CA
2013 Interview of Susan Dobay Krickorian Movie Theatre
2011  Shumei Hall Art Gallery, Pasadena, CA
2010  Art Center of Ferencvaros , Budapest, Hungary
2010  Scenic Drive Gallery, Monrovia, California
2009  Scenic Drive Gallery, Monrovia, California
2007  Tibor Erno Galeria, Nagyvarad, Transylvania
2006  Szatmarnemet Museum, Transylvania
2006  Museum of Mateszalka,  Hungary
2006  2B Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
2006  Wall Art Gallery   Fermandia Beach, Florida
2005  2B Gallery Budapest, Hungary
2004  Zemplen Galeria, Satoraljaujhely, Hungary
2003  Gateway Plaza, Pasadena, CA
2002  Sumitomo Building, Los Angeles
2002  Glendale City Center, Glendale, CA
2001  Lurdy House Gallery, Budapest
2001  Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA
2001  Pincetarlat Gallery Budapest
1999  Deri Museum, Debrecen Hungary
1996  Invitational guest artist at the Millecentenarium of Hungary. The exhibit travels to: Budapest, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Israel, Japan and the USA.
1995  Three Palms Gallery at Sterling Vineyards, CA
1995  Featured Artist Allied Arts Association, Richland, Washington
1994   Featured Artist, Joslyn Arts Center, Torance, CA
1993 Vasarely Museum, Budapest
1993 Vroman’s Gallery, Pasadena
1992 Jozsef Varos Gallery, Budapest
1990 Fine Art Publisher’s Building, Budapest
1989 Style Connection Gallery, Encino, CA
1983 Teeblat Gallery, Freiberg, Germany
1983 Arcadia Public Library, Arcadia, CA
1981 Collector Showcase Gallery, Los Angeles,
1980 Pocket Stage Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1979 Ma Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1978 Dorog Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1977 Open Studio, Monrovia, CA
1974 Qraz Gallery , Seattle, Washington
1973 KFAC Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1972 Au Petit Jean, Beverly Hills, CA
1968      Bognar Gallery, Los Angeles

Madame Butterfly (based on Puccini Opera) by Susan Dobay

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2010      The Pico House Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2010       Art Center of Thousand Oaks, CA
2006 Museum of the American Hungarian Foundation, New Brunswick, NJ
2004 2B Galeria, Budapest
2001 Sushi Performance and Visual Art, San Diego
2000 Galleria Adonis Woodridge, Ontario, Canada
1999 Priory Gallery Swiss Cottage, London, England
1998 Museum of Arts Downtown Los Angeles, CA
1996 Art Exhibition Galleries Marin County Civic Center, San Rafael, CA
1996 Galerie 101 Corte Madre, CA
1996 Zantman Galleries, Palm Desert, CA
1993 Luthar Gallery, Budapest
1994 Invitational guest artist at the Milicentenarium  of Hungary. Exhibit travels to :Belgium, Germany, Austria, Israel, Japan and USA.
1995 Kortars Gallery, Budapest and Debrecen, Hungary
1991 Orlando Gallery, Shermen Oaks, CA
 1991       Var Gallery, Budapest
1984 U.N. Woman Conference, Nairobi, Kenya
1985        Mc Houston Gallery, Pasadena CA
1982 Mucsarnok Museum, Budapest
1979 LA Artists Equity, Los Angeles CA
1979        New York Artists Equity, NY
1975        California Museum of Science and Industry, Los Angeles
1972 Olympic Art’s Festival, Munich, Germany
1967 California Museum of Science and Industry, Los Angeles

Susan Dobay with Maja Trochimczyk surrounded by her artwork, 2009.

