Sunday, October 24, 2021

Village Poets Present Katerina Canyon, Sunday, November 28, 2021, 4:30 pm on Zoom

Link to Video from the  reading

Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga will feature Katerina Canyon on Sunday, November 28, 2021 at 4:30 pm on Zoom.   To obtain links to Zoom meeting email or


Katerina Canyon was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.  She is a 2020 and 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee. She served as the second Sunland-Tujunga California Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2004. Her work has been published in publications such as Meniscus, New York Times, and Huffington Post United States and Germany. She has been a featured poet in multiple venues across the country, including Beyond Baroque, Nuyorican, The Bowery Poetry Club and Chance Operations.  She teaches poetry workshops to children and at universities. Her latest book, Surviving Home, was a Heartland Review finalist. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington, where she can often be found writing poetry near Pier 55. 

Link to book:

Pumpkins, Photo by Maja Trochimczyk


“Katerina Canyon’s poems offer intimate accounts of home as the locus of danger—and homeland as a state of oppression. They are at once urgent and mysterious, full of ocean depths and surging currents. Far from nostalgia, home inspires in this poet a vigilance, keeping watch on herself and others. Her very language is charged with the alert intelligence that offers a means of survival, and metaphors that transform pain into poetry.”

~ Devin Johnston, author of Mosses and Lichens

Katerina Canyon’s poems dive into history unafraid to explore the complexity of home and family and acknowledge: the sea is filled with bones. This powerful, engaging collection where we see the billowing skirt of sunset asks again and again: How do get past our pasts?  Smart, poignant, compassionate, Canyon’s poems remind us that strength happens despite one’s childhood and one’s country; they exclaim, We can choose whether we are stuck / In darkness or in light.

~ Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Dialogues with Rising Tides

In lush language and startling images, Katerina Canyon unveils a story “in blood and bone” of a speaker who survives domestic cycles of addiction and abuse, terrors “handed down from the plantation” through generations of her kin… Like the Phoenix, the speaker dares to draw near destruction to name our violent histories in order to claim a survivor’s eternal understanding of how to love, how to mother, and how to teach the world that “We cannot be bound. We are free. We are infinite.”

~ Katy Didden, author of The Glacier's Wake

Chrysanthemum, photo by Maja Trochimczyk

Aunt May

She cries at the stereo as if

it could take her to heaven on the

notes of Z.Z. Hill’s Down Home

Blues, every other record or two.

Uncle L. Joe, that no good

son of a bitch held her heart in a vice.

Then he died, relegating him to the

beloved angel he never was, fleeing into

mangled clouds, on shredded wings, made of

brambles, as if Texas soil were fertile. Hill’s

throat pulls notes — his voice trickling crude into

Aunt May’s Los Angeles living room.

Z.Z. Hill is redemption coated in Texas blood.

L. and Z.Z. are one. Their crooning calls

to her before the song ends, and she restarts.

Their voices harmonize mercurial,

chaotic as oil gushers

spilling into the fields of Canaan. In

The Promised Land, there are no negro

spirituals, no blues

no white man’s hand smiting the black man’s face,

but there is always a burden for the black woman.

She knows this song well, and she plays it again.

Down Home Blues

Down Home Blues

Every other record or two

(c) by Katerina Canyon

Camelias in Descanso Gardens
Photos by Maja Trochimczyk

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Village Poets Present Frank Iosue of Arizona and "The Arcane Reveries" on October 24, 2021 at 4:30pm on Zoom

Tarot cards from My Modern Met.

On Sunday, October 24, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. Village Poets invite poets and poetry lovers to the Monthly Poetry Reading on Zoom, featuring Arizona Poet Frank Iosue and his multi-media presentation of a cycle of poems inspired by Major Arcana of Tarot, entitled "The Arcane Reveries."  Open mic segments for poets in attendance will be available. One or two poems per person, depending on the number of attendees.  Contact DMHSkiles at or Maja at for Zoom invitation. 


Frank Iosue is a poet and a member of the Arizona State Poetry Society and The Tucson Poetry Society. In April 2021, it was his pleasure and privilege to be a judge for the National Federation Of State Poetry Society's Annual Contest, judging over 150 submissions for The Poetry Society of Texas Award. He holds a B.A. in English from California State University, Los Angeles, and an MFA in Creative Writing / Poetry from The University of Iowa / Writer's Workshop. 

