Monday, October 19, 2020

We Are Here: Village Poets Anthology on Zoom, October 25, 2020 at 4:30 pm


WE ARE HERE: VILLAGE POETS ANTHOLOGY

ZOOM READING FOR THE VILLAGE POETS MONTHLY READING

Topic: WE ARE HERE: VILLAGE POETS ANTHOLOGY

Time: Oct 25, 2020 04:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

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Meeting ID: 836 0438 0674    Passcode: 840571

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Meeting ID: 836 0438 0674                     Passcode: 840571

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HOW TO BUY THIS BOOK

The anthology is available to poets at a discounted price of $15 with mailing (please include your mailing address in the message) or $12 for in person pickup, from Maja Trochimczyk, publisher of Moonrise Press. Send your checks to Maja Trochimczyk, PO Box 4288 Sunland CA 91040 or use paypal, maja.trochimczyk@gmail.com. 

For all others, the books can be ordered online from the distributor, click on the ISBN number to go to the site and place your order: 

ISBN 978-1-945938-39-9 (paperback) , $22 plus $3.99 shipping and handling
ISBN 978-1-945938-40-5 (eBook, ePub), $10  


Maja Trochimczyk with Cile Borman

Edited by Marlene Hitt and Maja Trochimczyk, and entitled We Are Here: Village Poetry Anthology, this collection presents 80 poets featured during the monthly readings at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, CA as well as the group of current and former Poets Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga who organize the readings.  In addition to its home base at the Bolton Hall Museum, the Village Poets have also had occasional visits to the McGroarty Arts Center, the former home of the California Poet-Laureate in 1933-1944, John Steven McGroarty. His Poet-Laureate title inspired the local Poet-Laureate program, established in 1999. The anthology's editors are both former Poets-Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga: Marlene Hitt was the First, in 1999-2001 and Dr. Maja Trochimczyk served as the Sixth in 2010-2012 when the readings were initiated. 


ABOUT THIS BOOK

"The busy poetry circles of mountain communities cohabiting the threatened southern rim of our forests, has produced a series, celebrated in this gorgeous anthology which artfully embraces power of place. These are the precious words of lyrical poets from everywhere, who joined the Valley Poets inside the halls of the pioneer settlers of Tujunga, joining in a decades-long tribute to and embodiment of the democratic community practices of the founding ancestors, gathered within the walls of monumental Bolton Hall."

~ Ed Rosenthal, author of Salvation Canyon and The Desert Hat, survivor www.poetbroker.com 

"This anthology is a treasure and I'm honored to be part of it! Over the last ten years, the Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga, along with the faithful support of the Little Landers Historical Society and the McGroarty Arts Center, provided a place, not only for local poets to gather, but for poets from well beyond our town to come together as a community and enjoy conversation and share their work.  This anthology is a wonderful tribute to all who participated over the years."

~ Dorothy Skiles, Seventh Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga

"This is a lovely anthology, my fellow Americans! We are all Village Poets, in one way or another. And we are all Little Landers, also called “los terrenitos,” the utopian colony of collective agriculture established in and around Bolton Hall Museum in the early 20th century. Let us cultivate our poetic land!"

~ Margaret Saine, author of Lit Angels and Gardens of the World (Moonrise Press)  

MORE DETAILS

The volume includes work by: 15 Poets Laureate from California; 20 Pushcart Prize nominees – Accardi, Askew, Byrne, Canyon, Collins, Dobreer, Dove, Ford, Fancher, Luza,  Leland-St. John, O’Brien, Jones, Pero, Reyna, Rinne, Rogers, Rummel, Skiles, and Terzi; 12 current and former college professors – Campbell, Kirby, Dove, Lipkin, Lummis,  Peterson, Rummel, Rizk, Talwar, Trochimczyk, Saine, and Zaro; and eight poets with doctoral degrees – Dove, Lipkin, Mataric, Meyer (honorary), Peterson, Reyna, Saine, and Trochimczyk. Poets from the states of California, Illinois, New York, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington are represented along with those who have roots in 18 different countries: Argentina, Armenia, Chile, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, the U.K., the U.S. and Vietnam. 