CRITIC’S STATEMENTS ABOUT DOBAY'S ART
“ Her work offers a rich cross section of our century’s spiritual and stylistic movement. Her work is part of that artistic movement which express in a contemporary manner the sensitivity, the mentality, and cultural needs of modern man facing the turn of the millennium.”
“ She has the courage to use the visual tools and forms to say many things in many different ways.”
~ Gabor O. Pogany, Art Historian ( Director of the Hungarian National Gallery)

"She is primarily interested in clashing emotions, in opposites. While living in and surrounded  by a society of material worship, her studio in Southern California stands as a shelter for an idealistic revolution where Dobay ventures into exploring the duality of existence: matter and soul."
~ Anna J. Winslow, Author

“The monumental yet sensitively refined forms give a unique floating sensation to the work, which reflects simultaneously the  link between artistic tradition and individual trademark of the artist.”
~ Andras Bohar, Art Critic, (Art Today Magazine)

"A Cervantes with a brush”
~ Bernardo Blanco Gonzales, Ph. D., Author

“Dobay’s love, emotion, and philosophy have exploded on canvas: Dobay’s creation had to be born.”
~ Akos Thiery, Ph. D. ,Art Historian

“Dobay’s creations have impact not only on the mind, but their unusual concepts and color compositions shake up the emotions too.”
~ L. Babonici, Ph.D., Art Historian

"Dobay projects her thoughts with a newly modern, assuredly contemporary flair"
~ Lilla Szabo, Ph.D. Art historian, Hungarian National Gallery



ABOUT THE BOOK

  “In her book An Incessant Search for the Essence of All Art, Susan Dobay hopes to reach more artists, inspiring them to develop conscious artistry, and their own philosophy of art. She delves into the major questions of creative energy and creativity as a force and a significant element of our society, making this essential reading for both artists and those interested in contemporary art. “
                                                                                     
 ’’It was with great pleasure that I explored your book.  I always find it extremely interesting when a visual artist expresses him or herself verbally. It is preciscely why,  because of the personal resonance of  the book, I don’t want to, and it is not possible to, critique the content or the images. I simply  enjoyed the way the personal message and visual artistry unfolded page by page. Congratulations! "
~ Deme Edina, Múzeumpedagógia, főosztályvezető Szepmuveszeti Muzeum,  – Hungarian National Gallery 
                                                 
’’I like your book very much : It is versitale, honest, multicolored . It captured me with its magical within and without beauty, the natural and at the same time poetical context. I received true answers to those questions that you are in  engaged. Furthermore  your  sad and happy passages of life in conection with the already known creations got into a new dimension. Through your book I got to know  the life of a true artist and a true human being.’’ Adrienne Darvay Nagy, theatre expert, writer, historian.
’’Your book is fascinating. I feel you are speaking for all creative people, for all artists, specially those who wished someone would express how they felt expressing themselves ’’
~ Fereidun Shokatfard, visual artist, poet.

 “ I have spent the day reading your beautiful BOOK!!  I loved every minute of it! All the color that feeds my soul and the brilliant, genius mind that brings out the questions that life asks us.. that some will never discover. Real, and authentic and “in your place” where an artist fulfills a purpose to move goodness into others... You have blessed my life, my journey...paths cross like painting lines from the Master’s hand.”
~ Rachel Walker, song writer and singer

Susan Dobay with Mira Mataric, Maja Trochimczyk, Kathabela and Rick Wilson.

 “ This book is not strictly autobiographical, although Dobay shares some of the major events that have influenced her life and art. But she manages to make the personal-universal, such as her growing up in war-torn Hungary during WWII, which lead readers to think about how today’s young children are managing to grow up in the middle of war. The events Dobay shares add interest and depth as she searches for the meaning of art and shares the thoughts of the intellectuals who have influenced her. Susan Dobays book is enhanced by her paintings and compositional art, which like herself, has many Layers. “
Penelope Torribio, Author 

“ I am in awe of what you have been able to become: artist par excellence, speaker and mentor. You are truly an inspiration to the young people.”  
~ Georgette McMorris, Ph.D

"I am so happy that your book has been published. Whoever is fortunate enough to receive a copy can learn much from it.”
~ Robert Horvath, photographer
Susan Dobay with Poets on Site. Pauli Dutton in pink.

