Friday, June 29, 2018

Village Poets Present Mira Mataric and Charles Harmon on 22 July 2018

Look for Village Poets and Pam Shea in the 4th of July Parade of Sunland-Tujunga, Foothill Blvd from Mt. Gleason to Sunland Park. Starts at 10 am on the 4th of July. 

Dr. Mira Mataric and Charles Harmon will be featured poets on Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. at the Village Poets Monthly Reading at Bolton Hall Museum (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042). The readings include 30 min. for the featured poet, as well as two open mike segments. Refreshments are served and $3 donations collected for the cost of the venue, the second historical landmark in the City of Los Angeles, that celebrated its centennial in 2013. The Museum is managed by the Little Landers Historical Society, named after the "little land" that each settler received in the Tujunga and Sunland foothills when the area was settled. The readings adhere to a self-imposed PG-13 rating, without extreme depictions of sex or violence, and with an air of gentility,  so poets use their words to bless the world, rather than curse it.


Mira N. Mataric, born in Belgrade, Serbia. Earned BA, MA, and Ph.D. in Linguistics and World Literature, and master’s studies in Special Education. Librarian in the National Library of Serbia for 14 years and teaching at the University of Beograd, Mira has been a prominent free-lance writer and translator-interpreter in Europe, publishing her poetry, prose, and translations in leading periodicals of Yugoslavia and Serbia since 1950. And translated American, English, Irish, Swedish, Indian, Rumanian, and other modern poetry and prose (John Steinbeck, Isaac Bashevis Singer etc.). She traveled extensively in Europe, USA, Australia, Asia and Africa.
Living in the USA since 1981, Mira taught college English, Creative Writing, Russian, and ESL, Special Education, and successfully applied her expertise in creative writing as art therapy. Mira worked extensively teaching senior citizens to write memoirs, journals, poetry and other literary forms, as a legacy.
Mira has edited a literary journal, organized literary workshops and readings, often delivering public speeches for schools, organizations, churches, and clubs, in Kansas for 18 years. She continues to discover and nurture new talents, building multi-cultural bridges and spreading education throughout her career. 
Mira has published 44 (bilingual) books of poetry, memoirs, short stories, novels and anthologies. She has thousands of citations in other publications and anthologies, translated into numerous languages and awarded for poetry, prose, translations and life achievements building international cultural bridges. Her awards include recognition from the President of the United States, the Government of Serbia, Ministry of Diaspora and Education, etc: Arsenie Charnoevich, 2005; Ivo Andric, 2013; Golden medal from the Cultural-Educational Association of Serbia, 2007; Sretenska Povelja for translations,  2008; Poeta from Arte, 2007; Shumadijske Metafore and Literary Workshop Kordun for her short stories, 2014; Special recognition, Indjija, Pro Poet, 2018.
Mira has promoted some two hundred Serbian authors abroad through her translations, reviews and lectures, and as many foreign writers in Serbia since 1950 to this day.



Love to write, love to live, love to love, love to cook, love to eat. Teaching science is like cooking, cooking is like writing poetry, poetry is about life, love is about living, and living is about love. I love to write poetry. Long live love!


Published story in local newspaper in fourth grade. Produced hundreds of poems (first love), songs, stories, articles, photographs, artwork, screenplays, novel. Assembling collected poems, trying to get two books published. Won NSTA national science teaching award and $20,000 in 2001 for project, “Don’t Be a Crash Test Dummy!” that teaches kids traffic safety, physics, chemistry, math. Use poetry, songs to motivate students, challenging them to write their own, codifying learning. Reviewed, edited, contributed to five textbooks for Houghton Mifflin. World traveler, five years overseas, 60 countries, lifesaver. Taught English, composition as well as sciences. Won SGVPQ poetry slam in Hollywood in 2006. Published in Spectrum, Altadena Poetry Review, Ribbons, Haiku Windows, Haiku Society Anthology, Lummox, Prism Review, California Quarterly, Atlas Poetica. Charles was named one of the "Top Ten Poets of the San Gabriel Valley" by Spectrum Publications. 


I have tears in my eyes
But not from cutting onions
I’m laughing out loud
But not from jokes in my cookbook
Oil is sizzling and hot
But my pan remains empty
Not all the cooking wine 
Makes it into the pot

I want to cook for you
I want you in my kitchen
My spice box is exploding
Hot chili peppers set hearts on fire
Curry burns holes in souls
Lips blister from sampling salsa 
So sweet and sour

What strange alchemy transforms
Such simple ingredients into life?
Miracle food, magical energy source
Gives strength to go on, for 
Neither Woman nor Man
Can live by bread alone
We both need something more
Something hearty that endures
That sticks to Adam’s ribs and also Eve’s—
A great big serving 
Of passion and romance.

I’m dishing that up
With a chef’s flair for cuisine
Words of love to nourish 
Hungry hearts and thirsty souls
It’s hot and spicy and ready…
Are you hungry too?
Care to join me?

--Charles Harmon
Previously published in Spectrum 4: “2016’s Top Ten San Gabriel Valley Poets, April;
Altadena Poetry Review 2017; Prism Review, Spring 2006; 
Winner, 2006 “Winner-Take-All” SGVPQ  Hollywood Poetry Contest


We had political representation at the Christine Jordan feature in June! State Senator Anthony Portantino is a poetry lover and attended our event along with a host of excellent poets!  Dorothy Skiles commented: "Christine Jordan performed her poetry and narrative readings with theatrical flair and humor which was well received by the audience! The poets who participated delivered humorous, compelling, and thought-provoking work, which is the hallmark of so many of our events."

Standing:  – left to right:  Cile Borman, Anthony Portantino, Mira Mataric, Joe DeCenzo, Peter Larsen, Beth Baird, Richard Dutton, Barbara Bagwell, Lalo Kikiriki. Sitting: - left to right:  Lida Abramian, Alice Pero, Pauli Dutton, Christine Jordan, Chris Cressey.

Village Poets wish all poets and poetry lovers

Happy Fourth of July! 

See you at the Parade down Foothill Blvd 
from Mt. Gleason at 10 am