Tuesday, December 9, 2014

International Poetry Festival - January 10, 2014 at the Sunland-Tujunga Library




SATURDAY, JANUARY  10, 2015,  3:00 PM - 5:00 PM




Elsa S. Frausto

Elsa S. Frausto is a bilingual poet (Argentina). Her work has appeared in La Porte des Poetes, la-luciérnaga.com, palabrabierta.com, Poets on Site, Chuparosa Poets Anthologies and many other publications. Currently, she is Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga 2014-2016 and is enjoying the readings and meeting people who call the Foothills home. She dedicates this Poetry Festival to everybody who calls poetry their home wherever they may live. Read more: Mapping the Artist Interview


Reading the dictionary
Future in the i
Of inchoate
And the r of reality
My own, yours
All a fiction
Or non


Leo el diccionario
Futuro en la i
De indefinido
Y la r de realidad
La mía, la tuya
Todo una ficción
O no

Night is long.

Pen is too heavy.
Paper too white.
Crows caw something
in their unwritten language,
break the length of their life
into notes.
Mine stop somewhere
between their birth
and their wonder.

La noche es larga.

La pluma tan pesada.
El papel demasiado blanco.
Las ranas croan algo
en su lenguaje no escrito,
rompen el largo de su vida
en notas.
Las mías paran en algun lugar
entre su nacimiento
y la maravilla.

Gloria Enedina Alvarez (will not present)

Gloria Enedina Alvarez is a Chicana poet/intermedia artist, playwright, librettist, literary translator and curator, presently  teaches creative writing and works as a consultant in public schools, universities, libraries, museums, art centers, and her literary/artistic efforts have been recognized by the CAC, National Endowment for the Arts, Cultural Affairs Department, City of L.A., COLA Award, Poets & Writers, Inc., among others. She has published and read widely in the U.S., Latin America and Europe and her plays and librettos for opera, Los Biombos,  Cuento de un Soldado/Story of a Soldier, El Niño, have been produced  internationally. Her books of poetry in English and Spanish include La Excusa/The Excuse and Emerging en un Mar De Olanes, along with publication in various anthologies and numerous periodicals.

Due to an emergency travel, Gloria Enedina Alvarez will not participate in this event.

Teresa Mei Chuc

Author of two poetry books, Red Thread (Fithian Press, 2012) and Keeper of the Winds (FootHills Publishing, 2014), Teresa Mei Chuc was born in Saigon, Vietnam and immigrated to the U.S. under political asylum with her mother and brother shortly after the Vietnam War while her father remained in a Vietcong "reeducation" camp for nine years. Her poetry appears in journals such as EarthSpeak Magazine, The Good Men Project, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Hypothetical Review, Kyoto Journal, The Prose-Poem Project, The National Poetry Review, Rattle, Verse Daily and in anthologies such as New Poets of the American West (Many Voices Press, 2010), With Our Eyes Wide Open: Poems of the New American Century (West End Press, 2014), and Mo’ Joe (Beatlick Press, 2014). Teresa’s poetry is forthcoming in the anthology, Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees. 

Mira N. Matarić

Mira N. Matarić is an internationally awarded writer, translator and educator, a bilingual author of poetry and prose, with 37 books. She is a world traveler and a builder of cultural bridges, spreading peace through enlightenment.

Shahé Mankerian

Shahé Mankerian's most recent manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, has been a finalist at four prestigious competitions: the 2013 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the 2103 Bibby First Book Competition, the Quercus Review Press, Fall Poetry Book Award, 2013, and the 2014 White Pine Press Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in Mizna. 

Maja Trochimczyk

A Polish poet writes Japanese poems in English in California, writes poems for her Hungarian friend's art inspired by an Italian opera, writes for her friends in Sunland-Tujunga... Can you be more multi-cultural than that? It used to be called "cosmopolitan" before nationalism changed this word into a slur. Then it became "universal" - or "globalized" - but is first-person poetry ever that? A part of the cosmos? Maybe. The human family? - Yes, as we all are...  www.trochimczyk.net; Mapping the Artist Interview

Many thanks for your beautiful poetry and continued support 
and participation in helping build a community of poets 
right here in the Foothills of Sunland-Tujunga! 

 We are looking forward to another year of poetry with all of you.

Our next event is on Sunday, January 25, 2015, 4:30-6:30 p.m., at Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Ave., Tujunga, CA  91042.  The featured poets for this event will be Teresa Mei Chuc and Ross Canton.