"This gorgeous collection of art, memories, and sage words both delights and inspires. We might all wish to be more like Susan who has persistently followed her own path of passion, intuition, and ideals.   Here is a book, an art, and a life, we can all admire.”
~ Pauli Dutton,  poet,  frm. Director of Altadena Public library

“ We are deeply touched by your lifelong dedication to the exploration of the human condition through your art. Spiritual, musical  and historical insights alternate with whimsical images that captivate the viewer. Talent and imagination and insight created a gift to us all. Thank you Ms. Dobay”  
~ Laszlo J. Cser, professor emeritus, Los Angeles City College , Maria E. Cser, music educator, performer
"It’s such a treat to read through your book. I think it’s a wonderful representation of who you are. I know I have only known you a short while during your  long, creative life, but the combination of your art, your philosophical thoughts on life’s myriad joys and struggles, and the poems of those who had   the privilege of encountering you and your paintings shows an entire crop of bountiful relationships from which more creative lives and more creative art will   come. I especially enjoy reading and watching how different poets respond to your art in different ways, which are also different from my own. It’s a great way to keep learning about life, art, and the world.   Thank you for sharing your book, your gallery, and your life with me! ”
~ Just Kibbe, visual artist, poet

Susan Dobay and Kathabela Wilson

“It is a great gift to all of us that you have worked to create your magnificent artwork and to express the mystery of passionate and natural creativity in this book. You have worked strongly with a sensitive heart to the beauty and difficulties of life with the positive power of the artist to express and even transform the world. Part of your process has been to embrace our community of Poets on Site as "kindred spirits" and to nourish their artistic strength by hosting them in your home and in this book. The Poets on Site  have been attracted by the unique colorful world you have created artistically in your "incessant search" for meaning.  You have expanded and included all of us who know you in person and all who  this book like a door into understanding  themselves and art itself. By making your book you have gone one step further, in giving a key to the door of an artistic life. It is a miniature of the large world you have created. And our poems are honored as part of that world. An artist works alone but in concert with all the artistic strength and questioning of human history. You open your door to this by creating art and sharing it in this special way. “
 ~ Kath Abela Wilson, poet, artist, creator and leader of Poets on Site

City Whispers by Susan Dobay

Awakenings

~ after a painting “City Whispers” by Susan Dobay

First to wake: the maple tree. 
Up and up, sprouting from a seedling. 
With a crown of burnished gold, white 
diamond crystals for winter – 
It slept through blizzards to flourish 
dressed in pinks and celadons. 

Second awake: the girl.
Watching the trees from her bed
Or her wheelchair. She cannot go far
Into the streets, filled with noise.
Protected by smooth glass panes
She sees the buds on each twig 
Fill out until they burst
Into carmine, wrinkled bows
Small and shiny, maturing 
As they change into the green. 

The third: a robin calling out 
To his friends, dispelling darkness 
With his shrill fluted motives. 
The spring is woven from his calls,
Warmed up in red feathers on his chest.
He came late to scratch the ground 
For a worm to peck, a beetle.
The looping birdsong measures 
The coming of days. It floats up and up, 
Above the rooftops.

The girl touches her curly blond hair
Growing longer, straighter 
As the nurse braids it each morning. 
The life, the light, she wishes
For this power to come in.
Make her walk, yes, make her walk.
She stretches up and up. 
Outside, city whispers.

(c) 2011 by Maja Trochimczyk




Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Sequoia Reading - Thanksgiving with John Brantingham and Friends, November 26, 2017


We are so looking forward to this reading, celebrating nature and trees. We have lots to be thankful for in California, in terms of nature and trees....The Village Poets Monthly Reading for November, the last this year, will be held on Sunday, November 26, 2017, at 4:30 p.m., at Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042. 



The reading will include JOHN BRANTINGHAM and his students , CYNTHIA ANDERSON, CINDY RINNE , and SHAYMAA as featured poets (45 min. for the group) and two open mike segments. Refreshments are served and $3 donations 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.


JOHN BRANTINGHAM

John Brantingham
John Brantingham teaches creative writing at Mt. San Antonio College, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, and the Center for the Arts. He is the author of Dual Impressions: Poetic Conversations about Art, an ekphrastic collection. He also published the following books and chapbooks: East of Los Angeles,  Putting in a Window,  The Mediterranean Garden,  Heroes for Today,  Mann of War,  Let Us All Pray Now to Our Own Strange Gods,  The Gift of Form,  The Green of Sunset,  In the Land of Bears, and  Study Abroad. 

