Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Margaret Saine Features with Eva Zmijewska on February 26, 2017

The Village Poets Featured Poet for the month of February 2017 will be Margaret Saine, accompanied on the guitar by Eva Zmijewska.  The reading will take place on Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 4: 30 pm at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga (10110 Commerce Ave. Tujunga, CA 91042) and will include two segments of open mike and refreshments. Right after the reading all guests and poets are invited to the Back Door Bakery and Cafe for the Artist's Reception celebrating "Rose of Roses" photography exhibition by Maja Trochimczyk.


Margaret Saine lives in Los Angeles. After a doctorate in French from Yale, she taught Spanish at universities in California and Arizona. She writes poetry, haiku, and short stories in five languages and also translates other poets. Her books are “Bodyscapes,” “Words of Art,” and 5 haiku chapbooks. Poetry mss. ready for publication are “The Five Senses,” “Reading Your Lips," "Words of Winter," and "While Alive," as well as “Paesaggi che respirano” [Breathing Landscapes], to be published in Italy. She has recently completed “As You Were Saying,” a dialogue with American poet William Carlos Williams.

Saine's newest book of poetry "Lit Angels" is forthcoming from Moonrise Press in 2017.  The poet Nizar Sartawi from Amman, Jordan described Saine's poetry in the following words:
"n Margaret’s poetry we listen to the inner voice of a poet who is committed to building bridges. Beyond the versatility of her topics, the vividness of her images, and the richness of her style, almost every poem she writes is an expression of this quest – building bridges of peace between people, nations, and, in a very intricate way, between the individual and his or her inner self. "
                                                   ~ Nizar Sartawi, independent poet, translator, Amman, Jordan


How can you fall in love with a bird
maybe as the voice of someone
you hold dear in your heart but distant.
You long to get your hands

on her, your ears on her hazy voice.
Then in your other dealings
you forget the darling sounds
that promise to wound and heal

so that your daily life becomes
an unctuous and tortuous battle.
Until one day in the plaza

you hear that pristine voice again
from the bird cages of your search
which was a search for the right one.


I love breadcrumbs
and pick them
from wherever they land
tablecloths, sofas, my chest
you name it

I once read that
breadcrumbs are for the gods
If so how nice they have
good taste like me

If so on second thought
they might be angry
that I rob their crumbs

I sincerely hope
there is a goddess among them
who will smile at my folly
and placate the others
into forgiving me
for stealing their crumbs

The Sky Photo by Margaret Saine


A native of Poland and a resident of Los Angeles, Eva is a singer and guitarist that performs as a half of the Shandy and Eva Duo, and studied music at the Los Angeles College of Music and just started her M.A. studies as a performer-composer at the California Institute of the Arts. She performs and records solo and as a part of the Shandy & Eva Duo that was previously featured by the Village Poets in October 2016.

NOTE: Poems and nature photos above by Margaret Saine.


February 4 - March 4, 2017, 
The Back Door Bakery and Cafe, 8349 Foothill Blvd.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Lisa Cheby and Susan Dobay Welcome the New Year on January 22, 2017

Happy New Year 2017!

 May it flowers with poetry and joy!

Village Poets wish all poets 
a wonderful, creative, and enjoyable New Year 2017!

Joe DeCenzo, Elsa Frausto, 
Marlene Hitt, Dorothy Skiles, and Maja Trochimczyk

Let's start the year in style, with a great poet, Lisa Cheby and a fantastic artist, Susan Dobay, as co-features on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. at Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042. The reading will include two open mike segments. Refreshments will be 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.

And, if you qualify as a stakeholder of the poetic community in the Foothills, do not forget to apply to serve as Sunland Tujunga Poet Laureate. Applications close on January 15, 2017 and the service starts in April 2017. Here are the links to more information: 


Lisa Cheby’s poems and reviews have appeared in various journals including The Rumpus, The Citron Review, Tidal Basin Review, A cappella Zoo, and TAB: Journal of Poetry and Poetics, which nominated her poem for a 2015 Pushcart Prize. Lisa's poems are also found in the anthologies Drawn to Marvel, The Burden of Light, Coiled Serpent, and Hysteria. Her first book, Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is available from Dancing Girl Press and was featured in The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed Series. Lisa holds an MFA from Antioch and an MLIS from SJSU 

Interviews, Reviews, etcetera: 

by Lisa Cheby
 Everyone one has at least one vice.
If I wear a bonnet when I go alone
to Easter service, am I dating myself?
My mother said she was ready
to die when my sister found
someone to take care of her –
though Mom did not mean
the way you come
into my bed on the night
she died
over and over,                alone
I take this vow to live
my life of little deaths.

                                                       Why did I become an artist?
An artist is an instrument of unknown energy?
Are we given free will or is there a destiny?

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.


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.

New Book: An Incessant Search for the Essence of All Art


“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.”

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

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

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


“ 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

“ Your work is consistent, vibrant and strong”
George Rivera, Art Historian

“I found your work to be quite intriguing and very nice.”
Preston Metcalf, Art Historian

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year 2017, Happy Poets Laureate!