Warmest Greetings this Holiday Season 
and a Happy New Year 2015!

Village Poets Planning Group

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

May Kay Rummel on November 23, 2014 - A Poet for Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving, we have some poetry you will be truly thankful for! Mary Kay Rummel, Poet Laureate of Ventura County, will be our Featured Poet on Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. The reading will take place in the Bolton Hall Museum, L.A. Historical Monument No. 2, and a National Historical Landmark, on Commerce St. in Tujunga.  We start with a segment of open mike and follow the feature with another open mike segment. We have lots of talented poets and a few local originals, including former Poets Laureate of Sunland Tujunga and the current Poet Laureate, Elsa Frausto.


Mary Kay Rummel is the first Poet Laureate of Ventura County, CA. Her seventh book of poetry, The Lifeline Trembles, has been published by Blue Light Press of San Francisco as a winner of the 2014 Blue Light Poetry Prize. Recent publications include poems in Nimrod, Pirene’s Fountain, Askew and in the anthologies, Woman in Metaphor by Stephen Linsteadt; Meditations on Divine Names (Moonrise Press); A Bird Black As The Sun (Green Poet Press); and Creativity and Constraint (Wising Up Press).Mary Kay has received four Pushcart nominations, was 2013 winner of the Irish American Crossroads Contest in San Francisco. She teaches part time at California State University, Channel Islands and lives in Ventura. More information: marykayrummel.com.

Burnt Dress

Even in old ageI need you,
your voice a ululation
across a meadow tracked
by the capricious ash grey hare.

Your words sprout
from my heart like mallow.
You tell me to claim
the wildness I once wanted.
Your words, stones
I keep fingering.

Beauty walks this world aging everything—
each colonnade, leaf, sparrow,
lintel, scarf, water bird.

I am an angel in a burnt dress.

I call you now from the square,
stalls hung with yellow roses and handbags.
So much stone here,
astarfall of stained glass.

One egret in a field.
The loneliness
of angels without
even the body of a shadow.

My breath spread so thin
that nothing’s left but bone
white emptiness, whisper of ruins.

Weaving, forever weaving
into and out of this world.

From The Lifeline Trembles

            Mary Kay Rummel

California Morning Song

Olive tree bent on the hill,
bathed in expectancy.
Lavender, and white stone.

Sea wind turns the world transparent.

Jade shell
Pink Perfection camellia
water-cuts in sand

mutate on the zigzag border
between wholeness and coming undone.

The horizon a gold line,
broken by tankers and tall ships,
between visible and unseen.

How loneliness ends
though you are far from home.

How a sailor becomes
the oceans she sails across.

From The Lifeline Trembles
            Mary Kay Rummel

At each Village Poets Monthly Reading we pass the George Harris hat - to collect $3 per person for refreshments and to donate to the Little Landers Historical Society for the upkeep of the Bolton Hall Museum. Here's George in his hat, and a poet's hat... 




Poets in Hats at Linda's Reading - the Museum's current exhibits is on hats...







Monday, October 6, 2014

Village Poets Feature Linda Dove on October 26, 2014

Village Poets have the pleasure to invite poets, poetry lovers, and other interested parties with a profound fascination with the spoken word to attend the next Village Poets Monthly Reading at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga CA, on Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon. Our featured poet will be Linda Dove and we will also have two segments of Open Mike and serve refreshments. The Bolton Hall Museum is made available to Village Poets by the Little Landers Historical Society and we pass George Harris's hat to collect suggested donations of $3 per person to donate back to LLHS for the Bolton Hall use.


Linda Dove has published two award-winning collections, In Defense of Objects (Bear Star, 2009) and the chapbook O Dear Deer, (Squall, 2011). She holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature and was a college English professor for many years. She currently lives in Monrovia, California. More info lives here: www.dovemuse.com.

St. Nicholas of Tolentino Begins with Prayer

Patron Saint of Vegetarians and Lost Souls

I do not refuse meat.

I am humble around kitchens, the copper conserva, the sauces and chickens.

My hands rub rosemary and purple flowers fall.

I am often at the gate.

I sit down and sign the cross in steam.

I am a child. I climb a tree.

I water stars.

The hens relent, transform to parsnips and beets.

I pass a bowl of salt.

The stem of a broom slants toward the sun.

I am served roast partridge in a black fig agrodolce.

I give thanks. I darn a blue hole.

Ave Maria, piena di grazia.