 The colorful cover, designed by Maja Trochimczyk, features artwork by Polish American poet and painter, Andrew Kolo, who appeared at the readings to present both his art and his poetry. The painting, entitled “Landscape with the Palm Tree” (oil on canvas), is a mosaic of vivid, saturated colors, contrasting, yet somehow in harmony with each other. This is a great metaphor for a poetry reading filled with numerous, distinct poetic voices.  The book consists of two parts: Guests and Featured Poets, represented by 1-3 poems each; and Poets-Laureate, with 10 local poets, represented by 6-8 poems each. A list of Village Poets Readings, a brief history of the program, and biographies of the poets are included as well. The 290-page anthology is published in two versions, as a paperback and an e-book in ePub format.  moonrisepress.com/village-poets-anthology.html

Beverly M. Collins

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Preface – vii, Table of Contents - viii, Poetry in the Foothills – A Look Back - x, Listing of Featured Poets and Artists – xii. PART 1. Featured and Guest Poets  - 1: Lida Abramian - 3; Millicent Borges Accardi – 5; Sharon Alexander – 8; Eliécer Almaguer – 10; Christopher Askew – 12; Beth Baird – 14; Judy Barrat – 16; Cile Borman – 18; Madeleine Swift Butcher – 20; Elena Karina Byrne – 22; Don Kingfisher Campbell – 23; Ross Canton – 25; Gloriana Casey – 27; Jackie Chou – 29; Teresa Mei Chuc – 31; Jeanette Clough – 33; Beverly M. Collins – 35; Brendan Constantine – 37; Bill Cushing – 39; Marsha De La O – 41; Peggy Dobreer – 42; Linda Dove – 44; Alexis Rhone Fancher – 45; Mary Fitzpatrick – 47; Michael C. Ford – 49; Joyce Futa – 50; William Scott Galasso – 52; Jerry Garcia – 54; John Guzlowski – 55; Charles Harmon – 57; Lloyd Hitt – 59; Lois P. Jones – 62; Georgia Jones-Davis – 63; C.E. Jordan – 65; Mandy Kahn – 67; Mina Kirby – 69; Andrew Kolo – 72; Deborah P Kolodji – 74; Mariko Kitakubo – 76; Sharmagne Leland-St. John – 78; James Levin – 80; Wayne Allen LeVine – 81; Stephen Lindsteadt – 83; Elline Lipkin – 84; B.D. Love – 86; Rick Lupert – 87; Radomir Vojtech Luza – 89; Suzanne Lummis – 91; Shahe Mankerian – 96; Mirjana N. Radovanov Matarić – 97; Maria Elena Mahler – 99; Gabriel Meyer – 100; Naia – 102; Toti O’Brien – 104; Cece Peri – 106; A.R. Peterson – 108; Thelma T. Reyna – 110; Cindy Rinne – 112; Susan Rogers – 114; Sharon Rizk – 116; Ed Rosenthal – 118; Mary Kay Rummel – 120; Sonya Sabanac – 122; Margaret Saine – 124; Shaymaa – 126; Param Sharma – 128; Rick Smith – 130; Kathi Stafford – 131; Julia Stein – 133; Melissa Studdard – 134; Konrad Tademar Wilk – 136; Ambika Talwar - 138; Judith Terzi – 140; Bory Thach – 142; G. Murray Thomas – 144; Mary Torregrossa – 145; Yun Wang – 147; Mari Werner – 149; Kath Abela Wilson – 152; Mariano Zaro – 155. PART 2. Poets Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga - 157: John Steven McGroarty –159; Marlene Hitt – 161; Katerina Canyon – 170; Joe DeCenzo – 179; Damien Stednitz –188; Ursula T. Gibson – 197; Maja Trochimczyk – 204; Dorothy Skiles - 212; Elsa Samkow-Frausto – 219; Pamela Shea – 225; Alice Pero - 233.  Biographical Notes – 239.

