Maja Trochimczyk ("Ma-ya" "Tro-HIM-chick") with the Laureates' "laurel heart" and
a music box. Quotation from "Tiger Nights" published in The Epiphany Magazine and Rose Always. Portrait (C) 2010 by Ronna Leon, Used by Permission. August 2010, McGroarty Art Center.
It has been an honor, as well as fun, to have served as the Sixth Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga. My term
ended just as it started, with the Passing of the Laurels ceremony at McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga.
In the presence of guests, poets, officials, and friends, I placed a wreath of laurel leaves (actually
a local bush, similar to an olive), on the head of Dorothy Skiles, who has been selected to serve as the Seventh
Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga. My mission to seek happiness through poetry has not ended, though, and neither my various poetry-related projects, such as my
monthly column in our local paper, Voice of the Village, my participation in the Village Poets activities (planning the monthly
readings), and my contributions to Poets on Site. I received a new set of congratulatory messages from the offices
of County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, City Councilmembers Richard Alarcon and Paul Krekorian, and State Assembly Member Cameron Smyth. Below you will find a record of my activities during my term.
The motto for my two years as Poet Laureate was
"Poetry ... in pursuit of happiness"
My activities have
included public readings, appearances at civic ceremonies, participation in art festivals and
community events. I have also decided to publish an anthology with work by local poets. The anthology evolved into
a somewhat different project, an anthology of spiritual poetry, Meditations on Divine Names which will appear in March 2012. You may see the list of events below and selected photographs in a Picasa Photo Album.
On April 25, 2010, the Passing of the Laurels Ceremony was held at the
McGroarty Art Center, Tujunga, with Joe DeCenzo doing the honors on behalf of the Sunland-Tujunga
Poetry and Literature Committee. The event included presentations by Claire Knowles,
Director of McGroarty Art Center, Dorothy Skiles, President of Village Poets, Mary Benson from
Paul Krekorian's office, music performances and poetry readings by Joe DeCenzo, Elsa Frausto and myself.
I received Certificates of Congratulations from State Senators Bob Huff and George Runner, and Los Angeles
Councilman Paul Krekorian.
My reading included a poem I wrote especially for this occasion, What I love in Sunland.
You may download the poem in Word format here.
For more photographs from the event, see its Picasa Photo Album.
A photo report from my first year of service as a Poet Laureate is on Picasa Web Album. My Poets' Cafe Radio interview
with host Lois P. Jones was broadcast on March 30, 2011 and is archived on Tim Green's Site.
A set of poems inspired by Asian art is on Pacific Asia Museum's Audio Tour 2011, maintained
on Old Flutes Site by Kathabela Wilson. In September 2011, I recorded these poems for the
40th Anniversary Audio Tour of the Museum. Each poem is accompanied by Rick Wilson on an appropriate Asian flute.
To listen you may go to the Audio Tour 2011 on Old Flutes Site, or call the Museum: "A Box of Peaches" written on the Gau Prayer Box, 626-628-9690, 455#; "An Embroidery Lesson"
626-628-9690, 464#; and "Smiling Buddha" - 445#.
A recently created YouTube video channel for Moonrise Press features video excerpts from various poetry readings, including the "Passing of the Laurels" ceremony
and other events. You may see my readings of the following poems:
Ascension (A Memorial Poem) dedicated to Barbara Koziel-Gawronski (1946-2009), read at the Passing of the Laurels Ceremony, McGroarty Arts Center, Tujunga, California, April 25, 2010: http://youtu.be/9gB9Yj9acaM
Claremont Concert, read at the Passing of the Laurels Ceremony, McGroarty Arts Center, Tujunga, California, April 25, 2010, published in poeticdiversity.org vol. 8 no. 2 (August 2008): http://youtu.be/ceX1_IWZW4Q
Green Sea at Albian, (Cathedral), inspired by a painting by Milford Zornes of the same title, read at "Three Generations" Exhibition, APC Gallery Torrance, California, July 26, 2008: http://www.youtu.be/sCO7aSYXfgc
Illuminata, Pacific Asia Museum Audio Tour, with Rick Wilson, flute, recorded at Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, August 22, 2009, also posted on the museum's website and published in the "Poetry Audio Tour" chapbook, Poets on Site, Pasadena, 2009: http://youtu.be/mbiIMszaLwY
Illuminata, written for Pacific Asia Museum Audio Tour, version read at the Passing of the Laurels Ceremony, McGroarty Arts Center, Tujunga, California, April 25, 2010: http://youtu.be/Bst2kYh8ciM
'Look at me...' , inspired by Ella Fitzgerald's "Misty" and a Sunday drive to a Buddhist orchard. The first reading as Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, at Bolton Hall Museum, Tujunga, California, May 23, 2010: http://youtu.be/TJzzOId3KCY
A Magnolia Courtryard for Pacific Asia Museum Audio Tour, with Rick Wilson, flute, recorded at Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, August 22, 2009, also posted on the museumâ€™s website and published in the â€œPoetry Audio Tourâ€ chapbook, Poets on Site, Pasadena, 2009: http://youtu.be/1kOTn11xa1I
Mountain Watch, at the first reading as Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, introduced by Joe DeCenzo, at Bolton Hall Museum, Tujunga, California, May 23, 2010: http://www.youtu.be/MxlahG639pY
An Ode of the Lost, dedicated to Adam Mickiewicz and all Polish exiles. The first reading as Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, at Bolton Hall Museum, Tujunga, California, May 23, 2010: http://youtu.be/LWSOufEAk30
Of the Mountains, inspired by a painting by Bill Anderson, "Foothill Rancho Cucamonga, Cliff Road" and read at "Three Generations" Exhibition, APC Gallery Torrance, California, July 26, 2008: http://youtu.be/TL3oXxJC-Bg
Passing of the Laurels Ceremony for the Sixth Poet Laureate of Sunland Tujunga, with Joe DeCenzo, McGroarty Arts Center, Tujunga, California, April 25, 2010.