My face maps the distance between two circumstances.

A length of red beads slips into the sea.

A bee sews a bee cell shut.

I bow my head. The bird flexes, lifts off the plate.

Its wings beat and shed the dark sweets.

(c) by Linda Dove


 We did not have 100  thousand poets, only about 20, but we did agree on principles of change: we will change the world if we continue doing exactly what we are doing, that is create poetry, make art, and reflect on the beauties and mysteries of the world. The power of positive thinking, of thoughtful reflection, of compassionate sharing of our knowledge and insights is the power that will make our world a better place. Why? Because it already has!

As the host in charge of the event "for change" I brought some hats I had in my trunk, so people would have something to change into. At the end only Lois and I have decided to wear the hats. No man would be caught dead with a gem, or a scarf on their hat... so that did not work so well... 

And here we are, changed!

The idea of George Harris, a rough and tough pioneer in an evening hat with jewels? Why not? \

Only Kathabela Wilson stayed faithful to her hats and even read a poem about it while Rick played the flute.

Here are some hatless folks in white. We are the "white knights" or "angels" of the poetry world, are we not?

Jack Cooper, without a hat but with his wits right where needed.

Mari Werner and Marlene Hitt shared a laugh.
.... and Peggy Dobreer had the last word.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Peggy Dobreer Will Read on September 28, 2014 - 100Thousand Poets for Change!

We were thrilled to announce a reading by Peggy Dobreer on September 22, 2013 last year, but she could not be with us. So, we are doubly delighted to announce that Peggy Dobreer will be the featured poet at the next Village Poets Monthly Poetry Reading at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga. The reading will be on Sunday, September 28, 2014, at 4:30 p.m.  This is the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Global Event Sunday, and we are happy to invite all our Open Mike Poets to bring their poetry about change - personal, social, cosmic - whatever you want, as long as it is PG13!

You will have lots of time to read, because in addition to the Featured Poet there will be two Open Mike segments and refreshments. We will pass George Harris's Hat (George Harris was the builder of Bolton Hall) to collect donations for the Bolton Hall. To find out more about Peggy Dobreer read her bio below. After our reading she will manage several writing workshops 


Peggy Dobreer is a Los Angeles based poet, educator, and yogini. Her first book of poetry, In The Lake of Your Bones was released by Moon Tide Press in March 2012. Her work has been published in journals, such as Poemeleon,Malpais ReviewBicycle ReviewSan Pedro River Review, and Yoga Magazine. Just released from Ain’t Got No Press, she is proud to be included in Ekphrastia Gone Wild with Nobel Laureate, Wislawa Szymborska. Peggy is co-author of 64 Ways To Practice Nonviolence: A Curriculum and Resource Guide, ProEd, Inc., 2008. 



                           "Write from the body, read from the breath, and edit for the art."                                

A series of three evening workshops on Thursdays,6:30-9pm, 10/23, 11/6,12/4/2014 at Gatsby Books in Long Beach, CA. You may sign-up for individual dates at $20/ea, or $50/for3.

Contact Improvisation is a neo-modern dance form, or an art sport, if you will. It is the embodied exploration of the laws of physics that govern all bodies in motion. Peggy brings 30 years of inquiry to light in her workshops. While the focus is mostly generative work, you will also bring a poem of ten to fourteen lines, in progress, for feedback, which includes consideration of vocal dynamics, and carriage at the mic. More information: adhocink@yahoo.com.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Jack Cooper on August 24, with Summer Poetry Reports - Watermelon Festival, Animal Poetry, Bread...

Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga are thrilled to announce that the wonderful, one and only Jack Cooper will be the Featured Poet at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga on Sunday, August 24, at 4:30 p.m.   The Reading will include Two Open Mike Segments, before and after the Featured Poets, and refreshments prepared by the Village Poets.


Jack Cooper's first poetry collection, Across My Silence, was published by World Audience, Inc., 2007.  His work has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize, as a finalist in North American Review's 2011 James Hearst Poetry Prize, and currently as a finalist in the 2014 Eco Arts Award in Creative Excellence. 

His poetry has also appeared in Connecticut River Review, The South Dakota Review, The Evansville Review, The Santa Fe Literary Review and many other publications. He can be contacted at www.jcooperpoetry.com - his poetry website with more information about his work.