MARLENE HITT was the first Poet Laureate of Sunland Tujunga (1999-2001). She has been a member of the Chupa Rosa Writers of Sunland-Tujunga and the Foothills since its inception in 1985. In addition to publishing numerous poetry chapbooks, she has authored a non-fiction book Sunland-Tujunga, from Village to City. Her poems appeared in Psychopoetica (UK), Chupa Rosa Diaries of the Chupa Rosa Writers, Sunland (2001-2003), Glendale College’s Eclipse anthologies, two Moonrise Press anthologies, Sometimes in the Open, a collection of verse by California Poets Laureate, and The Coiled Serpent, anthology of Los Angeles poets, edited by Luis Rodriguez (2016). She served at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga as Museum Director and docent for many years. Ms. Hitt was the history writer for the Foothill Leader, Glendale News Press, North Valley Reporter, and Voice of the Village newspapers. She has been honored as the Woman of Achievement by the Business and Professional Women's Club, and Woman of the Year by the U.S. Congress. Her critically-acclaimed poetry collection Clocks and Water Drops was published in 2015. In 2019, after retiring from active participation in Village Poets Readings, Marlene was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, shared with her husband, Lloyd.

DR. MAJA TROCHIMCZYK, the sixth Poet Laureate of Sunland Tujunga (2010-2012), is a poet, music historian, photographer, and non-profit director born in Poland and living in California (www.trochimczyk.net). She selects and invites poets to feature at the Village Poets series. She published seven books on music, five volumes of poetry, and three other anthologies (Chopin with Cherries, Meditations on Divine Names and Grateful Conversations). The venues for her poetry included: Altadena Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Epiphany Magazine, Lily Review, Ekphrasis Journal, Quill and Parchment, Magnapoets, The Cosmopolitan Review, The Scream Online, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology, Lummox Journal, Phantom Seed, Spectrum, Poezja Dzisiaj, OccuPoetry, Pisarze.pl, as well as anthologies by Poets on Site, Southern California Haiku Study Group, and others. Trochimczyk presented papers at over 90 national and international conferences in Poland, France, Germany, Hungary, U.K., Canada, and the U.S. She received awards and fellowships from ACLS, SSHRCC, USC, McGill University, MPE Fraternity, Polish American Historical Association, City and County of Los Angeles, and Poland’s Ministry of Culture. The Senior Director of Planning and Development at Phoenix Houses of California, she serves as the President of the California State Poetry Society and the President of Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club.

PHOTOS FROM FLINTRIDGE BOOKSTORE ZOOM READING

Maja Trochimczyk with Cile Borman


Katerina Canyon 

Cindy Rinne


Mari Werner


Susan Rogers, Gail Mishkin, Maja Trochimczyk and Ela Trybus

Katerina Canyon

Marlene Hitt

Maja Trochimczyk 

Ambika Talwar

Gail Mishkin

Dorothy Skiles

Mariko Kitakubo, she also took most photos from the reading

Deborah P Kolodji

Mariano Zaro

Suzanne Lummis

Elsa Samkow Frausto


Mary Torregrossa

Jackie Chou

Ed Rosenthal

Pamela Shea

Mari Werner

Joe DeCenzo

Beth Baird

The last guests to leave, with Joe DeCenzo's heart...




Thursday, October 1, 2020

We Are Here Anthology at Flintridge Bookstore Virtual Celebration, October 11, 2020 at 4:30pm

                     

