Monday, July 23, 2012

From Divine Names to Kolodji's Haiku - Summer at Bolton Hall

On July 22, 2012, at Bolton Hall Museum, the first reading from "Meditations on Divine Names" featured poets Joe DeCenzo, Marlene Hitt, Dorothy Skiles and Maja Trochimczyk, the anthology's editor.

The readers of poems also included Angela Lee and Mira Mataric. Poets presented their own work as well as selected poems by others: Czeslaw Milosz, Sharon Chmielarz,  Marian Kaplun Shapiro, John Z. Guzlowski, Rick Lupert, Susan Rogers, Leonard Kress, Odarka Polanskyj Sprocket, and Barry Spacks.

The hosts, Lloyd and Marlene Hitt, reminded the poetic guests that the Bolton Hall Museum is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and encouraged everyone to attend the festivities.

A photo album from this even is available on Picasa Web Album: Meditations at Bolton Hall.


Deborah P. Kolodji - Featured Poet on August 26, 2012!

The next Village Poets Reading at Bolton Hall Museum will take place on August 26, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.  The featured poet, Deborah P. Kolodji, is well known in the poetry community for her involvement in the haiku movement, not just because of her talent.

Deborah P Kolodji is the moderator of the Southern California Haiku Study Group, which meets each month at the Pacific Asia Museum on the 3rd Saturday of the month.   She is also a member of the Haiku Society of America, the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, the Haiku Poets of Northern California, and the Science Fiction Poetry Association.   She served as president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association for five years, ending in 2011. 

She has published over 800 poems in journals both on and off the web, including Modern Haiku, Frogpond, bottle rockets, Acorn, Simply Haiku, the Heron's Nest, Star*Line, Strange Horizons, Tales of the Unanticipated, the Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Goblin Fruit, poeticdiversity, and the Mainichi Daily News.  Her short stories have been published in THEMA, Tales of the Talisman, and Everyday Weirdness.  Her essays can be found in Frogpond, Haiku Canada Review, the Horror Writer's Association Newsletter, and Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul. 

Since the cover of "Meditations on Divine Names" is a closeup photo of a matilla poppy, a haiku about this flower was selected to represent Debbie's talent:

matilija poppies -
a skillet of fried eggs
on the campstove

For those interested, here's a link to Debbie's reading of three haiku at Catalina Library in Pasadena: Kolodji at Monday Evening Poetry.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Meditations on Divine Names - Group Reading, July 22

On July 22, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga will present the new anthology from the local Moonrise Press, "Meditations on Divine Names" edited by Maja Trochimczyk and available online:  The reading will feature selected poets who contributed to the volume and all Los Angeles participants are invited to attend and read their work.

Meditations on Divine Names is an anthology of contemporary poetry, featuring 138 poems by 63 poets associated with diverse spiritual traditions. Their poems represent: various branches of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Kabbalah, Wicca, Sukiyo Mahikari, and ancient Greek, Egyptian, Hawaiian, and Slavic religions. The book is divided into ten paired sections: Naming, Names, Earth, Water, Air, Fire, He, She, Being, and Loving.

The editor, Maja Trochimczyk is a poet, music historian, photographer and non-profit director. Born in Poland and educated in Poland and Canada, she published four books of music studies and three volumes of poetry. She describes herself as a Catholic mystic.

The poets belong to different religions or religious denominations. They see the manifestations of the divine in many aspects of life - personal prayer, religious ceremonies, singing of psalms, family relationships, nature, sun, sky, bread making, loving, and love making. They admire the colors of the sky and the liquid nourishment of water. The clarity of mountain air and the gentleness of human touch. From the four letters of YHWH to Lada or Pele, the anthology catalogs some unusual divine names. Poets reflect on the act of naming, the facts of knowing and unknowing of our God(s). They give testimony to their hopes and beliefs, and share what they find beautiful and inspirational, or, sometimes, disturbing. There is darkness around and death, but the poets look for ways to ascend above, to illumination.