Brantingham also co-authored How to Write, a textbook, and wrote The Gift of Form: A Pocket Guide to Formal Poetry. His blog "30 Days until Done" contains different instructions every month: "This month we are writing poems about joy," or "This month, we write poetic letters..." Visit: http://johnbrantingham.blogspot.com/Two of his poems were featured by Garrison Keillor on the Writer's Almanac and you can find his books on Amazon.com.

CYNTHIA ANDERSON

Cynthia Anderson lives in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, and she is the author of seven poetry collections, the most recent being Waking Life (Cholla Needles Press, 2017). She co-edited the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens. www.cynthiaandersonpoet.com
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CINDY RINNE

Cindy Rinne creates art and writes in San Bernardino, CA. She brings myth to life in contemporary context. Cindy is the author of Moon of Many Petals (forthcoming, Cholla Needles Press), Listen to the Codex (Yak Press), Breathe In Daisy, Breathe Out Stones (FutureCycle Press), Quiet Lantern (Turning Point), spider with wings (Jamii Publishing), and she co-authored Speaking Through Sediment with Michael Cooper (ELJ Publications). Cindy is a founding member of PoetrIE, an Inland Empire based literary community and a finalist for the 2016 Hillary Gravendyk Prize poetry book competition. Her poems appeared or are forthcoming in: Birds Piled Loosely, CircleShow, Home Planet News, Outlook Springs, The Wild Word (Berlin), Storyscape Journal, Cholla Needles, and others. www.fiberverse.com


SHAYMAA

Shaymaa is a writer currently living on the lam. She graduated from UC Berkeley with double bachelor's degrees in English and Gender & Minority studies. Her education inspired her to turn her sights onto social justice through policy and non-profit work, and she is pursuing her Master's in public administration and peace studies. She has been published in the Chiron Review, the Cal Literary Arts Magazine, Field Guide, and the East Jasmine Review, among others. She has also won numerous writing contests and scholarships, including multiple prizes in the Writer's Day Contest. She attends various poetry events, including open mics, the Southern California Literary Festival, and Drawing Inspiration from the Parks and finds them to be nourishing to her as a writer, an artist and a human being. She is proud of the fun fact that Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Hass read her poetry on a few occasions and said it, along with her life story, was fascinating and worthy of publication. She spends her free time traveling the world, in ill-lit forests and engaging in occult things like tarot, astrology, and cooking from memory.


Two poems by SHAYMAA

Discovery

A shock of blue, the scrub jay
takes us down the trail to a
tree with pockmarked bark.
Each hole is an acorn home.
They glint like a child's hoard.

The hillside is a dark enigma,
the torrential river below
hushing its tell. Tree green
and shadow black cavort,
drawing passerby inquiry.

The fire licks at the darkness,
and rain whispers into the air. No
one sees the grey cinders burn
white hot as a raindrop here and
there soothe the fire to a smolder.

A shimmer of blue-grey and
the day is gone. Settling to sleep,
the breathing nearby is delicious
temptation. No one has a name,
a history. When in a dark room,
the known and the secret look the same.


Wild Life

The clouds are a stained glass ceiling,
a skylight. The trees everywhere are
fingers, dirty hair, broccoli for kings.

Pay attention. Inhale the surroundings
from the mountain top. How do people
enjoy nature when hiking?

Being slow, I notice a salamander
with steps like babies, like vulnerability.
I notice the tick who hungers for my blood,
the wind in a quiet circumnambulation
of the Great Spirit.

The hills are a Gothic landscape, painted
by an auteur with only emerald, black,
and blue. The fog is a slowly reaching hand,
creeping toward trails that are moody footsteps.
I lead everyone, then fall behind, first finding the
trail, then letting it find me.

Getting lost here, starting a fire,
the darkness of everyone's faces,
subtle bundling, a sort of sudden
comfort from being in the same place
with strangers who smile and tell stories and
eat banana bread cookies without
seeing them in the dark.





Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!


Note: Photos of sequoias from John Brantingham, photos of sycamore, oak and maple leaves, and pomegranates by Maja Trochimczyk

Friday, September 29, 2017

Village Poets Present Mary Torregrossa and Sharon Alexander on October 22, 2017


How time flies - it is the fall already! Leaves are turning red and yellow, at least those plastic ones on decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving in the One Dollar store... Time for travel, time for time-travel, time for adventure of imagination. On Sunday, October 22, 2017 at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, Village Poets will present poets Mary Torregrossa and Sharon Alexander. The reading will start at 4:30 p.m. at  10110 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, CA 91042, and will include two segments of open mike for guest poets (the average of two poems per person). Refreshments will be served during the intermission.  The George Harris Hat will be passed around for $3.00 suggested donation per person to cover the cost of the venue and refreshments. A group photo of featured poets and guests will be taken at the end, to commemorate the literary gathering.