FLINTRIDGE BOOKSTORE PRESENTS VIRTUAL CELEBRATION

OF 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF VILLAGE POETS READINGS

Sun., Oct. 11, 2020 4:30 PM

ZOOM Link: https://zoom.us/j/96258987514 

WE ARE HERE: VILLAGE POETS ANTHOLOGY

MAJA TROCHIMCZYK & MARLENE HITT, EDITORS

ISBN 978-1-945938-39-9 (paperback), $22

ISBN 978-1-945938-40-5 (eBook, ePub), $10

Edited by Marlene Hitt and Maja Trochimczyk, and entitled We Are Here: Village Poetry Anthology, this collection presents 80 poets featured during the monthly readings at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, CA as well as the group of current and former Poets Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga who organize the readings.  In addition to its home base at the Bolton Hall Museum, the Village Poets have also had occasional visits to the McGroarty Arts Center, the former home of the California Poet-Laureate in 1933-1944, John Steven McGroarty. His Poet-Laureate title inspired the local Poet-Laureate program, established in 1999. The anthology's editors are both former Poets-Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga: Marlene Hitt was the First, in 1999-2001 and Dr. Maja Trochimczyk served as the Sixth in 2010-2012 when the readings were initiated. 

The volume includes work by: 15 Poets Laureate from California; 20 Pushcart Prize nominees – Accardi, Askew, Byrne, Canyon, Collins, Dobreer, Dove, Ford, Fancher, Luza,  Leland-St. John, O’Brien, Jones, Pero, Reyna, Rinne, Rogers, Rummel, Skiles, and Terzi; 12 current and former college professors – Campbell, Kirby, Dove, Lipkin, Lummis,  Peterson, Rummel, Rizk, Talwar, Trochimczyk, Saine, and Zaro; and eight poets with doctoral degrees – Dove, Lipkin, Mataric, Meyer (honorary), Peterson, Reyna, Saine, and Trochimczyk. Poets from the states of California, Illinois, New York, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington are represented along with those who have roots in 18 different countries: Argentina, Armenia, Chile, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, the U.K., the U.S. and Vietnam. 

 The colorful cover, designed by Maja Trochimczyk, features artwork by Polish American poet and painter, Andrew Kolo, who appeared at the readings to present both his art and his poetry. The painting, entitled “Landscape with the Palm Tree” (oil on canvas), is a mosaic of vivid, saturated colors, contrasting, yet somehow in harmony with each other. This is a great metaphor for a poetry reading filled with numerous, distinct poetic voices.  The book consists of two parts: Guests and Featured Poets, represented by 1-3 poems each; and Poets-Laureate, with 10 local poets, represented by 6-8 poems each. A list of Village Poets Readings, a brief history of the program, and biographies of the poets are included as well. The 290-page anthology is published in two versions, as a paperback and an e-book in ePub format.  moonrisepress.com/village-poets-anthology.html



TABLE OF CONTENTS: Preface – vii, Table of Contents - viii, Poetry in the Foothills – A Look Back - x, Listing of Featured Poets and Artists – xii. PART 1. Featured and Guest Poets  - 1: Lida Abramian - 3; Millicent Borges Accardi – 5; Sharon Alexander – 8; Eliécer Almaguer – 10; Christopher Askew – 12; Beth Baird – 14; Judy Barrat – 16; Cile Borman – 18; Madeleine Swift Butcher – 20; Elena Karina Byrne – 22; Don Kingfisher Campbell – 23; Ross Canton – 25; Gloriana Casey – 27; Jackie Chou – 29; Teresa Mei Chuc – 31; Jeanette Clough – 33; Beverly M. Collins – 35; Brendan Constantine – 37; Bill Cushing – 39; Marsha De La O – 41; Peggy Dobreer – 42; Linda Dove – 44; Alexis Rhone Fancher – 45; Mary Fitzpatrick – 47; Michael C. Ford – 49; Joyce Futa – 50; William Scott Galasso – 52; Jerry Garcia – 54; John Guzlowski – 55; Charles Harmon – 57; Lloyd Hitt – 59; Lois P. Jones – 62; Georgia Jones-Davis – 63; C.E. Jordan – 65; Mandy Kahn – 67; Mina Kirby – 69; Andrew Kolo – 72; Deborah P Kolodji – 74; Mariko Kitakubo – 76; Sharmagne Leland-St. John – 78; James Levin – 80; Wayne Allen LeVine – 81; Stephen Lindsteadt – 83; Elline Lipkin – 84; B.D. Love – 86; Rick Lupert – 87; Radomir Vojtech Luza – 89; Suzanne Lummis – 91; Shahe Mankerian – 96; Mirjana N. Radovanov Matarić – 97; Maria Elena Mahler – 99; Gabriel Meyer – 100; Naia – 102; Toti O’Brien – 104; Cece Peri – 106; A.R. Peterson – 108; Thelma T. Reyna – 110; Cindy Rinne – 112; Susan Rogers – 114; Sharon Rizk – 116; Ed Rosenthal – 118; Mary Kay Rummel – 120; Sonya Sabanac – 122; Margaret Saine – 124; Shaymaa – 126; Param Sharma – 128; Rick Smith – 130; Kathi Stafford – 131; Julia Stein – 133; Melissa Studdard – 134; Konrad Tademar Wilk – 136; Ambika Talwar - 138; Judith Terzi – 140; Bory Thach – 142; G. Murray Thomas – 144; Mary Torregrossa – 145; Yun Wang – 147; Mari Werner – 149; Kath Abela Wilson – 152; Mariano Zaro – 155. PART 2. Poets Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga - 157: John Steven McGroarty –159; Marlene Hitt – 161; Katerina Canyon – 170; Joe DeCenzo – 179; Damien Stednitz –188; Ursula T. Gibson – 197; Maja Trochimczyk – 204; Dorothy Skiles - 212; Elsa Samkow-Frausto – 219; Pamela Shea – 225; Alice Pero - 233.  Biographical Notes – 239.

