Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Village Poets Honor Marlene Hitt and Lloyd Hitt on July 28, 2019 at Bolton Hall Museum

Marlene and Lloyd Hitt, Grand Marshalls of the Independence Day Parade, 2017

Village Poets will have a very busy summer. First, we will appear in the Independence Day Parade on 4th of July 2019. Joe DeCenzo will be carrying the Village Poets banner. The Poets Convertible will include Poets Maja Trochimczyk and Susan Rogers, and friends, Elizabeth Kanski (President of the Polish American Film Society that organizes Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles) and Barbara Nowicki (volunteer for the Polish Film Festival and member of Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club).  
2017 Parade: Joe DeCenzo, Maja Trochimczyk, Dorothy Skiles

Then, on July 28, 2019 at 4:30 pm at Village Poets Monthly Reading at Bolton Hall Museum (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042) we will present the award to Dr. Lloyd Hitt and Marlene Hitt, who recently retired from their roles in the Village Poets, as co-founders of the group and organizers of monthly readings at Bolton Hall. There will be some time for open mike readers and refreshments will be served. We hope all poets that benefited from the Hitts' generosity will be able to come and thank them in person!


Marlene Hitt is a Los Angeles poet, writer and retired educator with local history as an avocation. She has served for many years as Archivist, Museum Director and Historian at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga. She is a native Californian and a graduate of Occidental College. She also studied at CSUN, USC, UCLA, Glendale College and Trinity College in Ireland. As a member of the Chupa Rosa Writers of Sunland for nearly 30 years, she has worked with this small group of poets from whom has sprung readings at the local library, the Poet Laureate Program of Sunland-Tujunga, and the currently popular Village Poets. Her poetry received several first place prizes in annual competitions of the Women’s Club, San Fernando Valley, and many awards from the John Steven McGroarty Chapter of the California Chaparral Poets.  

Ms. Hitt, elected Woman of Achievement for year 2001, served a Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga in 1999-2001, at the turn of the century. She has published several books on local history, including Sunland-Tujunga From Village to City (Arcadia, 2000, 2005) based on columns written for the Foothill Leader, Glendale News Press, North Valley Reporter, Sentinel, and Voice of the Village newspapers since 1998. Over the years, she taught in elementary school, worked in a pharmacy, chaired committees, tap-danced, and played English handbells, autoharp and ukulele. She dedicates her successes to her husband, Lloyd, her children and grandchildren, her biggest fans.

Her work appeared in Psychopoetica (UK), Chupa Rosa Diaries of the Chupa Rosa Writers, Sunland (2001-2003), Glendale College’s Eclipse anthologies, two Moonrise Press anthologies, Chopin With Cherries (2010) and Meditations on Divine Names (2012),Sometimes in the Open, a collection of verse by California Poets Laureate, and The Coiled Serpent, anthology of Los Angeles poets, edited by Poet Laureate, Luis Rodriguez (2016). She published chapbooks Sad with Cinnamon, Mint Leaves, and Bent Grass (all in 2001), as well as Riddle in the Rain with Dorothy Skiles, a stack of poetry booklets for friends and family, and most recently a critically acclaimed poetry volume, Clocks and Water Drops (Moonrise Press, 2015). 

More information: 

Clocks and Water Drops
Poetry Collection by Marlene Hitt
Published in May 2015. 118 pages.  ISBN 978-0-9819693-5-0

This collection of poetry is the work of Marlene Hitt, the first Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, former Museum Director at the Bolton Hall Museum, organizer of readings, community events, editor and author. The book includes 73 poems divided into sections on: Children, Marriages, Portraits, Neighbors, Seasons, Small Things, Passages, and Farewells.  The title captures the poet's fascination with the flow of time, as relentless and powerful as drops of water that can shape rocks and move mountains. 

Clocks and Water Drops is a book of treasured gifts packed in memories and reflections as tasty as homemade bread, fanciful as a rose petal salad and healing as warm camphor oil on a child's skin. Marlene Hitts’ astute and thoughtful voice paints a world as gentle as lamb’s wool and precious as a girl’s first pony. Open this cedar chest of poems, don its knitted socks and prepare to chase the moon through love and time.  ~ Jack Cooper, Across My Silence.​


That old threadbare word – love
flows in a fabric patterned
with shades of crimson colors,
whispers of mauve and the yellow of dry sun.
Chopin wove love into the air,
Monet stroked it onto canvas.

That word so often patched
nearly falls apart, its meaning frayed –
until a newborn cries 
or a daughter becomes a bride,
until the lace of fifty years together
fully knits. Love unravels
until a friend perceives and cherishes,
until there is an ear ready to listen, 
a shoulder to cry on. Love is repaired
with the consecration of all the threads.

Then, there is delight in love’s stitching,
the worn word renewed
into the One Love.