The mission of Village Poets includes bringing poetry to diverse audiences everywhere. Since 2011, the poets have organized a Kids Poetry Corner or Kids Book Corner at the Watermelon Festivals in Sunland Park. This year, the Watermelon Festival  moved to Santa Anita Park, on the back of the Racetrack, but the tradition continued.  The Village Poets partnered with youth from Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles  that volunteered to assist with the setup and managing the Kids Book Corner. 

On Saturday and Sunday, July 19-20, 2014, Maja Trochimczyk was joined by counselors and  students from the Academy - six girls on Saturday and six boys on Sunday - in presenting an assortment of children's books to kids that might want to take a break from all the rides and attraction of the Festival, giving out balloons, and making origami.  In addition to giving out 50 balloons to kids small and large, the students read books and tongue-twisters and made origami by themselves, producing a swan, crane, frog, and a ninja star. 

Lemur from Wildlife Waystation.

The site was located next to an exciting stand managed by the Wildlife Waystation, and presenting live animals - such as llamas, anteaters, lemur, barn owl, snakes, and more.  The kind folks from the Wildlife Waystation allowed the poets to keep their books and toys overnight in their enclosure, and a new collaboration was born. 

Maja Trochimczyk with a book display for Kids Book Corner. 

The Phoenix House students, in addition to volunteering with books, origami and balloons, also had a chance of walking around the spacious grounds of the Watermelon Festival and tasting some of the treats - to which they were "treated" by the poets, on condition that they read at least one book in return. This they did, laughing at the simple childhood stories.

The enjoyable weekend was filled with excitement and fun - which was as important to the students of the Phoenix House Academy as their community service. The Academy is a residential treatment facility providing high school education and therapeutic services to youth suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues. They helped kids and enjoyed their day at the Festival at the same time (For those who need help with their youth affected by substance abuse, the phone number for Call Center is 1 800 378 4435).


The group reading of "Paws for Poetry" at the La Crescenta Public Library on Saturday, July 19, 2014, was a great success and showed a true diversity of poems inspired by the animal world - from the favorite dog - family friend, to proud cats, alluring birds of various sorts and sizes, and snakes changing their skin. The following poets contributed their reflections on the animal world to the event: Becky Mate; Peter Larsen; 
Marlene Hitt*; Mira Mataric; Mina Kirby; Joe DeCenzo*; Jessica Wilson Cardenas (with percussionist and flutist Juan Cardenas); Maja Trochimczyk*; Sam Graham; Beverly Collins; Jill Meunier; and Dorothy Skiles*. Stars indicate names of Village Poets Planning Group. 

Dorothy Skiles addresses the audience.

Gene Schultz took a lot of pictures and we will be posting an album in the future. For now, we have a  group shot from Mira Mataric, and some illustrations - photographs by Bill Skiles and Maja Trochimczyk that were framed and displayed by the La Crescenta Library staff. Well done, everyone!

Two photos of animal mosaics from the Sainte Chapelle in Paris by Maja Trochimczyk


If all goes well, the Finishing Line Press will publish Maja Trochimczyk chapbook, "Slicing the Bread" on October 25, 2014.  This third poetry book by Maja Trochimczyk can be ordered now and will be printed and shipped in October. The limited edition’s pre-publication sales will determine the press run, so please reserve your copy now. 
The books cost $14 each plus $2.99 for shipping for the first book in a package and $1.99 for each additional book. You can order your copy of Slicing the Bread on Finishing Line Press website at www.finishinglinepress.com (look for new releases). Read more about this book, highly praised by poets Lois P. Jones, Georgia Jones Davis, John Z. Guzlowski, Sharon Chmielarz, and Linda Nemec Foster,  on Maja's blog! http://poetrylaurels.blogspot.com/2014/07/finishing-line-press-to-publish-slicing.html

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Animal Poetry on July 19 and Elsa Frausto on July 27, 2014


Floor tile in the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, 1248.

The La Crescenta Library/County of Los Angeles, 2809 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta, CA  91214, is hosting a special poetry event entitled, Paws for Reading, on Saturday, July 19, 2014, from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

The  former Poet Laureate’s, Marlene Hitt, Joe DeCenzo, Maja Trochimczyk, and Dorothy Skiles will be presenting poems about the animal world.  In addition, a number of guests poets will be reading their work on animals and related matters.  The poets will present their work in the following order:

  • Becky Mate 
  • Peter Larsen 
  • Marlene Hitt* 
  • Mira Mataric 
  • Mina Kirby 
  • Joe DeCenzo* 
  • Jessica Wilson 
  • Maja Trochimczyk* 
  • Sam Graham 
  • Bev Collins 
  • Jill Meunier 
  • Dorothy Skiles* 
  • * indicates members of the Village Poet Planning Group  

Also, it is anticipated that photos and other art work, in keeping with the theme of animals, will be decorating the walls. Come join us for this delightful event.  Refreshments will be served.