Village Poets of Sunland - Tujunga wish all poets and poetry lovers  a happy, healthy and creative Holidays and a fantastic New Year 2017 filled with beauty, love, serenity, and poetry. In short, all the delights of a poetic life.  We will see you on January 22, 2017 at the first reading of the new year, featuring Lisa Cheby, who teaches English and poetry at the Verdugo Hills High School. See our Calendar for further events. 

Since four of us are grandmothers (Dorothy, Marlene, Elsa and Maja), we share the photo of one of the grandchildren, Adam Depinski of Warsaw, Poland, with wishes written by Maja:

May your Heart by light as a Feather
May your Smile be bright as the Sun
May your Days be sweetened with Laughter
Happy Holy Days of Loving Kindness & Fun!

Maja Trochimczyk and Village Poets


Thanks for Haiku... of Deborah P Kolodji and Naia!

November group photo with Deborah P Kolodji, Naia, Mariko Kitakubo and Village Poets. 

and many thanks to all the Poets that were featured at our readings, and to all who attended and participated in the Open Mike this year.  We greatly appreciate your contributions to our genteel and reflective readings.
October group photo with Shahe Mankerian, Shandy & Eva, and Village Poets. 


DUE JANUARY 15, 2017

Since Elsa Frausto is completing her three-year term in 2017, we are looking for a new Poet Laureate for our area, with expanded border, compared to previous years.  


Applications are now available to become the next Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, for the years 2017-2019. The deadline is January 15, 2017.

The Poet Laureate as a community leader should be comfortable with public speaking, appearances and interviews and should be able to speak clearly and capably. We seek a person whose life and works reflect a love of our area which includes the flora, fauna, mountains, creeks and our diverse human community. This is a person who is the voice of our community, a cheerleader, a person whose words give wings to the heart of Sunland and Tujunga. During his/her term in office the Poet Laureate is encouraged to publish a collection of his or her works, as in a chapbook, for historical documentation.


1) All applicants must be at least 18 years old and active members of the local poetry community. The candidates should be residents of the Foothills, from Lake View Terrace to La Canada Flintridge, inclusive of Sunland, Tujunga, Shadow Hills, La Crescenta and Montrose. They must show a history of active interest in the local community and will be expected to actively engage with the community activities of Village Poets.

2) All applicants must be able to demonstrate an active participation in poetry activities through publication and/or featured poetry readings.

3) The applicants must agree to serve as Poet Laureate for a term of two years, including volunteer activities, poetry readings, publications, and other projects contributing to the promotion of poetry and the arts in the community.

4) The Poet-Laureate of Sunland Tujunga must commit himself/herself to attending the Passing of the Laurels Ceremony on April 23, 2017, as well as a similar ceremony at the end of the term in office, in April 2019. The Poet-Laureate must also demonstrate an engagement with the local poetry community by attending at least six of the eleven monthly readings organized each year by Village Poets in Tujunga, CA. 


Please download, print and return the application form (PDF) from website: Application 2016. Attach the following:

1. List of publications and featured readings 
2. Sample of poetry (approx. five poems, with two about Sunland-Tujunga) 
3. History of community service. 
4. One paragraph discussing a favorite poet. 
5. One paragraph describing how you as Poet Laureate would promote poetry. 

Submit the Application form with a sample of poems, other items 1-5 from the above list and a check for $15.00 made out to Little Landers Historical Society (LLHS, with Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga noted on the check), and send the package to: 

Poet Laureate Selection Committee
c/o Marlene Hitt 
10728 Plateau Drive 
Sunland, CA 91040. 

If you have questions regarding the Poet Laureate program call Marlene Hitt at (818) 951-1041, or email Maja Trochimczyk, at 

Please check our website for further information.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Thanks for Haiku - Deborah P Kolodji and Naia Feature on November 27, 2016

This has been a year to be thankful for, with so many amazing poets and musicians having graced the Bolton Hall Museum: Seven Dhar and Teresa Mei ChucEddy M. Gana Jr. and Stephanie Sajor Georgia Jones-DavisLois P. Jones and Alice Pero, Marsha de La O and Jerry GarciaJudy BarratBill Cushing with Chuck Corbisiero, plus Mariko Kitakubo, Elline Lipkin, Altadena Poet Laureate, and Songwriters Heather Donavon and Steve McCormickDouglas Kearney and Mandy Kahn, and in October, Shahe Mankerian with Songwriters-Musicians Shandy and Eva.

We will be able to add to our blessings  on Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. (after Thanksgiving), and enjoy the haiku and other Japanese-style poetry of Deborah P Kolodji and Naia.  As usual, the reading will take place at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga (10110 Commerce Ave. Tujunga, CA 91042), with segments of open mike, refreshments, and $3 donations collected in George Harris's Hat (Harris was the builder of the Bolton Hall, now a Los Angeles Historic Monument No. 2, having celebrated its centennial in 2013). 


