Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mandy Kahn and Douglas Kearney at Bolton Hall Museum on September 25, 2016

Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga Present
Featured Poets Mandy Kahn and Douglas Kearney 
on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 4:30 p.m.
 10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042
Plus Open Mike and Refreshments! 

Mandy Kahn

Mandy Kahn is the author of the poetry collection Math, Heaven, Time. In January of 2016, former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser featured a poem from the collection, “At the Dorm,” in his syndicated newspaper column American Life in PoetryKahn collaborates with composers to create works that feature poetry in tandem with classical music and has had readings and signings at Colette (Paris), Motto (Berlin), Shoreditch House (London), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), Printed Matter (New York) and Art Center College of Design (Pasadena). 

She was one of several librettists who wrote the text for the critically acclaimed opera-in-cars Hopscotch; her libretto for the project was subsequently quoted in The New YorkerKahn also works as an essayist, and is coauthor, with Aaron Rose, of the nonfiction book Collage Culture: Examining the 21st Century’s Identity Crisis, which features graphic design by Brian Roettinger. Collage Culture was simultaneously released as a record which paired readings of the book’s texts with a score by the band No Age.

The Tour Guide

I followed the German tour guide
through the hulking old basilica.

He told the group (or so I guessed),
indicating high and low:

This is where the wind begins.

This is where the childhoods of a thousand
martyrs live, untouched.

Wood grain in these pews still curls
to likenesses of patron saints.

Window-holes are cut the breadth
of human souls, when loosed.

Dark paint in the frescoes is crushed ants.
White paint is light.

Leaves and fauna long extinct are rendered
in the porticoes. See that goat
with antlers? Gone from life,
but captured here.
(Hold your breath and it bows its head.)
(Reach towards the ceiling and sigh, and it sighs.)

Worth two times the value of the Bulgar Sea
is that old bell.

(When younger priests
would ring it,
the nuns were warned to shield their hearts.)

He said far more
I can’t recall

and when I tried to pay him,
he spurned my coins, saying, in German,

What good is money,
my child, to the wind?

Douglas Kearney

Douglas Kearney’s collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” 

His third poetry collection, Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014) examines miscarriage, infertility, and parenthood and was a finalist for the California Book Award. Cultural critic Greg Tate remarked that Kearney’s second book, National Poetry Series selection, The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), “flows from a consideration of urban speech, negro spontaneity and book learning.” Someone Took They Tongues. (Subito Press, 2016) collects three of his opera libretti. Fence Books will publish Buck Studies in late 2016. He was the guest editor for 2015’s Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan). 

He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. His work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including Best American PoetryBest American Experimental WritingWide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin, and What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Poets in America. Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley. He teaches at CalArts.

For more information:

Here's a link to a sample poem

Native American stone bowl for grinding acorns into flour.
Collection of Bolton Hall Museum.


Please note that the links to photo albums from past Village Poets readings have all gone dead, when Google, the owner of Picasa Web Albums, decided unilaterally to cancel the contract (we paid them for storage), and move everything to Google Photos, where pictures are in albums but have different address links. So, it will take us forever to restore the albums to their proper shape, and make our glorious poetry history available to the public again. Meanwhile, we have been posting our photos on Facebook, with "public" settings, so these could be visible. 

Ed Rosenthal, Elsa Frausto, Marlene Hitt and Maja Trochimczyk
at McGroarty Arts Center - Word Bites Event, August 20, 2016

Books and Poetry Postcards from our Poetry Clothesline (free to pick)

Here's the album from Word Bites Poetry Readings at the McGroarty Arts Center, a part of the ST Open Studios and a part of Made In LA event on the weekend of August 20 and 21. 

There were six poets reading and we rocked! Who rocked? Elsa Frausto, Marlene Hitt, Ed Rosenthal, and Maja Trochimczyk in the first two segments, and Joe DeCenzo and Art Currim in the second two sets.  A fantastic sextet - we had 20 minutes at every hour between 12 and 4 on Saturday, August 20, 2016. Our books were on display and everyone had fun! On both days, we had a chance of visiting artists' studios and admiring imaginative, inspirational, and creative artwork of our local artists. A wonderful opportunity to mix and mingle with other artistic souls! 

And here's the album from the Elline Lipkin Feature in August, with amazing musicians Heather Donavon and Steve McCormick as Music Features.

Elline Lipkin reads at Bolton Hall Museum

Elline Lipkin

Steve McCormick and Heather Donavon

Village Poets, Seated LtoR: Mira Mataric,  Dorothy Shepherd, Elline Lipkin, Steve McCormick, Kathabela Wilson, Pauli Dutton. Standing LtoR: Maja Trochimczyk, Tim Callahan, Yatindra Bhatnayar, Kitty Kroger, Pete Larsen, Rick Dutton, Cybele Garcia Kohel, Taura Scott, Dalton Perry, Dorothy Skiles, Rick Wilson, and Joe DeCenzo.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Word Bites at McGroarty Arts Center Open House, Saturday, August 20, 2016

Village Poets of Sunland –Tujunga Present 


at McGroarty Arts Center, 7570 McGroarty Terrace, Tujunga, CA 91042 

on Saturday, August 20, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

There will be four sets by six poets: Maja Trochimczyk, Elsa S. Frausto and Lois P. Jones at 12:30pm & 1:30pm; Joe DeCenzo, Art Currim & Marlene Hitt at 2:30pm and 3:30pm. 

These readings are scheduled in-between Regina Clark's docent tours of this historic site that was home to playwright and California Poet Laureate, John Steven McGroarty. 

All day, local artists will be presenting their artwork in booths and tents on the MAC park-like grounds. The Open House exhibitors-artists are: 

This event is part of the Maiden LA celebrations of art across Los Angeles and of the Sunland Tujunga Open Studios! Visti ST Open Studios website for a list and timeline of open houses locally:

And don't forget, the week after, we have the exquisite poet Elline Lipkin and the sophisticated musical duet, Heather Donavon and Steve McCormick, who present on August 28, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. at Bolton Hall Museum on Commerce Avenue. 

See the post on our blog.