MARLENE HITT was the first Poet Laureate of Sunland Tujunga (1999-2001). She has been a member of the Chupa Rosa Writers of Sunland-Tujunga and the Foothills since its inception in 1985. In addition to publishing numerous poetry chapbooks, she has authored a non-fiction book Sunland-Tujunga, from Village to City. Her poems appeared in Psychopoetica (UK), Chupa Rosa Diaries of the Chupa Rosa Writers, Sunland (2001-2003), Glendale College’s Eclipse anthologies, two Moonrise Press anthologies, Sometimes in the Open, a collection of verse by California Poets Laureate, and The Coiled Serpent, anthology of Los Angeles poets, edited by Luis Rodriguez (2016). She served at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga as Museum Director and docent for many years. Ms. Hitt was the history writer for the Foothill Leader, Glendale News Press, North Valley Reporter, and Voice of the Village newspapers. She has been honored as the Woman of Achievement by the Business and Professional Women's Club, and Woman of the Year by the U.S. Congress. Her critically-acclaimed poetry collection Clocks and Water Drops was published in 2015. In 2019, after retiring from active participation in Village Poets Readings, Marlene was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, shared with her husband, Lloyd.


DR. MAJA TROCHIMCZYK, the sixth Poet Laureate of Sunland Tujunga (2010-2012), is a poet, music historian, photographer, and non-profit director born in Poland and living in California (www.trochimczyk.net). She selects and invites poets to feature at the Village Poets series. She published seven books on music, five volumes of poetry, and three other anthologies (Chopin with Cherries, Meditations on Divine Names and Grateful Conversations). The venues for her poetry included: Altadena Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Epiphany Magazine, Lily Review, Ekphrasis Journal, Quill and Parchment, Magnapoets, The Cosmopolitan Review, The Scream Online, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology, Lummox Journal, Phantom Seed, Spectrum, Poezja Dzisiaj, OccuPoetry, Pisarze.pl, as well as anthologies by Poets on Site, Southern California Haiku Study Group, and others. Trochimczyk presented papers at over 90 national and international conferences in Poland, France, Germany, Hungary, U.K., Canada, and the U.S. She received awards and fellowships from ACLS, SSHRCC, USC, McGill University, MPE Fraternity, Polish American Historical Association, City and County of Los Angeles, and Poland’s Ministry of Culture. The Senior Director of Planning and Development at Phoenix Houses of California, she serves as the President of the California State Poetry Society and the President of Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club.



