Monday, May 8, 2017

Village Poets present Michael C Ford and John Brantingham, May 28, 2017, Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga

Passing of the Laurels 2017: Elsa Frausto, Dorothy Skiles, Marlene Hitt,
Joe DeCenzo, new poet laureate, Pamela Shea and Dr. Maja Trochimczyk

The joy of poetry continues in the foothills... After the 2017 Passing of the Laurels Ceremony and crowning PAMELA SHEA the Poet Laureate of Sunland Tujunga for the years 2017-2019, we are proud to present two of the most famous and accomplished poets of California, MICHAEL C. FORD AND JOHN BRANTINGHAM, both with an extensive record of book publications and public appearances (see below). 

They will co-feature on Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, the Historic Monument No. 2 in the City of Los Angeles. The Museum is located at 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042. and celebrated its centennial in 2013.  The Museum is managed by the Little Landers Historical Society, a dedicated group of community volunteers. 
It is only the second time in the history of Village Poets Monthly Readings (since 2010) that we feature a Pulitzer Prize Nominated Poet, Michael C. Ford. Our first Pulitzer Prize Nominee was John Z. Guzlowski (April 2011) who also recently received the Benjamin Franklin Prize for his poetry. The readings include a featured poet (20 min. each for two poets) and two open mike segments. Refreshments are served and $3 donations collected for the cost of the venue. The Village Poets group consists of: Marlene Hitt, Joe DeCenzo, Dorothy Skiles, Elsa S. Frausto, and Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, all former Poets Laureate of Sunland Tujunga.  


Michael C. Ford

Michael C. Ford is a poet, playwright and recording artist. He has been publishing steadily, since 1970 and credited with over 28 volumes of print documents.
He’s been featured on approx. 65 spoken word tracks that include California Artists Radio Theatre productions plus 4 solo recordings. Since 1985. His debut vinyl {Language Commando} received a Grammy nomination [1987] and his Selected Poems  [1998] earned a Pulitzer nomination on the 1st ballot.

His poetic narrative titled VIETNAM /  PEACE CASUALTIES published on-line for  November 3rd  Club was nominated for a 2006 Pushcart Prize. His first CD document was Fire Escapes; was a 1995 entry from New Alliance Records & Tapes. His 2010 document is titled 20TH Century Goodbye:  the  production being a collaboration between Michael Campagna and Larry Thrasher:  both of whom brought their Psychic TV chops to the project. 

Hen House Studios has been promoting and marketing his CD   Look Each Other in the Ears [2014]. That document, in both vinyl and CD formats features a stellar band of musicians, not the least of which were surviving members of a 1960s theatre
rock quartet that most of you will remember as The Doors.  His most recent volume of poetry published by Word Palace Press  is titled Women Under The Influence {2016}

  • Stuttering in the Starlight (1970)
  • There’s a Beast in My Garden (1971)
  • The Mt. Alverno Review [editor: West Coast anthology in tribute to Kenneth Patchen] (1971)
  • Sheet Music [chapbook-length poem] (1972)
  • Lacerations in a Broom Closet [prose] (1973)
  • Lawn Swing Poems (1975)
  • Rounding Third (1976)
  • West Point [chapbook-length poem] (1977)
  • Sleepless Night in a Soundproof Motel (1978)
  • Prologue to an Interview with Leonard Cohen [replicated broadside] (1979)
  • Foreign Exchange [editor: National Anthology] (1979)
  • Two American Plays (1980)
  • Sloe Speed [chapbook-length poem] (1984)
  • Prior Convictions (1985)
  • Ladies Above Suspicion (1987)
  • Twice [a sheath of broadsides] (1989)
  • Tourguide Machinegun (1992)
  • Cottonwood Tract [chapbook-length poem] (1996)
  • Emergency Exits [ Selected Poems: 1970-1995] 1998 Pulitzer nomination – REVIEW – Michael C Ford immortalizes and, in many instances, resurrects not only past popular iconic figure, but those neglected regions and landmarks from the Pacific Northwest to the shores of Lake Michigan, marking passages of time in America. – Los Angeles Times
  • Nursery Rhyme Assassin (2000)
  • To Kiss the Blood off Our Hands (2007)
  • The Marilyn Monroe Concerto [3-movement pamphlet edition] (2007)
  • The Demented Chauffeur (2009)
  • The Las Vegas Quartet [single poem pamphlet edition] (2011)
  • San Joaquin County Solutions [collaboration with North Central Valley photo-journalist Rose Albano Risso (2011)
  • Atonal Riffs to a Tone-Deaf Borderguard (2012)
  • Women Under the Influence (2016)

                    To Laurel  Ann Bogen

have a good idea, Laurel Ann!
whenever you get real down and 
sad and flippy and  gloomy and 
wig'd out and your whole head feels 
like the Hindenburg making you feel 
like you just want to crash in New Jersey, 

not pretend all poets in Los Angeles 
named Laurel Canyon after you: okay,
but for an assortment of alienated human
beings, it's a crappy canyon full of post
hippie love heads, secular humanists, a 

reactionary corporate criminals with fat 
wallets, an unwholesome variety of 
me-generation burnouts; but I know most 
LA poets would have the best intention: 

one of their own in high esteem; besides,
think about what pigeons in Buffalo, New 
York do to the statues at Lafayette Square! 

see, Laurel Ann, it's really not so terrible to 
be able to move around: turning into some 

petrified memory could be just another stone 


(C) by Michael C. Ford


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:

Two of his poems were featured by Garrison Keillor on the Writer's Almanac and you can find his books on

It is difficult to praise a book of poems that you already feel so emotionally connected to: it seems unnecessary, a gesture that only takes away from the beauty, wisdom, goodness, honesty, imaginativeness, and spirituality of the work itself. Nevertheless, John Brantinghham’s The Green of Sunset is the finest collection of poems he has ever written, which is saying something, considering he’s been producing excellent work for going on 20 years now. Let the prose poems contained in this collection stand alongside those in Mark Strand’s Almost Invisible and Jim Harrison’s In Search of Small Gods as some of the most accomplished of the past decade. Simply put, these poems are the work of a writer operating at the very top of his craft.

--Paul Kareem Tayyar, Author of In the Footsteps of the Silver King (Spout Hill Press) and Follow the Sun (Aortic Books).

Our best writers weigh their words carefully, and John Brantinghham is certainly one of them. He is a craftsman with a huge heart who cares deeply about people and stories and the chaos we call our lives. His characters are beautifully rendered, real and true, at once vulnerable and courageous. Wise and insightful, Brantinghham's work brilliantly captures the light and darkness in us all.

--James Brown, Author of The Los Angeles Diaries and This River.

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