Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Poets Laureate Update from Pam Shea and Dana Gioia

Photo by Pam Shea

Pamela Shea was elected to serve as Sunland-Tujunga's Poet Laureate in April 2017.  A year has passed and much has been done so far. Here is her reflection, some poems and photos from recent events, and a list of events she participated in. We wish Pam another successful year!

Passing of the Laurels Ceremony, April 2017 with Elsa Frausto, Dorothy Skiles, 
Marlene Hitt, Joe DeCenzo, Pam Shea and Maja Trochimczyk


As I celebrate the one-year mark in my role as the 9th Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, I am delighted to reflect on all the activities I have participated in during the past 12 months.

I am thrilled to serve our local Foothills community through poetry, and I have enjoyed writing poems for special events, including the Sylmar Woman’s Club gathering at the Odyssey Restaurant, the Verdugo Hills YMCA’s Spring Tea, a variety of occasions at McGroarty Arts Center, and several activities at the Sunland-Tujunga Branch Library. Taking poetry “to the people” is one of my chief goals as Sunland-Tujunga Poet Laureate.

I have also discovered a newfound freedom in my writing. I am honored to have had my poems selected for publication in the Altadena Poetry Review 2018, as well as in the Spring 2018 issue of the California State Poetry Society’s California Quarterly Vol. 44 No. 1, edited by Maja Trochimczyk.

As Poet Laureate, I have been privileged to have the opportunity to get to know other poets while hearing and reading a wide range of poetic styles. In my second year in this role, I look forward to meeting more wonderful people and continuing to celebrate our local community and its people, flora, and fauna through poetry.

~ Pamela Shea

Pam as Betsy Ross for the 4th of July Parade 2017

Poetry Events, Pamela A. Shea, 2017-2018

  • 4/1/17 - Clark Magnet School, Foothills Relay For Life, opening ceremony
  • 5/6/17 - The Odyssey Restaurant, Sylmar Woman’s Club Fashion Show & Luncheon, Follow Your Muse
  • 5/6/17 - McGroarty Arts Center, Wine Tasting Event - The Wine of Glorietta by John Steven McGroarty, McGroarty Magic by Pamela Shea
  • 5/16/17 - The Backdoor Bakery, Relay For Life Fundraising event by The Painter In You, Relay Painting Event Poem Series, Relay poems
  • 5/22/17 - Verdugo Hills YMCA, Spring Tea Party, photo and poem combination reading 
  • 6/3/17 McGroarty Arts Center, 14th Annual Ceramics Juried Open Exhibition, Ceramics
  • 7/29/2017 - Oceanview Restaurant, Wine Glass Paint Night Fundraiser for La Crescenta Women’s Club, Summer Wishes 2007, Eulogy For Night
  • 8/5/2017 - Sunland-Tujunga Branch Library, Summer Reading Culmination Party, Library Magic
  • 8/26/2017-  McGroarty Arts Center, 2nd Annual Burgers, Beer & Band Night, BBB Poem
  • 8/27/2017 -  Bolton Hall Museum, Village Poets Monthly Reading Series, Co-Feature with Lois P. Jones
  • 9/13/2017 - The Odyssey Restaurant, Sylmar Woman’s Club General Club Meeting
  • 9/24/2017 - McGroarty Arts Center, event honoring volunteers and staff who fought La Tuna Fire, McGroarty Magic II
  • 10/21/2017 - McGroarty Arts Center, Sunland-Tujunga Open Studios, 3 sessions of open readings
  • 10/22/2017 - The Backdoor Bakery, event featuring Joe DeCenzo and friends 10/23/2017 Verdugo Hills YMCA, Chili Cook-Off, poem “Chili”
  • 10/25/2017 - NoHo Arts District, Lit Crawl L.A., participated in First Annual Poet Laureate parade
  • 12/19/2017 - McGroarty Arts Center, Hanukkah In the Foothills, Hanukkah Poem
  • Jan. 2018 - Two poems selected for publication by California State Poetry Society’s California Quarterly 44 No. 1
  • Feb. 2018 - One poem selected for publication in The Altadena Poetry Anthology, 2018
  • March 3, 2018 - Sunland-Tujunga Branch Library, Dr. Seuss’s 114th Birthday Party