Photo by Naia

Deborah P Kolodji is the California Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society of America, the moderator of the Southern California Haiku Study Group, which meets on the 3rd Saturday of every month at the Lamanda Park Library in Pasadena, and is on the board of directors for Haiku North America.  

Her first full-length book of haiku, highway of sleeping towns, was published recently by Shabda Press. (   With over 900 published poems to her name, and four chapbooks of poetry, Seaside Moon (2005), Red Planet Dust (2006), unfinished book (2006), and Symphony of the Universe (2006), Kolodji finds inspiration in beaches, mountains, deserts, and urban life of Los Angeles County.

"Deborah P Kolodji’s haiku collection is a gem. Born of an art that transcends science, her haiku transport the reader into the past and future, while being firmly rooted in the present. Highway of Sleeping Towns underlines the truth that the the best haiku are contemporary and ageless, personal and universal."      - Roberta Beary, author of the Unworn Necklace and editor at Modern Haiku

white marble
I am small at the feet
of Lincoln

floating purple--
my daydreams follow
the water hyacinth

of sleeping towns
the milky way

settling the estate
empty gum wrappers
in her purse

the scarf
she never finished
brown pine needles

morning tidepools
a hermit crab tries on
the bottle cap

winter sea
the rise and fall
and fall

a caterpillar's progress
across the fallen leaf
jet lag

moon flower
a love letter
to Captain Kirk

LA traffic
our lady of the perpetually

our history
written in rock
desert lavender


In 1998, Naia discovered haiku through the works of Kobayashi Issa. She joined a small study group in Long Beach and has been writing haiku and other forms ever since. Shortly after she began submitting for publication, Naia’s haiku were published in two prestigious anthologies in Japan: 1) Masaoka Shiki Festival Anthology, Ehime Prefecture Culture Foundation, Japan, 2001, and 2) 55thBasho Festival Haiku Anthology, Basho Memorial Museum, Japan, 2001 (one of only 17 poets accepted from the United States)

Naia’s haiku, haiga, haibun, tanka, and other poetic forms have been published in numerous books, anthologies, collections, e-journals, newsletters, and magazines in the U.S and internationally.Additional haiku-related activities include:

  •          co-editor, bits of itself, 2002 Haiku Society of America members’ anthology
  •          member, founding planning team for the first Haiku Pacific Rim Conference, 2002
  •          editor, above the tree line, 2008 Southern California Haiku Study Group anthology
  •          editor, shell gathering, 2009 Southern California Haiku Study Group anthology
  •          judge, HPNC annual Haiku Contest, 2009
  •          regional coordinator, Haiku Society of America 2009-2014
  •          co-founder & moderator, Haiku San Diego, 2010 to present
  •          reader, 23rdannual Two Autumns Reading, 2012
  •          reader, Tea House Reading, Yuki Teikei Haiku Society Annual Reading, 2012
  •          co-chair, Intervals, Haiku North America 2013 Conference
  •          editor, what the wind can’t touch, 2016 Southern California Haiku Study Group anthology
A video of her work may be found on Vimeo:  ants on the sidewalk, a multimedia urban celebration by Naia, Deborah P Kolodji, and Gregory Longenecker:  Presented at Haiku Pacific Rim 2012, published in Haiku Chronicles in 2013.


even the crow in the next tree

new love . . .
still some green
in these autumn leaves

in those moments
when all is still and he’s sure
I’m asleep . . .
the way his lips linger
upon my bare shoulder

Ghosts Among the Cornflowers

From this place at the edge of a cornflower patch so wide that it seems as if a great wave poured from the afternoon sky and liquefied the land . . . from this place, I begin to wonder. Who planted them? Who knelt here, tended here, bent and yielded here, dreamed here? Who planted these cornflowers gone to seed, to weed, again and again, until this knee-deep sea of them?

windswept cloud . . .
    in blue ink the apology
        owed since childhood


Village Poets after the reading by Shake Manerian, with Shandy and Eva Duo, October 23, 2016.
Standing L to R: Maja Trochimczyk, Pauli Dutton, Richard Dutton, Pam Shea, Sharon Hawley, Judy Barrat,Joe DeCenzo, Marlene Hitt, Dorothy Skiles and Yatindra Bhatnagar. Seating L to R: Mira Mataric, Elsa Frausto, Shahe Mankerian, Shandy and Eva. 

Eva, Shahe, and Shandy at Bolton Hall Museum.

The second event was the annual Lit Crawl LA 2016, held in North Hollywood on October 26, 2016, with four Village Poets reading their spiritually-inspired works in the "Into Light: Poetry of the Spirit" reading with Joe DeCenzo, Maja Trochimczyk, Marlene Hitt, and Elsa Frausto. Some of the poems came from the 2012 anthology, issued by Moonrise Press, Meditations on Divine Names. 

Some of these poems may be found on the Moonrise Press Blog, as well as on the Poetry Laurels blog by Maja Trochimczyk.