MARY TORREGROSSA

Mary Torregrossa’s poems appear in “Bearing The Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems”, in “Wide Awake:Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond,” and “Voices From Leimert Park Redux,”, poets of the World Stage in Los Angeles. Her chapbook, “My Zocalo Heart,” a collection of portrait and persona poems is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

Mary explains, “I am a story-listener. It comes as part of my job as an Adult School ESL teacher in the Los Angeles area. I have to "listen twice” - as the Quakers say. So in my subsequent story-telling I have created a gallery of portrait poems along with a tapestry of longer narrative poems."

Mary's poems are rich in detail like gems kept in a music box.

THE PROMISE OF SNOW

~ for Jenny Butler

Banished to the cloakroom
for talking in class.
“Be still’” I was told,
as my eyes became adjusted
to the dimness of long 
and narrow room,
coats hung in happenstance
on shiny black hooks
with fat rounded tips
curving upwards in prayer.

The door closed
on the silence within.
Sitting on a low step stool,
hot cheeks in bony hands,
my elbows made dimples
in my knees.

The gray light of the afternoon
floated in from thick panes 
of a window behind me.
And yet it did not light
the farthest corner of the room
where a tall, metal cabinet
held paper, pencils and
heavy textbooks neatly stacked,
I knew, behind locked doors.

I turned away from the
shadows lurking there
and stood on tiptoe
looking out on bare branches
and the winter sky 
that promised snow.

My chin perched 
on crossed arms
I gazed toward the red
brick tower and its ledges
of stone, where the big
bells rang every Sunday – 
where brave starling lit
to look about – 

and I see the city
spread far and wide – 
avast hilly landscape
of two-story houses and
chimneys and evergreens
set among the bristling silhouettes
of gray barren trees.

My talons scratch against
the granite ledge,
my body lifts, drifting
through the sky, the soft sound
of wings pumping,
rushing now towards
thecold horizon
and the rocky shore
of silver green waters below.


(C) by Mary Torregrossa




SHARON ALEXANDER

Born and raised in New York, Sharon Alexander now lives in Southern California. She divides her time between her cabin at 6000 feet in the mountain town of Idyllwild and in La Quinta at the foot of the beautiful Santa Rosa Mountains.

Her prize-winning book, INSTRUCTIONS IN MY ABSENCE, won the 5th Biennial Chapbook Contest from Palettes & Quills, released May 2017.

VOODOO TROMBONE, Sharon's previous chapbook, was published by Finishing Line Press, 2014. 

You can find her poems in numerous journals including Caliban On-line; Naugatuck River Review; Pinyon; Redheaded Stepchild; Santa Ana River Review; Slipstream; and Subprimal Poetry Art.

Her poetry also appears in several anthologies including Beyond the Lyric Moment (Tebot Bach, 2014); Poeming Pigeons (The Poetry Box, 2015); Spectrum: 140 SoCal Poets (Don Kingfisher Campbell, 2015) and Woman in Metaphor (NHH Press, 2013).

Link to the Instructions in My Absence book:




WHEATFIELD WITH CROWS 

The night my father dies, I search for him
in the painting over his bed. 
Crows clutter the sky,
wings rattle my windows — the horizon crooked as a broken bone.

Lost in the wheat fields, I find Van Gogh
painting the countryside yellow and blue, he sings 
aloud to drown the ringing in his ears.

Blackbirds bow in silence, 
clacking crows hold their tongues. Van Gogh daubs the heavens
thick and thicker to obscure the uproar of red

poppies crowding him while the wheeling sky shouts to be heard.
Somewhere my father hears dust storms blow across the moon—
sunflowers choke the sky.


(c) by Sharon Alexander



PHOTOS FROM THE READING BY CECE PERI AND AMBIKA TALWAR

Ambika Talwar with Cece Peri.

