Sunday, January 22, 2012

Search for New Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga for 2012-2014

The Poetry and Literature Committee of Sunland-Tujunga, co-chaired by Joe DeCenzo and Marlene Hitt, announces the search for the New Poet Laureate who will serve for a two-year term in 2012-2014.

The information about the position requirements and application format is enclosed below.


January 31, 2012: DEADLINE for all applicant’s materials

February 26, 2012: notification of Finalists

March 11, 2012: Reading of finalists before the committee, at Bolton Hall, 4:00 pm (required for all finalists)

March 16, 2012: Public announcement of new Poet Laureate for 2012-2014

April 15, 2012: Passing of the Laurels Ceremony at McGroarty Art Center, 3pm



The Poet Laureate Position in Sunland-Tujunga

What is required of this position?

All applicants must be at least 18 years old and reside in the Sunland-Tujunga community. The position includes duties that involve adapting well to a variety of occasions: the maker of a toast, the bestower of a prize, the dedicator of a park, the composer of an ode to the Little League team, etc. As well as a position of high honor, it is a position of COMMUNITY SERVICE. The Poet Laureate serves a two year term.

The applicant should be:

• a resident of Sunland or Tujunga (which includes Shadow Hills - zip codes 91040 and 91042), and must be at least 18 years of age.

• a poet of good craftsmanship and one who has made an effort to study this craft and to hone his/her individual voice.

• comfortable with public speaking, appearances and interviews and should be able to speak clearly and capably.

As the poet represents the community, he/she should be a person of good character and one with a track record of contributing to the betterment of our community. 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.

The Poet Laureate is encouraged to publish a collection of his or her works, as in a chapbook, for historical documentation. Those who choose the Poet Laureate are people with extensive knowledge of the community, educators, and those involved in arts and literature. Names of those judges may be presented upon request.


Becoming Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga is not only a great honor it is a commitment to the community. The Poet Laureate is expected to use his or her talents and means to make the community more aware of poetry.

While there are no specified duties for the Poet Laureate, the Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga is expected to hold a reasonable public presence in the community.

Each Poet Laureate provides community service according to his or her special skills. In the past, Sunland-Tujunga Laureates have read poetry at community events and public schools; they have also written commemorative poems and created programs for the Arts, given speeches and readings. Each Laureate has produced at least one book.


1) All applicants must be at least 18 years old and an active member of the Sunland-Tujunga community. You must show a history of active interest in Sunland-Tujunga.

2) Applicants must be able to demonstrate an active participation in poetry either through publication or featured poetry readings.

3) Applicants must agree to serve as Poet Laureate for a term of two years.

4) Please review the entire Requirements documents to be found at our website

Please fill out the following:

Name ___________________________________________________

Address ____________________________________________________

Phone ___________________________________________________

Email ___________________________________________________

Printed Applications Forms are available at:

~ Mcgroarty Art Center 818.353.5285
~ Marlene Hitt 818.951.1041
~ The Sunland-Tujunga Branch Library



Please provide the following:

1. List of publications and featured readings

2. Sample of poetry (approx. five poems. Two poems should represent 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 completed poetry and items 1-5 from the above list and a check for $15.00 made out to McGroarty Art Center and send to:

McGroarty Art Center, Poet Laureate Applicant
7570 McGroarty Terrace, Tujunga CA 91042

If you have questions regarding the Poet Laureate program call Marlene Hitt at (818) 951-1041. Or E-mail to

Please check with our website for complete schedules, full Poet Laureate requirements, and further Poetry information.


Photos (C) 2010-2011 by Maja Trochimczyk

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Justin Kibbe Starts the Year of Black Water Dragon

There will be magic and mystery and shock and awe... when? On Sunday, January 22, 2012, at Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Ave., Tujunga, CA 91042, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Justin Kibbe is the Featured Poet for the Village Poets Monthly Poetry Reading.

Just Kibbe is a 21st century poet, a literaphic artist. Sometimes he feels like a photographer of words, searching for one in a thousand that speaks the inner drama of his awareness into a visual context for others to see and become aware.

Just Kibbe is the creator and curator of Curing The Pirate Pig, the first visual-narrative-poetry-exhibit (On Display in Fall 2012). He also designed and produced a Baby Obama Doll (limited edition of 500), which uses toy and packaging to make an interactive poetic statement about Americans’ relationships to political media.

Books by Just Kibbe include Elite Speaking Turquoise Monkey, a collection of text message poetry, printed side-by-side with equivalent English translations; Any Color Is Fine As Long As You Can See Through It, a coffee table book of collage art, written and designed with Rubik’s Cube as the mechanism which organizes the waterfall of original and stolen images and text into six chapters, each exploring a different phase of our lives’ cycle. His two chapbooks are Good God: Forbidden Poems, short poems with interpretive illustrations by Christopher Paul Russell, and Public Urinal Poetry Tour, a series of poems hand-written onto public urinals and photographed.

Just Kibbe is the current poet/artist in residence at Eliot Middle School in Pasadena; and he teaches alternative creativity classes at both John Muir High School and ARTworks in Pasadena as well.


After eleven

a poem for our anniversary

In bed we sleep, a mass of twisted spoons
baptizing our skins with chameleons you’ve carved from apples.

When you are clean I want you the way a banker wants money, the way little pigs want blankets, the way rivers want the ocean.

When I am dirty I want you the way a shark plays pool.

When I am clean, I want you the way cats want kittens,
the way an Angeleno drives the freeways, the way a snake wants legs.

When you are dirty, I want you the way a bear wants salmon.
I want your dirt in my teeth.
I want your head on an ice cream cone.
Make it a triple scoop. Sing to me.
Drown me with your strawberry rhubarb voice.

After eleven years, you are the sky to my skyscraper
the nitrogen to my gasoline.
I am drawn to you like earthquakes to California
like mirrors to your face.



Original Baby Obama Collectors Doll

Founding Captain & Publisher
Pirate Pig Press: An International Visual + Literary Portal

Managing Editor
THE Magazine: Pasadena Foothills Region

Founding Board Member, Past Board President
Indelible Ink: A Vanguard Performing Arts Series


Telegram Collage by Justin Kibbe, used by permission.

Justin Kibbe's portrait with an Emu painted by Susan Dobay, (c) 2011 by Maja Trochimczyk.