Iosue is the author of 11 chapbooks of poetry, and a volume of Collected Poems: The Au Revoir Of An Enormous Us, published in 2017. He has conducted a number of writing workshops, and has been a featured reader at venues around Southern Arizona for over 20 years. 

The reading will feature fragments of a video he has posted on YouTube based on one of his 11 chapbooks, entitled "The Arcane Reveries," Poetic Sketches and Meditations on the Major Arcana of the Tarot. The video is a multi-media presentation, all self-produced, of Frank Iosue reading the poetry volume, with accompanying imagery and text.  

Iosue writes: "I had considered the idea for the video for a long time, and worked on it, little by little, over the past few months, as I took care of my dying mother...It is a labor of love, joy and gratitude...I'm very proud of it....If you do, kindly, take the time to see it, it is my sincere hope that you will enjoy it, and be entertained and touched, in some unique and special way, by it... Also, part of the reason I made this video is to, hopefully, inspire other poets and creators to imagine new possibilities of how to present their poetry, or other literary pursuits, to the revisiting perceptions about conventional outlets available to share their work, and imagining new creative possibilities of presentation, outreach and marketing.....This video was produced by me, alone, and at no financial cost to me."


Iosue writes: "A poem is an arena of apprehensions and associations; a "psychic ecosystem" unto itself, bounded, artificed and amplified through craft and language. Experience, emotion, imagination, intellect and artistry -- in a unique, uneasy marriage between what's thought and what's felt -- cohabitate on the page, expressly for the end of approximating (and, hopefully, achieving) the most resonant and illimitable expression of a poetic "reality." In my poems, I seek to create experiences that destabilize and scavenge ordinary perception, and transform the "apparent" into epiphanies of revelation and realization.  This collection contains the inventory of my life's poetic journey. The joys, sorrows, memories, and reveries; the people and places, the histories, and the voyages of imagination that populate these pages, form my testament to a world, whose presences, and absences, have accompanied me, and formed the fragile scaffolding for the little empire of my existence -- an intensely-felt world of a self, of an I, intimately environed and occupied by a brilliant otherness of those, and them, and it and you . . . An Enormous Us!"



Litany For An Enlightened Dejection

Though you have digested all your deepest secrets,
and the stars have feigned
regalia for your anonymity.

Though each elation has emancipated yet another 
metaphor, and everything's the matter.

Though you have shed the fewest possible tears 
and have been always grateful, silently,
that others suffered more
than you might have or ought.

Though someone whispered, more than once,
what must be done, and you did 
exactly as he pleases.

Though your mother may have loved you best
but could not love you better.

Though you heard so many church bells ring, 
but discovered the path 
of prayer went only everywhere
your blood was running.

Though the boats of summer kept on undulating
effortlessly underneath you when
they could just as easily have sunk.

Though the next step you took led in some 
intoxicating new direction eerily 
similar to the last.

Though every day you ate as if you wanted to, 
but found that you grew 
hungry out of habit.

Though the dream has yet to arrive
that will not save you.

Though you have admirably, and without fanfare,
conquered every piece of space
you have ever occupied, 
and are to be
congratulated on the triumph 
that has been your existence.
When you walk into the earth and finally drown,
your loneliness will free you 
from your prosperity.  

Frank Iosue

Published in  November 2019 issue of Poetry Pacific Online Journal

Arizona desert outside of Tucson, photo by Maja Trochimczyk


     An Allegiance of Intellects

         Frankenstein's monster

There are these 
walls of air
I wish through

to all you 
unknown others.

I've walked 
from death

into the future, 
out of the flames,

a cross-stitched,

no further

and almost

I have reached 
the dead end
of all my
inward arrivals.
I've learned 
nothing more
than that 
a child 
will not 

float like a flower.

I am a mirror
in the stillness.

  as a cloud.
As cold and alien  
as an Alp.                  

I don't 
want to bear
my load 
of breath 

I must try 
to reach you,
a moment
is not 

Can I touch
the hem
of all
your thinking?
Feed me

Teach me
to inhabit
a room!
I want 
to live!

I want
to live

your mind.

                                                                                         Frank Iosue

The Rim of the Valley trail in Big Tujunga Wash, California

Arizona and California desert photos by Maja  Trochimczyk