 



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Featured Poets Alexis Rhone Fancher and Regina Higgins - Village Poets Zoom, September 27, 2020 at 4:30 pm

            

                                                                 Photo by W.A. LeVine

On Sunday, September 27, 2020, at 4:30 pm. Village Poets will meet on Zoom instead of the Bolton Hall Museum (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042). The invitation is below.  We will feature two amazing artists: poet and photographer Alexis Rhone Fancher. The reading will include open mike segments.  

INVITATION TO VILLAGE POETS ON ZOOM
Topic: Village Poets Present A.R. Fancher 
Time: Sep 27, 2020 04:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 572 105 5171   Passcode: 3Q43Uq

One tap mobile +16699006833,,5721055171#,,,,,,0#,,579752# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,5721055171#,,,,,,0#,,579752# US (Houston)

Dial by your location
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)         +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)         +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)         +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 572 105 5171  Passcode: 579752
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kpKwpQWSD



Alexis Rhone Fancher

Poet/photographer Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Rattle, Hobart, Verse Daily, The New York Times, Petrichor, The MacGuffin, Plume, Tinderbox, Diode, Nashville Review, Wide Awake, Poets of Los Angeles, Pirene’s Fountain, Cleaver, Glass, Rust + Moth, Duende, The American Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. Her books include: How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen & other heart stab poems (Sybaritic Press, 2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), Enter Here, (2017), and The Dead Kid Poems, (2019), all published by KYSO Flash Press. In 2018 Moon Tide Press published Junkie Wife, an autobiographical chapbook chronicling Alexis’s first, disastrous marriage.

She’s been published in over 60 anthologies, including the best-selling Nasty Women Poets (Lost Horse Press, 2017), Terrapin Books’ A Constellation of Kisses, (2019),and Antologia di poesia femminile americana contemporanea, (Edizioni Ensemble, Italia, 2018). Her photographs have been published worldwide, including the covers of Witness, Nerve Cowboy, Chiron Review, Heyday, and Pithead Chapel, and a spread in River Styx. A multiple Pushcart Prize, Best Short Fiction, and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis has been poetry editor of Cultural Weekly since late 2012. She and her husband live 20 miles outside of downtown L.A., in a small beach community overlooking the Pacific.They have an extraordinary view.

A.R. Fancher Self-Portrait

Overdose

No, he did not look natural in his coffin.
He is not in a better place.
Don’t compare your pain to mine. Your dog
getting hit by a truck is not the same.
You really don’t know how I feel.
Don’t say you’re devastated.
Does it always have to be about you?
Don’t ask me about Fentanyl.
Don’t tell me not to dwell.
Don’t minimize my loss.
My boy is not better off dead.
For once, let’s say it like it is:
He did not pass away.
He died.
There is no plan.
Don’t say he is at peace.
Silence is good. A hug.
Tell me you have no words.
Or tell me stories of that summer
he rode the bulls in Ogden,
all that life tightly in his grip.


for K.S-B.

Honorable Mention, Beyond Baroque Poetry Contest, 2019, Judged by Diane Seuss


Photo by A.R. Fancher

CRUEL CHOICES

When my husband’s two grown daughters are in town, the three of them go to the movies, or play pool. Share dinner every night. Stay out late. I haven’t seen my stepdaughters since my son’s funeral in 2007. When people ask, I say nice things about the girls, as if we had a relationship. When people ask if I have children I change the subject. Or I lie, and say no. Or sometimes I put them on the spot and tell them yes, but he died. They look aghast and want to know what happened.Then I have to tell them about the cancer. Sometimes, when the older daughter, his favorite, is in town, and she and my husband are out together night after night, I wonder what it would be like if that was me, and my boy, if life was fair, and, rather than my husband having two children and I, none, we each had one living child. His choice which one to keep. Lately when people ask, I want to lie and say yes, my son is a basketball coach; he married a beautiful Iranian model with kind eyes, and they live in London with their twin girls who visit every summer; the same twins his girlfriend aborted with my blessing when my son was eighteen, deemed too young for fatherhood, and everyone said there would be all the time in the world.

First published in ASKEW, 2016, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize, 2017. Winner, Pangolin Review Poetry Contest, and nominated again for the Pushcart Prize in 2018 by Pangolin Review.