Marlene Hitt, published in Clocks and Water Drops, 2015


Dr. William Lloyd Hitt: A Californian, born in 1932, graduate of Verdugo Hills High School, 1949; graduate of University of Southern California School of Pharmacy with a Pharm D degree, President of the School of Pharmacy;U.S. Sargent and recipient of the Purple Heart (Korean War);Pharmacist and manager of Hobers Pharmacy, Sunland, CA 1959-1995. For nine years he served as President of the Little Landers Historical Society that manages the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga.

He is President Emeritus and charter member of the Tuna Camp Coalition formed to investigate, memorialize and make public the story of the Japanese relocation camp in Tujunga which was formed to incarcerate Japanese during the three years of World War II, 1941-1943. Nancy Oda, President of Tuna Canyon Detention Camp Coalition stated about Dr. Hitt: “He told us that his motivation to make a difference came when he faced death during the Korean War and promised to make a difference if he survived. Indeed, his life has been one of service to his community as a pharmacist and activist.”

Dr. Hitt received many awards and honors for his tireless and dedicated community service, including the titles of the Grand Marshall in Sunland Tujunga’s Independence Day Parades. He belonged to poetry groups Chupa Rosa Writers and was a key member of the Village Poets, helping to organize monthly Village Poets Readings at the Bolton Hall Museum. More information about Dr. Hitt may be found on the Tuna Canyon Detention Camp Coalition site.

Maja Trochimczyk with Lloyd and Marlene Hitt, after the parade, 2017


The reading by Melissa Studdard was outstanding - June 23, 2019.  Here are some photos from this event. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Melissa Studdard Featured by Village Poets at Bolton Hall Museum on June 23, 2019

The next Village Poets Reading at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, CA (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042 ) will take place on Sunday, June 23, 2019, at 4:30 pm. Our featured poet comes from afar and has incredible credentials, so we are thrilled to feature MELISSA STUDDARD. In addition to the featured poet, we also welcome open mike poets, and poetry lovers. Refreshments will be served. The George Harris  hat is passed around to collect $3 voluntary donations for the upkeep of the wonderful space. Bolton Hall Museum is Los Angeles Historical Landmark No. 2, built in 1913, and maintained by Little Landers Historical Society, a local group commemorating the settlers of the area, each of whom got a little land, hence Little Landers. 


Melissa Studdard is the author of four books, including the poetry collection I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast and the young adult novel Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her short writings have appeared in a wide variety of journals, magazines, blogs, and anthologies, such as The New York Times, Poetry, Psychology Today, The Guardian, New Ohio Review, Harvard Review, Bettering American Poetry, and Poets & Writers. 

A short film of the title poem from I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast (by Dan Sickles of Moxie Pictures for Motionpoems) was an official selection for the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival and the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, as well as winner of the REEL Poetry Festival Audience Choice Award. Other poems have been made into car magnets, telepoem booth recordings, and Houston City Banners.

She is spending much of the summer as poet-in-residence at The Hermitage Artist Retreat in Manasota Key.

Poem 1, Originally published in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts

Inside the beige brick house, the beige rooms

and beige-shirted people sit beautiful as unbuttered
biscuits, their awful loveliness upon me. They want me

drier than wheat and so still no marbles can roll

from my head. I want summer flashing the yard
red with begonias. I want Ladder-backed Woodpeckers

knocking at the gables, and Crepe Myrtle blossoms

blown down like hot pink cotton in a storm.
I’m embarrassing like that. A walking faux pas no one

wants to be seen with at the mall. I know love like

the arms of a cactus. I know the scent of earth revealing
her secrets after a much-needed rain. I buried

everything they told me to bury. Then, I dug it up again.

Poem 2, Originally published by Tinderbox Poetry Journal

My Kind

My life’s burning.
That’s what I mean when they ask how I am and I say
Fine.Rope-dangling, kicking-the-chair-out-from-under-me
fine; flirting-with-blades fine; looking-for-Pallas-Athena-
in-my-pancake fine (why would she visit that twerp Telemachus
and not me?) In my spare time, I’m building a death out of sad songs and leftover,
microwavable food. I’m building a life out of
sad songs, good friends, and leftover microwavable food.
It occurs to me that I may be my own soul mate. That’s how I’ve ended up
in this body alone. But science says self is not so simple.
I’m a mosaic of viruses, bacteria, and, likely, other people.
All of us making decisions together. Group hug!
I am my own kind. I’ll learn to play piano. Like Hélène Grimaud,
I’ll see blue rising from the notes. I’ll see children swinging in a park by the ocean.
The music will evoke everything. A meaningful life.
All of this inside a drop of dew. I’ll be an amateur bird watcher, a volunteer
firefighter, a gourmet chef, a great humanitarian. I’ll plant a prize-winning garden,
grow a pot farm. My hair is on fire. I’m running
out of time. Maybe I’ll learn to paint. Get
a cat or a dog. Something sweet
that likes to cuddle and craps outside the house. Something
feral and one step from wild. Something that, when the moon jumps in the lake,
will jump in after, howling, in love with the lake,
in love with the moon, in love with itself and every other
disappearing thing.
My kind.


Photos by Kathabela Wilson and friends.