Elsa Frausto, the Eighth Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga.

Sunland-Tujunga’s new Poet Laureate, Elsa S. Frausto, will be featuring at the Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga’s upcoming Monthly Reading Series on Sunday, July 27, 2014, from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., at Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Ave., Tujunga, CA 91042.

Elsa S. Frausto was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has lived in the Foothills with her family for over twenty years. Her work has appeared in a number of local and international publications, among them Porte des Poetes, Speechless the Magazine, Poem of the Month in Poet at Work, Badlands, the anthology Meditations on Divine Names and many anthologies by Poets on Site.

She was the coordinator and host for Camelback Readings held at the Sunland-Tujunga Library. Elsa is a member of the Chuparosa Writers, volunteers at the Friends of the Library Bookstore and at the Noise Within Theater (Pasadena) and is poetry editor and translator for the Spanish language literary magazine la-luciernaga.com.  Her new venture as Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga (2014-2016) is the blog Poetria.org where poetry and travel with stops along the way from philosophy to food are welcome. Her local musings Walking Around can be read monthly in Voice of the Village.

Faith and the Nectarine

In matters of faith,
I'm with the nectarine.
It prepares its sap
where it can't be seen,

spells winter,
suspects spring,
and knows it's still
not time.

Heat is a dance
on summer's skin.
The long hours beat,
sugar jingles,

autumn can't wait.

Elsa S. Frausto

Poets are welcome to sign-up for the open reading.  Come and enjoy an early evening of poetry, light refreshments and eclectic conversation. A $3.00 donation is appreciated.


Look for the decorated car of Village Poets in the Fourth of July Parade in Sunland-Tujunga, starting from Mt. Gleason Avenue down Foothill Blvd. to Sunland Park.  We will be presenting Elsa S. Frausto, the new Poet Laureate, accompanied by former poets laureate Joe DeCenzo, Marlene Hitt, Dorothy Skiles and Maja Trochimczyk.

See the album of photos from the Fourth of July 2014 on Picasa Web Albums. Photos by Maja Trochimczyk, Bill Skiles, and others. 

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

Drumming up the applause for Elsa S. Frausto, Eight Poet Laureate of Sunland Tujunga

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Julia Stein as Featured Poet on June 22, 2014 at Bolton Hall Museum

We are thrilled to welcome Julia Stein as Featured Poet on June 22, 2014 (4:30 p.m.) at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga. The reading will include two open mike segments and the featured poet's presentation will be followed by a reception.  We pass George Harris's Hat (the builder of the Bolton Hall Museum) to collect donations for the Little Landers Historical Society, suggested amount $3, for the upkeep of the Museum.


Julia Stein’s seventh book of poetry What Were They Like? was published March 2013. In the last two years she edited two books of poetry: Every Day is an Act of Resistance: Selected Poems of Carol Tarlen by the brilliant S.F. poet Carol Tarlen who died in 2004 and Walking Through a River of Fire: 100 Years of Triangle fire Poetry. Stein is the 2011 Joe Hill Poetry Award winner. She has worked on an oral history project interviewing pioneers of the San Fernando Valley including children who grew up in Sunland-Tujunga to pioneer families 1900-1920.

  We hiked into the burnt-black Simi hills,
headed past a forest of black shrubs,
saw tiny green buds beginning to grow,
stopped at the sandstone rock quarry where
the foundation stones of Los Angeles were dug,

climbed up footholds of the rock wall to the top
to see four leeching ponds cut into sandstone
where Chumash women leeched the acid out of acorns,
yes, we could learn from them how to cut into stone
and leach acid out of plants to get the hidden nourishment.

We walked up to the stone ruins of the stagecoach house,
saw blackened weeds in the middle of stone cisterns,
started hiking up the brown-stone devil’s slide where
once a stagecoach route cut across the hills;  now
we can learn to find the path through the stony land.

We saw against the black ash a green weed
with stinking yellow lemon gourds--the calabash.
Yes, we need to be green weeds and lemon gourds
stinking up the blackness of this city, saying we can
grow again, making this city a good green place.


Photos from the reading are now available on the Picasa Web Album.