Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Nancy Cavers Dougherty as Featured Poet for Village Poets Reading on May 23, 2021 via Zoom

Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga are pleased to present Northern California poet, Nancy Cavers Dougherty as Featured Poet for the Monthly Poetry Reading on Zoom, held on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 4:30 pm on Zoom. 

Please email Maja@moonrisepress.com and /or DMHSkiles@gmail.com if you would like to join us and receive the Zoom link. Two segments of open mic for poets (two poems each) will also be available, before and after the featured poet. Please, provide refreshments to yourself on your own. Alas, we still have to wait for the re-opening of the Bolton Hall Museum where we could provide our poetic guests with tasty treats. 

Nancy Cavers Dougherty, whose love of the creative arts goes back to her childhood in Massachusetts, is the author of three chapbooks Tape Recorder On, Memory In Salt, Levee Town and Silk, a collaborative work. Her poetry has appeared in Westview, The Pinch, the California Quarterly, I-70 Review, descant, Compass Rose, Big Scream, The Timberline Review, West Marin Review, Quiet Diamonds of The Orchard Street Press, and other journals. 

She holds a BA in history from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in public administration from Sonoma State University. She lives in Sebastopol, California where she has been an advocate for teen counseling services in the high schools and art-making in group settings. She is the proud mother of three and grandmother of two. 

Was a Turtle

     after Was a Man by Philip Booth



parasol to sun

Whipped by spring winds

fragrant with love

and song 

blue jays and robins

Was citadel to grooving

down dirt of possibility

so what if grounded 

in scute-ness and angles

beneath Icarus shadow 

Was woman 

with tresses locked 

in turret 

of keratin 

a-moving past muck

glassy-eyed gaggle 

pond of stares 

and squawks

Dome of complacency 



The Boy and Big Foot

The fable has it—the tracks

lead way back lead through

Norwegian Woods under bright day-night sky

echo-less starless like this night 

I close the book, and tuck him in

before the muffled steps of a full-grown Big Foot

will tread into his slumber—my young boy

dreaming his favorite cotton blankie 

clenched in mouth the darkness

of his night reflected in window an ant

crawls upon windowsill the Stephen Kings

await him on his parents’ bookshelves

secure among the volumes beyond, the stories

rustle among the eucalyptus

silver crescent of leaves stirring

his night imagination    in mighty excursions

I’d tip toe in and fold his blanket over and 

tug the one out gently, to leave by his hand

Monday, March 29, 2021

Village Poets Present James Coats on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 4:30 pm via Zoom



Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga are pleased to present poet James Coats during its Monthly Poetry Reading on  Zoom (for a link please email Maja Trochimczykc, maja.trochimczyk@gmail.com or Dorothy Skiles, dmhskiles@gmail.com). The reading includes two segments of open mic for poets in attendance, and will be held on Sunday, April 18, 2021, at 4:30 pm to 6 pm.

About the Poet

James Coats is an author, poet and spoken word artist from Southern California. With a passion for all things creative he strives to capture authentic self-expression through his work. He believes that poetry has the ability to bring diverse groups together, offering a way to connect, through shared challenges, achievements and experiences. You can find him attending poetry readings throughout California and now on Zoom or sharing his work via his Instagram @MrLovingWords.

He completed his debut poetry book If I Had Lived in April 2018 and most recently completed his second poetry book All The Ways You Are Wonderful in February of 2020. Both books are available for purchase through Amazon. His current project, Midnight & Mad Dreams, aims to fight racism and oppression through poetry.


Distressed lines, I thought it was my fault

somehow I was born a cracked egg

a little broken from the beginning

& those fissures made earthquakes

of the structure I was hoping to create.

Me a disaster, as natural as volcanic eruptions

hidden in warning signs & caution tape 

holding me together, waiting to topple apart.

Trying to repair damage through aftershocks

knowing any day could be the big one.

I have to give myself a fighting chance

even as my world crumbles to rubble.

These reckless thoughts scatter pieces of me 

like Legos in a petulant toddler’s hands.

I’m still learning to be gentle with myself.

Never wanted to be anyone’s burden

but I realized survival takes a team

access to healthcare, therapy & treatments

a network of help & support opportunities 

loved one & people believing in me. 

Searching through the wreck, dust & debris

I inherited a rocky foundation but can renew

given proper tools to dig the golden out my tissue. 

Construct my mind to make gems of my messy 

I’m not alone, no matter how isolated I feel. 