The following poets are represented: MJ Adams, Nicholas Alexander, Catherine Auman, Jon B., Marcielle Brandler, Sharon Chmielarz, Joe Decenzo, Carol Dorf, Kate Hallett Dayton, Carl Estrin, Amy Falvey, Elsa S. Frausto, Bill Gillard, Michael Graber, John Guzlowski, Peter J. Harris, Carl Hitchens, Marlene Hitt, G. Bennett Humphrey, Oriana Ivy, Mitch James, Roy Jacobstein, Lois P. Jones, James Levin, Terranda King, Alexis Krasilovsky, Leonard Kress, Sharmagne Leland-St. John, Rick Lupert, Radomir Voytech Luza, Czeslaw Milosz, Rajiv Mohabir, Geoshino Ollscia, Shirley Dunn Perry, Nils Peterson, Lenora Popa, Kate Robinson, Susan Rogers, Mary Kay Rummel, Nicholas Samaras, Peter Shefler, Marian Kaplun Shapiro, Dorothy Skiles, Lee M. Sloca, J.D. Smith, Barry Spacks, Odarka Polanskyj Stockert, Charles A. Swanson, Taoli-Ambika Talwar, Judith Terzi, Maja Trochimczyk, Ann Tweedy, Davi Walders, Martin Willitts Jr., and Kathabela Wilson

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July with Poet Laureate Dorothy Skiles

Three Poets Laureate rode in one car, a brown convertible decorated with flowers, flags, and sage-colored ribbons, to match the Poet Laureate sign and the posters with the name of our newest Poet Laureate No. 7, Dorothy Skiles.  Dressed patriotically from navy pants, to red shirt and white hat, with a shining sash and a red umbrella decorated with whimsical maxims, Dorothy sat on the back of the convertible, waved and occasionally recited her poem "Congratulations" written especially for this occasion.

The 4th Poet Laureate Joe DeCenzo drove in a top hat, evening coat, and blue jeans; the 6th Poet Laureate, Maja Trochimczyk, covered in stars, waved and called out with good wishes.  A teen helper, Ann, walked along and gave away postcards with Dorothy's inspiring poem.  The Poetry Mobile followed the Little Landers Historical Society, and other notables, in a very large parade. This year, it included, in addition to vintage cars, dirt bike riders, horse riders in a variety of outfits, the Oldest Rock of Sunland Tujunga, and more.

There were jazz bands and rock groups, Christian musicians and local notables - the chair of the Sunland-Tujunga Chamber of Commerce, the Honorary Mayor of Sunland Tujunga, The two Grand Marshalls of the Parade, including Lloyd Hitt (with Marlene Hitt), dressed in Bolton Hall's Black and White outfits with colorful sashes.  Dorothy read her poem that was distributed on colorful postcards.


The Fourth of July's
Night skies are alight with stars
In celebration

Of our nation's birth!
Red, white, blues of many hues
Dance before our eyes.

Children frolic about,
Lovers snuggle on the lawn
All want to stay 'till dawn!

(c) 2012 by Dorothy Skiles

Our two feuding politicians were there as well, Los Angeles Councilman Richard Alarcon and his challenger in the election to the seat on the California Assembly, Raul Boccanegra. They will face off again in the next round. Let the best man win!!!

Patriotic music blared from loudspeakers, children sprayed each other with water, the fire trucks continued creating summer showers for those who wanted to brave the curtains of water. The dirt bikers and the unicycle rider showed their tricks, the marching band from Verdugo Hills High School marched, the cheerleaders and the color guard delighted the crowds with their routines. I'm sure there were more participants, but I could not see them all. 

We met up with the donkey, named Maggie, at the end. Luckily, she did not provide our music - we were playing American golden oldies - Sinatra and Cole Porter, with Ella Fitzgerald and more... Everything was all right, as it should be, at the Sunland-Tujunga Fourth of July 2012 Parade!!!!

See more pictures from the parade: Maja Trochimczyk's Fourth of July 2012 Album.

Photo Captions: 1) Joe DeCenzo, Dorothy Skiles and Maja Trochimczyk; 2) The Poets' Mobile in the Parade; 3) Dorothy Skiles; 4) Joe DeCenzo, Dorothy Skiles, Maja Trochimczyk and Raul Boccanegra; 5) Maja Trochimczyk, Councilmember Richard Alarcon with his daughter, and Dorothy Skiles; 6) Maja Trochimczyk with a Donkey named Maggie.