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. 

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