Cece Peri reads. 


Ambika Talwar reads.

Ambika Talwar


Village Poets with guests. Seated L to R: Pam Shea, Cece Peri, Ambika Talwar, Alice Pero, guest, Dorothy Skiles. Standing L to R: Marlene Hitt, Guest, Bo Kyung Kim, Mary Torregrossa, Joe DeCenzo, Beverly Collins, Peter Larsen, Susan Rogers, Lois P Jones, Maja Trochimczyk, Sharon Hawley.

Village Poets, L to R: Maja Trochimczyk, Dorothy Skiles, 
Pamela Shea, Marlene Hitt and Joe DeCenzo.

Cece Peri, Ambika Talwar with Kathabela and Rick Wilson and friends. 

Beverly Collins, Joe DeCenzo and Peter Larsen listen to featured poets. 

Cece Peri and Spiritual Quartet: Ambika Talwar, Lois P. Jones, 
Maja Trochimczyk and Susan Rogers.

The Spiritual Quartet with peacock feathers.






Monday, September 4, 2017

Magic and Destiny with Cece Peri and Ambika Talwar on September 24, 2017


     Maja Trochimczyk, Susan Rogers, Elena Secota, Cece Peri, and Ambika Talwar at the Rapp Saloon in 2015

On September 24, 2017 at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, Village Poets will present two distinguished poets, Cece Peri and Ambika Talwar.  The reading will start at 4:30 p.m. on the Sunday afternoon, at  10110 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, CA 91042, and will include two segments of open mike and refreshments.



CECE PERI


Cece Peri’s poems have appeared in a number of poetry journals and anthologies, including Malpais ReviewLuvina: The LA IssueSpeechless the MagazineAskewNoirConCapital & MainLiterary Alchemy, Beyond the Lyric Moment (Tebot Bach), Master Class: The Poetry Mystique (Duende Books), and Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Poetry Series).  She received the first Anne Silver Poetry Award and awards from NoirCon and Arroyo Arts Collective’s “Poetry in the Windows.” A New Yorker, she has lived in the Los Angeles area since 2003. Visit her website at https://ceceperi.com

Trouble Down the Road

At the flat top grill, he was all business,
flung raw eggs dead center into the corned beef
hash like a strapping southpaw.

In the alley, with me, he was all ideas.
Said he’d be leaving soon, had a shot back east—
a tryout for the big leagues. 

Said his sister would loan him a Buick convertible,
and he'd fill it with malt beer and tuna. 
All he needed was a woman to hold

his cat while he drove.    
I like animals, I told him.  Then I dropped
my cigarette into the dusty clay,

ground it out, slow,
felt the road under my foot.


by Cece Peri


AMBIKA TALWAR


Creative Vision for Changing Times
Author * Healer * Artist * Teacher

Ambika Talwar is an India-born author, wellness consultant, artist, and educator whose vision is to realize her sacred destiny and invite others to find their brilliance.  Insights gleaned through life challenges have prompted her to make her poetry a call to action. Composed in the ecstatic tradition, her poetry is a “bridge to other worlds.” She has authored Creative Resonance: Poetry—Elegant Play, Elegant Change and also 4 Stars & 25 Roses (poems for her father).  She is published in Kyoto Journal, Inkwater Ink - vol. 3; Chopin with Cherries; On Divine Names; VIA-Vision in Action; in Poets on Site collections; St. Julian Press; Tower Journal, Tebot Bach, and others; has interviewed with KPFK; has recorded poems for the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California

She won the Best Original Story award for her film “Androgyne” in Belgium; she produced and directed it. She asserts it is time for creative visionaries to offer narratives that change our worldview, and the big film studios must play a part in this transformation.

As an intuitive-spiritual healer, she practices IE:Intuition-Energetics™, a fusion of modalities, sacred geometry, and creativity principles. This full spectrum healing is aimed at clearing diverse obstructions and bringing clients to ease and wholeness. “Both poetry and holistic practices work beautifully together, for language is intricately coded in us,” she notes. Her super-charged, intuitive and subtle healing practices achieve rapid results for clients ready for change.  Loving this work, she says in these fascinating times, we must resolve our shadow and trauma, so we can call in our best possible self. 