It’s okay to take moments to heal fractures &

I’m still screaming to hold on, to life, to hope. 

Tragedy doesn’t have to be the end of my story

rather, a chapter, the monster I slay or mountain I climb

one step at a time, until I’m once again made whole. 

(c) 2020 by James Coats

ISBN 978-1979154284, paperback, 106 pages

In If I Had Lived James Coats unveils the revelation of his character's growth from puerile romantic to someone capable of mature love and deep connection. Highlighting the beautiful dance of romance with all the ups, downs, and sometimes ineptness involved. The poetry in this book explores the capacity to love and all that comes with an honest romantic journey as authentically an openly as possible. It speaks to the reader, transporting them to the time they may have thought, felt, and experienced similar emotions in their personal quest for love and the serendipity involved in finding it.

ISBN 979-8606053049, Paperback, 90 pages


All The Ways You Are Wonderful is about finding the strength to love ourselves, becoming aware of how much value we bring to others. James discusses some of the ways he's observed women enriching society daily, and highlights the love and appreciation he has for the gifts they bring into the world. Yet, he doesn’t shy away from the some times harsh reality that pressures and challenges can overwhelm anyone even the strongest among us, and that is why self-care and support is vital in overcoming the dark times.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Village Poets Present Terry Ehret, Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 4:30pm

Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga is pleased to present Terry Ehret  of Petaluma, Northern California, as our Featured Poet during the Poetry Reading held on Sunday, March 28, 2021, at 4:30pm on Zoom.  The Zoom links will be sent to our regular audience, and may be requested from DMHSkiles@gmail.com or Maja@MoonrisePress.com. 

The reading on Zoom has been recorded and is now available on YouTube:

And the last poem, Flying Kites by Maja Trochimczyk, that did not make it due to tech issues:

TERRY EHRET is a poet and teacher, and one of the founders of the innovative Sixteen Rivers Press, a hands-on publishing collective run by and for San Francisco Bay Area Poets. She earned a BA from Stanford University and an MA from San Francisco State University. She has published four collections of poetry: Lost Body (1993), Translations from the Human Language (2001), Lucky Break (2008), and Night Sky Journey (2011). 

Literary awards include the National Poetry Series, California Book Award, Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, nomination for the Northern California Book Reviewer’s Award, six Pushcart Prize nominations, and an NEA Translation Fellowship. From 2004-2006, she served as the poet laureate of Sonoma County where she lives and teaches, and in the summer, she leads travel programs for writers. 



Mustard Bathing at Half Moon Bay

After “let there be new flowering,”by Lucille Clifton
a Golden Shovel

First blue in weeks and the flowering
mustard sings its sweet seduction in the fields
all along the ragged Pacific edge.  Grown men
have pulled onto the shoulder of the highway, needing the tender
touch of yellow. They walk in slow time,
arms outstretched, smiling as if our long war
were over. As if all sides had won.
Come, walk the deep paths to the sun. Be
ready. Something inside want to mend.

(c) Terry Ehret

Photos of Orange and Grapefruit Blossoms with Bees by Maja Trochimczyk

Monday, March 1, 2021

Village Poets Present "Today in the Forest" by Cindy Rinne and Toti O'Brien, Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 4:30pm on Zoom

 Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga and Moonrise Press are pleased to present a new poetry-and-art book by Cindy Rinne (poems) and Toti O'Brien (images) on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 4:30 pm via Zoom. To request a link email Maja Trochimczyk at maja@moonrisepress.com or Dorothy Skiles at dmhskiles@gmail.com. In addition to discussing her imagery and techniques, Toti will read some of her poems - since the book includes only poetry by Cindy Rinne. In addition two open mike sessions will be available, before and after the feature presentation.  

Video recording of the presentation


ISBN  978-1-945938-43-6 Color Paperback, 46 pages, $20

ISBN 978-1-945938-45-0 E-Book, PDF, Distribution lulu.com, $10 

ISBN 978-1-945938-44-3  EBook, e-Pub, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc.  $10

Moonrise Press announces the publication of "Today in the Forest," a mysterious and inspired poetry and art book that will stir your imagination. This gem of a book has been created by Cindy Rinne, poet and fiber artist, and Toti O'Brien, artist, musician, and poet, with Cindy's poems and Toti's images in a delightful counterpoint of words and visions. 


"I was mesmerized reading Today in the Forest. O’Brien and Rinne have created a luminous, mythical world inhabited by a Moon Goddess, wolf-people, and various imaginative delights. It is a world destroyed or horribly threatened, yet I felt protection, care, and survival here. Today in the Forest is a poetic journey illuminated with hope and memory."