Photo by Pam Shea

Spring, 2018

Springtime comes tiptoeing in
Speaking of quiet places
Revealing sacred spaces
And peace flows like a river

Tranquility is seeping
Into the landscape and blood
Emotional tides rise and flood
Releasing, seeking the shore

Beauty abounds and astounds
Birds serenade the morning
Flowers burst in bright colors
The earth awakens in bounty

Whispers of hope float freely
Discerning ears are ringing
There is majestic singing
Love rises from the garden

(c) Pamela Shea
In costume with granddaughter, for Dr. Seuss Reading at Sunland Tujunga Library, March 2017.

In Honor of Dr. Seuss
3/3/2018, on the Occasion of His 114th Birthday

“My name is Pamela Ann
You can call me Pam, you can call me Ann”
So my life as a poet began
I love poetry, that’s who I am

Words have always filled my mind
I write of nature and being kind
Poems do not always have to rhyme
All kinds of writing are very fine

You can write when you are glad
You can write when you are sad
You can write when you are mad
Just keep on writing on your pad

Poems can tell the story of your life
Both times that are good and times of strife
So pick up something and write, write, write
It will make your spirit soar like a kite

Dr. Seuss Day the Paige Way
3/2/16 ~ by Paige Gleason & Pamela Shea

I jump, jump, jump on the trampoline
    In my nightgown
I wear my nightgown the whole day long
    All around town
I blow BIG BUBBLES and stomp them flat
    On the backyard ground
I celebrate Dr. Seuss Day with Grandma
    She is such a clown!

Reading at Bolton Hall Museum, photo by Mary Torregrosa

All current Poets Laureate from California are invited by CA Poet Laureate Dana Gioia to participate in a statewide gathering of all current city and county poet laureates, hosted by the California Arts Council. The event will take place at the McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga on Saturday, October 6, 2018.

The organizers are planning a day of workshops, panels, readings, and presentations to explore and celebrate the important cultural role poet laureates play in their communities. Every laureate will have a chance to read his or her poetry as well as share ideas with other laureates and the public. The McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga (a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley side of Los Angeles) is the former home of John McGroarty, who served as California’s third poet laureate from 1933 to 1944. Today the beautiful hillside home houses a vibrant community arts center.

All poets who currently hold a civic laureate office (for a city, county, or region) are invited to participate in the morning workshop. Past poets laureate are invited to the afternoon session. The daylong event, including meals, will be free to participants. This event is co-sponsored by the California Arts Council and the McGroarty Arts Center. Robin Coste Lewis, the poet laureate of Los Angeles, will also help host the day’s event.

Photo by Maja Trochimczyk


For Pushcart Prize Nomination by the Altandena Poetry Review!
Thelma T. Reina and Susan Rogers who both were featured at Bolton Hall Museum 
in the past are also nominated. The presentation of their poetry is on April 16, 2018.


Photo by Maja Trochimczyk

This volume features almost 60 poets, including Village Poets Pam Shea and Marlene Hitt, and poets who featured at Bolton Hall Museum in the past: Kathabela Wilson, Susan Rogers, Margaret Saine, Deborah P. Kolodji and William Scott Galasso.  Copies of the CQ may be obtained by ordering online at CaliforniaStatePoetrySociety.org or by mailing a request for a specific​ issue together with a check 
for $10.00 per copy. Do not forget to name the specific issue you are requesting (this one is 44/1) and submit your order to:  CSPS VP/Membership 2560 Calabria Ct, Dublin, CA 94568.

Every poet is invited to join the CSP Society, online or by mail. First fill out the form on the website, then print it and send with payments by mail to:

CSPS Vice President - Membership, 2560 Calabria Court, Dublin, California  94568

And Best Wishes for the Spring to Everyone!