An English professor, she lives in Los Angeles, CA and New Delhi, India. For book readings, healing workshops, and individual or group healing consultations, please contact her at:


Sites:

Radio interviews:
The Human Frequency: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn8w5Tg2yVQ 






My Greece: Mirrors & Metamorphoses
Discover Each Journey as Sacred Destiny

"At the beginning of this surprising memoir filled with heart, humor, wonderment, and sensuality, Grandmother Melpomene (beauteous, mercurial, 97, and Greek) reads Ambika Talwar’s morning coffee grounds and pronounces, “You have a long journey ahead of you.  A very long journey.”   You will not merely read about this journey.  You will be swept away as Ambika’s fortunate companion on an odyssey through what she calls the “cosmic weave” between clashing cultures and shared experiences. … “
~ Amélie Frank (Renowned Poet, publisher, Beyond Baroque board member — Los Angeles, California)

"Some journeys are both external and internal. Such is the case with Ambika Talwar’s sensually-told tale. Her travels in Greece expose us to a keenly perceptive woman’s understanding of creativity, the arts, and life and death. Initially setting out to join a screenwriting workshop, Talwar finds herself becoming part of a community. …. As the author writes, “Making art is a journey. Taking a journey is an art.” With this beautiful and sensitive book, she has made art from her journey as well."
~ Donna Baier Stein, (Author/Publisher Tiferet — Kansas City, Missouri)

"Ambika Talwar leads us on a journey of profound wonder, of mythos and pathos, traveling through the byways of modern and ancient Greece, encountering out-of-this-world human beings who step out of mystery into light, laughter, sorrow, and high play. She weaves a tapestry centered on the feminine quest for wisdom and meaning with poetry conjured from a cauldron of energy, imagery and high magic. Her work enchants at every level."
~ Peggy Rubin, (CEO of Sacred Theater, Seminar leader, Change Agent — Ashland, Oregon)

"My Greece is a gentle journey into the heart and soul of what it means to be human.  Ambika Talwar beautifully describes the intimate details of her travels in Greece .… she skillfully weaves in reflections of modern and ancient life from the perspective of an artist searching for meaning.  Her depth of awareness and unassuming wisdom allow for a gradual opening of the heart as she introduces questions that, if embraced, can deepen our experience of being human."
~ Philip M. Hellmich, (Director of Peace – The Shift Network. Author of God and Conflict — Berkeley, California) 
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From my Preface
“I wish in finding hidden parts of ourselves wherever we visit that we awaken in us a humanity that has been crumbling for so very long. And through such transformations, may we create our cultures not just as artifact but with recognizing and realizing that beauty is a path to peace.”  
~  Ambika Talwar
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Amazon Author Page:
https://www.amazon.com/Ambika-Talwar/e/B015IFMV1W
https://www.amazon.com/My-Greece-Mirrors-Metamorphoses-Discover/dp/1937207234/



Interview with Ambika Talwar  
(Inner Child Magazine)


Inner Child Magazine (ICM): What was the inspiration behind your book, My Greece: Mirrors & Metamorphoses?

Ambika Talwar: I had been thinking of a story I wanted to write set some place with lots of butterflies. I had an outline ready.  And out of the blue, someone sent me info on a screenwriting workshop with a group traveling to Greece … I had made a film in 2000 titled Androgyne. Somehow it all seemed to be connected.  So I jumped on it. And Greece, this ancient land of myth and shadows, tugged. Who would want to turn away an opportunity to visit this old land! 
               Someone suggested I would love being in Paros to write this new story … but I never made it there.  Yes, the Island of Rhodes is known for its butterflies – have not been there either.
               We are raised on stories of how we came to be and what becomes to and of us as we journey.  I was curious to visit a place whose mythology I had read while growing up in India, also ancient.  And I kind of missed such elements here in Los Angeles.  So things move too quickly here… I missed a sense of layered tones.
               So as I traveled with my big PD 150 Sony camera and a notebook, I recorded my experiences. These included meetings with people, traveling between ruins, cafes, old and new parts of old cities.  And I was both enchanted and deeply sadly disturbed. It made me realize how much we have lost over time and with rapid industrialization and how fragmented we are in so many ways … well, as if neuroses were always the fuel.  Should it not be beauty, grace, and the play of wisdom…?
               Does this make sense? I wanted to record and share the narrative of my experiences, which gave rise to other narratives and poems. These I feel … reflect to me the richness of each moment alively tuning us in.
               And on another level, I just wanted to tell this story of my time there.