 ~ Stacy Russo, author of Love Activism and We Were Going to Change the World

"As if in the forest all the problems of our world are being solved under the bark of trees, in an unseen parallel world, a precise and healing mythology is acted out by half human half visionary figures. Here, illustrated with powerful hand by someone who has been there, and witnessed, Toti O'Brien as master-artist, embodies the magical words of storyteller Cindy Rinne whose characters, her intimates, have allowed her to share their secrets at work.

Cindy has recorded and given us a magic scroll. Toti has drawn and given us the map. "She sees the sand bottom and tries to hold the tree's shadow. A murmur gurgles as golden rocks beckon her to climb." ~ Cindy Rinne

We need to be here for hope." 

~ Kath Abela Wilson, leader of Poets on Site, author of  Figures of Humor and Strange Beauty (Glass Lyre Press, 2019)


Cindy Rinne creates fiber art and writes in San Bernardino, CA. Cindy is the author of several books: silence between drumbeats (Four Feathers Press), Letters Under Rock with Bory Thach, (Elyssar Press), and others. Her poetry appeared or is forthcoming: Anti-Heroin Chic, Verse-Virtual, LitGleam, and others, plus several anthologies. www.fiberverse.com

 Toti O’Brien’s mixed media have been exhibited in group and solo shows, in Europe and the US, since 1995. She has illustrated several children books and two memoirs. Her artwork is on the cover of several books and it was most recently featured in pethricor, Two Hawks, Arkana and Argo. More about her work can be found at http://totihan.net/index.html

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Kathabela Wilson's "Figures of Strange Beauty" Visit Village Poets on February 28, 2021 via Zoom

Kathabela Wilson, Photo by Tom Clausen, 2018

Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga are pleased to present long-time friend, poet and artist, Kathabela Wilson, whose book "Figures of Humor and Strange Beauty" is the topic of Zoom reading on February 28, 2021.  Maja@moonrisepress.com and DMH@gmail.com can be contacted to get the link, and to be added to the mailing list for these readings. Two segments of open mic for poets are available. 

Video recording on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZkO-daV168

KATH ABELA WILSON lived and wrote mainly in Santa Barbara, California for 30 years, and still maintains a residence there, where the Ocean infuses her poetry with  salty enigmatic inspiration.  She lived for years  on a street that led to stairs to the sea and walked there every day.  Her poems and art are intimately linked with the tides, waves, stones and driftwood.

Her free verse, and Asian short form poetry is published in hundreds of journals worldwide. She travels the world with her husband Rick, a math professor and historical and world flute collector and player, performing  together. Hosted poetry meetings and salons at her home and the local Storier Stearns Garden and museums. for many years, now she hosts three zoom meetings a week for community sharing, consolation and inspiration.

Her first book, Figures of Humor and Strange Beauty, was written over two years, 1998- 2000, as a spontaneous serial odyssey naturally forming itself into 18 poems. The poems were written as  free verse, the short prose chapters were written in 2018. It was published by Glass Lyre Press, 2019.

It is in their "Quitab Editions" series, which features the back story, with archival material related to the book. Some chapters tell the story of the process of writing. And finishes with a chapter called Archeology.

Kathabela and Rick Wilson perform at a poetry reading

Her chapbooks Driftwood Monster, Haiku for Troubled Times  and The Owl Still Asking, Tanka for Troubled Times are available from Lulu, published by Moria Press, 2017.

Since writing this work, her writing has progressed in many directions. She is currently writing other serial poems in  poetic prose, and haibun form  as well as short forms, cherita, haiku and tanka. She especially loves collaborative poetry and collaborates and publishes with many local and faraway poets.

Kathabela at Scenic Drive Gallery of Susan Dobay, with Maja Trochimczyk

One of Kathabela's haiku won third place in The Santoka International Haiku Contest, 2017 on the theme of "Peace",  Her tanka won first place in English language Tanka in the Fujisan Contest, 2017. 

She is secretary of the Tanka Society of America and leader of her own group Poets on Site since 2008.

Kathabela with the monument of James Joyce on a bridge in Trieste, Italy.


Saturday, January 9, 2021

Village Poets Present Maura Harvey, Poet and Artist, on Zoom, January 24, 2021 at 4:30 pm.