Photo by A.R. Fancher


REGINA HIGGINS


Regina Higgins lives in West Covina, grew up in Los Angeles, and carries Southern roots from the city of Memphis. She expresses herself creatively through poetry, art  and jewelry making. She began writing seriously at The World Stage Anansi Writer’s  Workshop in Leimert Park, in 2001, where the community of writers encouraged her  in truth-telling and witness. Regina’s poems have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Voices from Leimert Park: Redux. She has collaborated in the creation of  several jazz and spoken word CDs. She has published two chapbooks, and has featured through the Southern California venues. Her performative, passionate poetry style is full of love, humor and everyday life issues, expressed in a voice unique to her lived  experience.





MAGNOLIA

Summertime and the living is easy 
Fish are jumping and the cotton is high
Yo daddy's rich and yo Ma is good looking
So hush little baby, don't you cry

She could tell he wasn't from around here 
As she sashayed across the floor
Demanding attention
Her demographics read like honky tonk 
Lids at half mast, too sheer dress 
Slinky backside, thick lips

She was double-butt situated 
He was just another lonely soldier 
From somewhere between Georgia 
And a dog day afternoon 
Clueless as to why she was shoeless 
Her feet caked with red clay

He asked her to be his private dancer
As the music began, she moved her hips
Swaying to another tune
Only she could hear
Her voice all over him
A southern drawl dripped from her lips
Like fatback in a pot of mustard greens

She said her name was Magnolia
But she was more Venus Fly Trap
Read him like pulp in her fiction
He didn't have to read between the lines
By the end of the night he was hooked 
All for the price of a taxi-dance ticket

Regina Higgins


Since the poem starts with a quote from "Summertime" - a lullaby by George Gershwin from his opera "Porgy and Bess" here's its version by Ella Fitzgerald, recorded in 1968:






During the Reading we will also celebrate the publication of the Village Poets Anthology





Thursday, September 3, 2020

Featured Poets Alexis Rhone Fancher and Regina Higgins - Village Poets Zoom, September 27, 2020 at 4:30pm

                   

                                                                 Photo by W.A. LeVine

On Sunday, September 27, 2020, at 4:30 pm. Village Poets will meet on Zoom instead of the Bolton Hall Museum (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042). The invitation is below.  We will feature two amazing artists: poet and photographer Alexis Rhone Fancher. The reading will include open mike segments.  

INVITATION TO VILLAGE POETS ON ZOOM
Topic: Village Poets Present A.R. Fancher 
Time: Sep 27, 2020 04:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 572 105 5171   Passcode: 3Q43Uq

One tap mobile +16699006833,,5721055171#,,,,,,0#,,579752# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,5721055171#,,,,,,0#,,579752# US (Houston)

Dial by your location
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)         +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)         +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)         +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 572 105 5171  Passcode: 579752
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Alexis Rhone Fancher

Poet/photographer Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Rattle, Hobart, Verse Daily, The New York Times, Petrichor, The MacGuffin, Plume, Tinderbox, Diode, Nashville Review, Wide Awake, Poets of Los Angeles, Pirene’s Fountain, Cleaver, Glass, Rust + Moth, Duende, The American Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. Her books include: How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen & other heart stab poems (Sybaritic Press, 2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), Enter Here, (2017), and The Dead Kid Poems, (2019), all published by KYSO Flash Press. In 2018 Moon Tide Press published Junkie Wife, an autobiographical chapbook chronicling Alexis’s first, disastrous marriage.

She’s been published in over 60 anthologies, including the best-selling Nasty Women Poets (Lost Horse Press, 2017), Terrapin Books’ A Constellation of Kisses, (2019),and Antologia di poesia femminile americana contemporanea, (Edizioni Ensemble, Italia, 2018). Her photographs have been published worldwide, including the covers of Witness, Nerve Cowboy, Chiron Review, Heyday, and Pithead Chapel, and a spread in River Styx. A multiple Pushcart Prize, Best Short Fiction, and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis has been poetry editor of Cultural Weekly since late 2012. She and her husband live 20 miles outside of downtown L.A., in a small beach community overlooking the Pacific.They have an extraordinary view.