ICM: Why is this book important to your audience?

Ambika Talwar: Let me reframe this.  What I wish people to get out of this book, which has taken me so long to complete, is simply an understanding that every single moment of our lives is a journey and a destiny and a purpose. That a story, a name, a metaphor can reveal ways for us to find simplicity in our lives. 
               I wish people find their story in these moments that are poetic narratives of longing, of isolation, of union … of desires and create ways to find this… And, I warn you, in moments the stories run very fast. This is a caution to me as well. We need to let go of so much, to be whole.


ICM: What might I glean from the book?

Ambika Talwar: I’d say this is best left to the individual reader. What is your particular, unique essence that responds to my story and poems?  This is where you would find yourself.


ICM: What do “Mirrors and Metamorphoses” have to do with Greece?

Ambika Talwar: Well, one can’t travel somewhere and not see the rich fare offered … foods, but sensibility, mythological framework, syncretistic connections … something gained, something lost.  It’s as if our layered skins take on whole new identities and just when we start to know ourselves, something else rushes in to claim us – leading to distortions, sorrow, loss, chaos, and then must follow a renewing of faith in ourselves. 
               So in this context… I had titled my book My Greece: Mirrors, Metaphors, and Metamorphoses, but found “metaphors” redundant. “Mirrors” said it all for me.  So really, the stories reflect how we are mirrored and how we are changed by one another.
               Meetings with people and places offered motifs to remind me of things forgotten or of the mysterious. Everywhere I went, people would welcome me saying, “You are Indian. We are cousins.” And indeed we are cousins. We are all related.  So we share mirrored realities, be it in story, art, mythology, music … and our deep human longing.
               What is our sacred destiny? What do we wish now to mirror? How shall we transform together? Isn’t it this – to discover all our moments as sacred?


ICM: How can I use this book to apply it to my life? Is there a strategy? Is it a fun read or is it a transformational book?

Ambika Talwar: No, it is not a how-to book, but it invites you to travel with me, experience my stories, ask questions about who we are, and wonder where we are going.  We may be transformed by various influences; this is your call. 
               Perhaps, aspects of my story might inspire you to be more yourself… whatever that is.  I would wish that my readers and, maybe you, are inspired to see yourself as part of all that is … our inherent unities. This, I feel, ought to be the foundation of our human culture from now on. And if this is an offering of “feminine magic,” as one of my reviewers said, so be it. I like it. It surely is time for us all to reach out to each other so we may stand in wholeness. 
               Yes and re-discover our human heart and its capacity. It’s tough to break out of conditioning.


ICM: Is it a story or narrative in which I will get lost?

Ambika Talwar: It is a narrative with smaller narratives enlivening the tale. You can either get lost in it or find yourself… and this, too, is a journey.  You choose.


ICM: So there was a gap in your writing of it. What compelled you to finish it?

Ambika Talwar: I could not rest with myself, had I discarded it.  My initial very rough draft sat for a bit. For many reasons I could not get to it. Traveling, teaching, recovering from injury caused delays. I had to get it done. And in 2014 I picked it up again. So here we are. 
               I have to say, I am quite a romantic at heart. This book has been a bit of a strange love affair. Meetings with filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos was surely exciting; experiencing the underworld through being robbed left me vulnerable but I handled it quite well; not visiting the rock in Tinos shattered me; dancing at the Plaka was sweet swimming in the Mediterranean was pure joy; listening to the Roma boys sing was enchanting. And, learning to say “Yes” which sounded like a “No” and created confusion… all this was play.  All these moments mattered. I did not want to forget them. We are all related.
               Also, before I traveled to Greece, I had met many Greeks here in LA. I took some classes in Sirtaki, ate Greek food, went to a few parties… it is again synchronistic that this opportunity showed up when it did.  I was being prepared for the journey.

               I am grateful that we are enriched not by the samification of our cultures but by each particular uniqueness.