Village Poets are pleased to present poet and artist Maura Harvey on Zoom. Two segments of open mic readings will be available for poets in attendance. The feature will take place on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 4:30 pm. Zoom invitations will be sent to Village Poets email list and upon request sent to Maja Trochimczyk maja@moonrisepress.com .

This presentation is partly sponsored by the Dignity Health Foundation, through a grant for "Close to Nature" Project for Phoenix Houses of Los Angeles, with the California State Poetry as one of the collaborating partners. 

Video Recording on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VfQMHkUfzM

Ethiopian Guardians by Maura Harvey

Maura Harvey is an award-winning bilingual poet, whose work has appeared in collected works and venues  from San Diego to Venezuela.  Her art has been exhibited internationally from México to Istanbul. She feels at home in the world because her home is where her art takes her. More information: MauraHarvey.com

El jardín de los recuerdos

de mi padre aprendí a amar

el cactus de orquídea

con sus flores suntuosas color magenta

las que apenas duran tres días

en su último año de vida

mi padre cantaba

romances tradicionales todas las mañanas

para espantar el porvenir

resucito sus plantas

por debajo de donde colgaban 

olvidadas entre la maleza,

con manos seguras las planto en nuevas macetas

con mi madre aprendo

de los días en el jardín de la familia:

cactus, naranjos, adelfas,

tíos, tías, primos, rosas rojas

luego se adormece

sueña con su infancia

las plantas cantan su sueño de primavera eterna:

tierra, lluvia y sol

Maura Harvey

Julio, 2020

Aix-en-Provance Fountain, by Maura Harvey

Garden of Memory

from my father I learned to love

the orchid cactus

epiphyllum with sumptuous magenta blooms,

the ones that last just three days

in his last year my father sang 

traditional ballads every morning

to frighten away the future

I resuscitate his plants,

pull them down from where they've hung

forgotten in the overgrowth,

with sure hands plant them in new pots

with my mother I learn

about days

in the family garden:

cactus, orange trees,oleanders,

uncles, aunts, red roses

then she nods off,

dreams of her childhood

the plants sing their dream of eternal spring:

soil, rain and sun

Maura Harvey

July, 2020

Sunday, December 6, 2020

2021 Pushcart Prize Nominations from the "We Are Here: Village Poets Anthology"


We are pleased to inform you that the editors of "We Are Here: Village Poets Anthology" - Maja Trochimczyk and Marlene Hitt - nominated to the Pushcart Prize 2021 the following poems included in the anthology:  

  • Sharon Alexander, “Wheatfield with Crows” -p.8
  • Katerina Canyon, “Feet” -p. 171
  • Joe DeCenzo, “Conversing with Shadows” p. 181
  • Georgia Jones Davis, “Monumental Dog” – p. 63
  • Rick Lupert, “Heat” – p. 87
  • Mariano Zaro, “Synapse” – p. 157

Given the choice of 80 poets included in the anthology and the incredibly high artistic level of all their creations, the editor decided to follow their hearts and select poems that "resonated" with them in a personal way, and represented the diversity of poems and poets in the volume.  Congratulations to all! 

Marlene Hitt writes about her choices: "No one knows whether a poem is 'good.' The response of the reader is the important judgement. I chose Wheatfield With Crows because, at first, I was reminded, with emotion, of my own father's death. Upon reading I found enjoyment the dreamlike inward journey of the author. Sharon Alexander's language is more than pleasing and her images inspiring. Rick Lupert in Heat brings the reader into his world on a hot, hot day as he exaggerates a bit, then teases and pleases us as with a tall tale. Joe DeCenzo, with Conversing With the Shadows points toward the mystery of one woman' state of frailty in a memoir of her life as it has encapsulized in her failing memory as that memory then failed. It renders a kind and loving tribute to all life as it begins to end.  Poetry is for the poet, yes, but more for the reader and the connection of thought and emotion between the two. A poem speaks to each person with the beauty and passion which only words can do."