A.R. Fancher Self-Portrait

Overdose

No, he did not look natural in his coffin.
He is not in a better place.
Don’t compare your pain to mine. Your dog
getting hit by a truck is not the same.
You really don’t know how I feel.
Don’t say you’re devastated.
Does it always have to be about you?
Don’t ask me about Fentanyl.
Don’t tell me not to dwell.
Don’t minimize my loss.
My boy is not better off dead.
For once, let’s say it like it is:
He did not pass away.
He died.
There is no plan.
Don’t say he is at peace.
Silence is good. A hug.
Tell me you have no words.
Or tell me stories of that summer
he rode the bulls in Ogden,
all that life tightly in his grip.


for K.S-B.

Honorable Mention, Beyond Baroque Poetry Contest, 2019, Judged by Diane Seuss


Photo by A.R. Fancher

CRUEL CHOICES

When my husband’s two grown daughters are in town, the three of them go to the movies, or play pool. Share dinner every night. Stay out late. I haven’t seen my stepdaughters since my son’s funeral in 2007. When people ask, I say nice things about the girls, as if we had a relationship. When people ask if I have children I change the subject. Or I lie, and say no. Or sometimes I put them on the spot and tell them yes, but he died. They look aghast and want to know what happened.Then I have to tell them about the cancer. Sometimes, when the older daughter, his favorite, is in town, and she and my husband are out together night after night, I wonder what it would be like if that was me, and my boy, if life was fair, and, rather than my husband having two children and I, none, we each had one living child. His choice which one to keep. Lately when people ask, I want to lie and say yes, my son is a basketball coach; he married a beautiful Iranian model with kind eyes, and they live in London with their twin girls who visit every summer; the same twins his girlfriend aborted with my blessing when my son was eighteen, deemed too young for fatherhood, and everyone said there would be all the time in the world.

First published in ASKEW, 2016, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize, 2017. Winner, Pangolin Review Poetry Contest, and nominated again for the Pushcart Prize in 2018 by Pangolin Review.


Photo by A.R. Fancher


REGINA HIGGINS


Regina Higgins lives in West Covina, grew up in Los Angeles, and carries Southern roots from the city of Memphis. She expresses herself creatively through poetry, art  and jewelry making. She began writing seriously at The World Stage Anansi Writer’s  Workshop in Leimert Park, in 2001, where the community of writers encouraged her  in truth-telling and witness. Regina’s poems have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Voices from Leimert Park: Redux. She has collaborated in the creation of  several jazz and spoken word CDs. She has published two chapbooks, and has featured through the Southern California venues. Her performative, passionate poetry style is full of love, humor and everyday life issues, expressed in a voice unique to her lived  experience.





MAGNOLIA

Summertime and the living is easy 
Fish are jumping and the cotton is high
Yo daddy's rich and yo Ma is good looking
So hush little baby, don't you cry

She could tell he wasn't from around here 
As she sashayed across the floor
Demanding attention
Her demographics read like honky tonk 
Lids at half mast, too sheer dress 
Slinky backside, thick lips

She was double-butt situated 
He was just another lonely soldier 
From somewhere between Georgia 
And a dog day afternoon 
Clueless as to why she was shoeless 
Her feet caked with red clay

He asked her to be his private dancer
As the music began, she moved her hips
Swaying to another tune
Only she could hear
Her voice all over him
A southern drawl dripped from her lips
Like fatback in a pot of mustard greens

She said her name was Magnolia
But she was more Venus Fly Trap
Read him like pulp in her fiction
He didn't have to read between the lines
By the end of the night he was hooked 
All for the price of a taxi-dance ticket

Regina Higgins


Since the poem starts with a quote from "Summertime" - a lullaby by George Gershwin from his opera "Porgy and Bess" here's its version by Ella Fitzgerald, recorded in 1968:






During the Reading we will also celebrate the publication of the Village Poets Anthology