Monday, March 4, 2019

Peggy Dobreer and Mandy Kahn at Village Poets on Sunday March 24, 2019

Big Tujunga Wash, February 2019, Photo by Maja Trochimczyk

Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga present Peggy Dobreer and Mandy Kahn as Featured Poets on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. at Bolton Hall Museum (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042). The reading will feature two Open Mike segments and refreshments. We will pass around the  hat of George Harris, the builder of Bolton  Hall Museum, Los Angeles Historic Monument no. 2 (from 1913), for voluntary donations of $3 per person. 


Peggy Dobreer won Downey Symphony Orchestra’s, Poetry Matters 2016 Contest.  She has one pushcart nomination from Cadence Collective, and two books with Moon Tide Press: Drop & Dazzle and In the Lake of Your Bones. Peggy is featured in the first Aeolian Harp Folio Series by Glass Lyre Press and has been published in Cultural Weekly, The Rise Up Review, Pirene’s Fountain, For the Love of Words, Mas Tequilla Press, Malpais Review, and LA Yoga Magazine among others. 

Peggy is a longtime educator and former dancer, who taught with Red Hen Press for Writing in the Schools, and was a Program Director for AROHO2015, A Rom of Her Own Foundation. She has curated and promoted other poets at venues in LA for 15 years. Visit her at

Calla lily leaf, by Maja Trochimczyk

Exquisite Harmonics

What is exquisite
            is the breaking of china
                        splash against tile
            bright tones of glass

What is exquisite
            is the tango of Kali
                        The savory statement
            of unsung stanzas
The brain quenching
                        fire of mouths

Migration of the herd
            to the gate of the mind
                        Throne of the flesh
                                    that lights up the eye
                                                Arc of the rib to
                                                            the bone in the soup

What is exquisite
            is a memoir of the body
                        A vibratory tonic of
            connective harmonics
guiding chants that
                                                cannot be extinguished

What is exquisite
            is this limitless unleadening
                        alchemy of Ganesh on our sleeves

In the breath
            of the opening cage
                        the rush to rhapsody’s rest
                                    in the eyes of the hawk
                                                on the wings of a loon
                                                            who light this way and
                                                                        fill these forests with sound                    

  (C) by Peggy Dobreer


Mandy Kahn

Mandy Kahn is the author of two poetry collections, Glenn Gould’s Chair and Math, Heaven, Time. Her poetry is included in The Best American Poetry 2018 from Scribner/Simon & Schuster and was featured in former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s newspaper column American Life in Poetry. She’s given readings at Cambridge University, London Review Bookshop and Shoreditch House in England, at Motto in Berlin, at Colette in Paris, at Printed Matter in New York, at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and at many venues in Southern California, and has been interviewed by BBC Radio, Flaunt and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She frequently collaborates with composers to create new works that combine verse and classical music and was a librettist for Yuval Sharon’s immersive opera Hopscotch. 


Old friends, old loves, I celebrate
the day-to-day you’ve found: the favored cup,
the dog, the child, the husband, wife—
the hat rack by the door, the bowl of keys,
the chair in sun,
weekends with your omelets made
just right. You graduated into
the encyclopedic pleasures of the everyday,
that brighter vision—
the sharp phantasmagoria you enter
when you watch your child through sprinkler water:
that moving prism.

Didn’t I always tell you, lover, roommate,
there were portals by the dishtowels?
                                    You think you left your dreams.

You’ve entered
the Basilica of the Present
by its common causeway.

This, your striving earned.

Pier in Hermosa Beach, by Maja Trochimczyk

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?

Pacific Ocean with LA seen from Hermosa Beach, Maja Trochimczyk



In 2020, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Village Poets Readings, Moonrise Press will issue a Village Poets Anthology, with poems by featured poets - and regular attendees of the readings over the past ten years. Please submit your poems and bios on moonrisepress website - or via email in one attachment with three poems (one will be selected) and a 150 to 200 word biographical notes.  
Email to  Submission deadline - August 31, 2019.

Due to large number of contributors, the anthology will be available for sale to contributors of one poem each at heavily discounted price of $10. An eBook will also be made. 


L to R, standing: Maja Trochimczyk, Joe DeCenzo, Dan Krosser, Marlene Hitt, Pauli Dutton, Pete Larsen, Rick Wilson, Rick Dutton, Mari Werner, Sharon Hawley with issue of Colorado Boulevard with an article by Toti. Seated L to R: Pam Shea, Kathabela Wilson, Toti O'Brien, Joyce Futa, Mary Torregrosa.

L to R, standing: Maja Trochimczyk, Joe DeCenzo, Dan Krosser, Marlene Hitt, Pauli Dutton, Pete Larsen, Rick Wilson, Rick Dutton, Mari Werner, Sharon Hawley with issue of Colorado Boulevard with an article by Toti. Seated L to R: Pam Shea, Kathabela Wilson, Toti O'Brien, Joyce Futa, Mary Torregrosa.

During the reading, Maja Trochimczyk presented the California Quarterly vol. 44 no. 4 edited by Margaret Saine including her poem, "Oh, the Art of Looking."  Trochimczyk then encouraged poets to submit their work to the CQ via the website of the California State Poetry Society. Dr. Trochimczyk has just been elected the new Acting President of the CSPS.  The Society organizes monthly poetry contests, annual poetry contests, and publishes the California Quarterly, edited by eight California poets, each with a different voice, priorities and interests.  This makes the journal vibrant and relevant.

The same group with Dorothy Skiles on the left, and Alice Pero next to Marlene.