Maja Trochimczyk explains her selections: "I was really perplexed about the nominations from our anthology. I know it is a service to poets, and should be done, but in We Are Here there are so many amazing poems by incredibly talented poets that I was at a loss, wondering, what to do? In poetry, I am not interested in competitions and awards, but rather in expressing the infinity of human experience. When Marlene sent me her three titles, I realized I could simply pick poems that I love and that resonate with me at this particular time. I've always loved Georgia Jones Davis's Monumental Dog - the compassion for the hapless animal, sent by her trusted caretaker into the orbit, to certain death; the vivid portrait of a communist country, where life is not valued at all. I'm from Poland and I remember stories about this dog on our national news; though, back then, nobody eulogized her sacrifice. There was just praise for the technological triumph of Soviets over Americans in the space race... Katerina Canyon's Feet is another perennial favorite, perhaps because my Mom had not washed my feet like that, and neither did I wash hers. I guess it was through the longing of an abandoned child that found such intense beauty in filial love and devotion, captured so vividly by Canyon. Finally, Mariano Zaro's Synapse about the poignant last days of his father, expertly weaves personal emotion with scientific descriptions of the mystery of the brain at the end of life." 

Village Poets at the Passing of the Laurels Ceremony in 2017.


Edited by Marlene Hitt and Maja Trochimczyk, and entitled We Are Here: Village Poetry Anthology, this collection celebrates the 10th anniversary of Village Poets Monthly Poetry Readings. The volume presents 80 poets featured during the monthly readings at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, CA as well as the group of current and former Poets Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga who organize the readings. 
 In addition to its home base at the Bolton Hall Museum, the Village Poets have also had occasional visits to the McGroarty Arts Center, the former home of the California Poet-Laureate in 1933-1944, John Steven McGroarty. His Poet-Laureate title inspired the local Poet-Laureate program, established in 1999. The anthology's editors are both former Poets-Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga: Marlene Hitt was the First, in 1999-2001 and Dr. Maja Trochimczyk served as the Sixth in 2010-2012 when the readings were initiated.  

The volume includes work by: 15 Poets Laureate from California; 20 Pushcart Prize nominees – Accardi, Askew, Byrne, Canyon, Collins, Dobreer, Dove, Ford, Fancher, Luza,  Leland-St. John, O’Brien, Jones, Pero, Reyna, Rinne, Rogers, Rummel, Skiles, and Terzi; 12 current and former college professors – Campbell, Kirby, Dove, Lipkin, Lummis,  Peterson, Rummel, Rizk, Talwar, Trochimczyk, Saine, and Zaro; and eight poets with doctoral degrees – Dove, Lipkin, Mataric, Meyer (honorary), Peterson, Reyna, Saine, and Trochimczyk. Poets from the states of California, Illinois, New York, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington are represented along with those who have roots in 18 different countries: Argentina, Armenia, Chile, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, the U.K., the U.S. and Vietnam.    

The colorful cover, designed by Maja Trochimczyk, features artwork by Polish American poet and painter, Andrew Kolo, who appeared at the readings to present both his art and his poetry. The painting, entitled “Landscape with the Palm Tree” (oil on canvas), is a mosaic of vivid, saturated colors, contrasting, yet somehow in harmony with each other. This is a great metaphor for a poetry reading filled with numerous, distinct poetic voices.  

The book consists of two parts: Guests and Featured Poets, represented by 1-3 poems each; and PoetsLaureate, with 10 local poets, represented by 6-8 poems each. A list of Village Poets Readings, a brief history of the program, and biographies of the poets are included as well. The 290-page anthology is published in two versions, as a paperback and an e-book in ePub format.  More information and list of poems: moonrisepress.com/village-poets-anthology.html 


Edited by Bill Henderson, with the Pushcart Prize Editors, "the 45th edition of the most celebrated literary series in America, Pushcart Prize XLV is continuing evidence that much of today’s vibrant writing appears only in small journals and book presses. The series has been selected for Publishers Weekly Carey Thomas Award, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof citation, and the Poets and Writers/Barnes and Noble “Writers For Writers” award among others.  The current issue includes 70 authors from more than 50 presses, selected from the nominations of 220 distinguished Contributing Editors and 800 participating presses."

SHARON ALEXANDER - Nominated for "Wheatfield with Crows"

SHARON ALEXANDER recently relocated to Benissa Costa, Spain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Her chapbook, Instructions in My Absence, won first place in the Palettes & Quills 5th Biennial Chapbook Contest and was released May 2017. Voodoo Trombone, Sharon’s previous chapbook, was published by Finishing Line Press, 2014. Her poetry appears in several publications including Barbaric Yawp; Caliban On-line; Idyllwild Life Magazine; Naugatuck River Review; Pearl; Pinyon; Redheaded Stepchild; Santa Ana River Review; Slipstream; Subprimal Poetry Art; and Tiger’s Eye. You can also find her work in the following anthologies: Beyond the Lyric Moment (Tebot Bach, 2014); In the News (The Poetry Box, Summer 2018); Poeming Pigeons (The Poetry Box, 2015); and Spectrum: 140 SoCal Poets ( 2015). 

KATERINA CANYON -  Nominated for "Feet"

KATERINA CANYON is a 2020 Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her stories have been published in New York Times and Huffington Post. From 2000 to 2003, she served as the Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga. During that time, she started a poetry festival called “Shouting Coyote Poetry Festival” and ran several poetry readings. She was featured in the Los Angeles Times and was awarded the Montesi Award from Saint Louis University in 2011, 2012, and 2013. She has published multiple chapbooks and an album. Her recent books include Changing the Lines, a volume of poetry, and Los Angeles Nomad, a novel.  She hosts weekly readings on Zoom, called Canyon Poets. You can find more information about her on her website, poetickat.com. 

JOE DECENZO -  Nominated for "Conversing with Shadows"

JOE DECENZO grew up in Los Angeles and majored in theater and English Literature.  From 2004-06 he served as the poet laureate of Sunland-Tujunga. He produced  the  “Shouting   Coyote” Performing   Arts Festival and was a Department of Cultural Affairs grant recipient. His published works include The Ballad of Alley and Hawk and the Study Guide and Poetry Primer for the same collection. His poetry appeared also in Meditations on Divine Names anthology (Moonrise Press, 2012). He currently serves on the planning committee for the Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga, as Chair of the Poet Laureate Search Committee, and as Chair of the Arts and Recreation Committee of the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council.

GEORGIA JONES DAVIS - Nominated for "Monumental Dog"

GEORGIA JONES-DAVIS grew up in Northern New Mexico and Southern California. A former Los Angeles Herald Examiner editor, Los Angeles Times Assistant Book Editor and former free-lance journalist, Georgia’s poetry has appeared in various publications including West Wind, The California Quarterly, Brevities, The Bicycle Review, Nebo, Eclipse, poethicdiversity, Ascend Aspiration and South Bank Poetry, London. She served as a board member of Valley Contemporary Poets for three years.  Georgia was honored as one of the 2010 Newer Poets by the Los Angeles Poetry Festival and the Los Angeles Public Library ALOUD series. She is the author of two chapbooks, Blue Poodle (2011)  and Night School (2015), by Finishing Line Press. 

RICK LUPERT - Nominated for "Heat"

RICK LUPERT has been involved in the Los Angeles poetry community since 1990. He served for two years as a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets. He created the Poetry Super Highway ( http://poetrysuperhighway.com ) and hosted the Cobalt Cafe reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 25 collections of poetry, including “God Wrestler” and “ The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express!”, and edited  “A Poet’s Siddur”, “A Poet’ s Haggadah”, the Noir anthology “ The Night Goes on All Night.” and “Ekphrastia Gone Wild” under his imprint Ain’t Got No Press. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, including The Los Angeles Times, Rattle, Chiron Review, Zuzu’s Petals, Caffeine Magazine, Blue Satellite and others. He edited A Poet’s Haggadah: Passover through the Eyes of Poets anthology and is the author of thirteen books: Sinzibuckwud!, We Put Things In Our Mouths, Paris: It’s The Cheese, I Am My Own Orange County, Mowing Fargo, I’m a Jew. Are You?, Feeding Holy Cats, Stolen Mummies, I’d Like to Bake Your Goods, A Man With No Teeth Serves Us Breakfast (Ain’t Got No Press), Lizard King of the Laundromat, Brendan Constantine is My Kind of Town (Inevitable Press) and Up Liberty’s Skirt (Cassowary Press). . He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California and works as a music teacher and graphic designer for anyone who would like to help pay his mortgage.

MARIANO ZARO - Nominated for "Synapse"

MARIANO ZARO is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Decoding Sparrows (What Books Press, Los Angeles, CA) and Padre Tierra (Olifante, Zaragoza, Spain). His poems have been published in anthologies and literary journals in USA, Mexico and Spain. His translations into Spanish include Poemas de las Misiones de California by Philomene Long, Buda en llamas by Tony Barnstone and Cómo escribir una canción de amor by Sholeh Wolpé. He is the winner of the 2004 Roanoke Review Short Fiction Prize and the 2018 Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Short Fiction Prize. Since 2010, he has been hosting a series of video-interviews with prominent American poets as part of the literary project Poetry.LA. (More information here: www.Poetry.LA). He is a professor of Spanish at Rio Hondo Community College (Whittier, California).  Website: www.marianozaro.com.