Includes reading of two short poems from "Miriam's Iris" ("Of the Mountains" and "Of Bliss"): temporarily unavailable
A Portrait in Brackets (Eidetic Reduction) at the first reading as Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, at Bolton Hall Museum, Tujunga, California, May 23, 2010: http://youtu.be/eFhVhOAxbxM
Point San Vincente, inspired by Milford Zornes's painting of the same title. "Three Generations" Exhibition, APC Gallery, Torrance, California, July 26, 2008: http://www.youtu.be/jLai-H7wf5A
Selected love poems from Rose Always - A Court Love Story, poems no. 12, 13, 20, 52. The first reading as Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, at Bolton Hall Museum, Tujunga, California, May 23, 2010: http://youtu.be/k5W-X6mEygM
A Study with Cherries, from the "Chopin with Cherries" anthology (Moonrise Press, 2010), read at Kathabela and Rick Wilsonsâ€™ poetry salon, Pasadena, August 8, 2009: http://www.youtu.be/ljaCVn9NZqI
Stravinsky's Venice, inspired by Bill Anderson"s painting Venice, Italy. "Three Generations" Exhibition, APC Gallery, Torrance, California, July 26, 2008: http://youtu.be/hh6SWgsX09c
What I love in Sunland, the first reading as Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, at Bolton Hall Museum, Tujunga, California, May 23, 2010: http://youtu.be/I1DFKCDZ83s
April 15, 2012
Passing of the Laurels Ceremony at McGroarty Arts Center, Reading with Kathabela Wilson, Justin Kibbe, Dorothy Skiles, Joe DeCenzo, and Marlene Hitt.
March 25, 2012
Village Poets Extravaganza, with Dorothy Skiles, Marlene Hitt, and Joe DeCenzo. Bolton Hall Museum Monthly Readings.
March 2, 2012
Read Across America - poetry in the classroom, Pacoima Charter Elementary School, fifth grade
February 18, 2012
"On Awakening" - group reading from an anthology of poetry inspired
by a series of Susan Dobay's paintings, Poets on Site event at the Scenic Drive Gallery, Monrovia
December 30, 2011
"Paris, Szymanowska and Water Lilies" at Kathabela and Rick Wilson's Salon, Pasadena; the first reading of poetry inspired by Ron Libbrecht's Paris paintings and by Monet's Water Lilies.
October 1, 2011
"Maria Szymanowska's Salon" - Paris, Polish Academy of Sciences, reading of "An Ode of the Lost," "How to Make a Mazurka," and "The Shooting Star," dedicated to Maria Szymanowska, at the international conference, Maria Szymanowska Colloque
September 24, 2011
"One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change" - Global Peace Event, participation with the Westside Women Writers in Tarzana.
September 21, 2011
"Recovery Month Poetry Reading" - Phoenix House Orange County, Santa Ana.
September 18, 2011
"Painted my Way" Exhibit from Annual Plein Air Henry Fukuhara Workshop at Manzanar Internment Camp, Poets on Site Book Publication event, APC Gallery, Torrance.
September 4, 2011
"Poets and Artists Exhibition at Scenic Drive Gallery in Monrovia, Opening and Reading (two artworks on display,
"The Water of Life" and "Tiger Nights."
August 19, 2011
Featured Poet at the Rapp Saloon, Santa Monica, CA.
August 13, 2011
Poetry at the Watermelon Festival, with Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga, Sunland Park, CA.
August 8, 2011
Featured Poet, Moonday West Poetry Reading, Pacific Palisades, CA.
August 6, 2011
Poets' Picnic, Benicia, CA - Reunion of Poets Laureate in California; with their poems distributed
in the community through Poem Homes installations.
"The Spiritual Quartet" at Village Poets Monthly Reading, Bolton Hall Museum, Tujunga, with Lois P. Jones and Susan Rogers.
March 8, 2011
"Imagine Poetry" with Dr. Blues (guitar), Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council Meeting.
March 4, 2011
"Read America" with Poetry reading to students at Pacoima Charter Elementary, Grade 5 and Grade 3.
January 8, 2011
"Images of Chopin's Death in Art and Poetry" - Paper and "Growing Up Polish, Becoming American" - Poetry Reading at the Annual
Meeting of the Polish American Historical Association, Boston, Mass.
November 13, 2010
"Chopin with Cherries IV" Reading at Loyola University, Chicago, IL, with Rick Wilson, flute, and 6 other poets: Georg Bodmer, Sharon Chmielarz,
Gretchen Fletcher, Katrin Talbot, and Kathabela Wilson. Conference Photo Album
October 17, 2010, 1 p.m.
"Healing from the Ashes" Exhbition Poetry Reading, with Village Poets, Sunland. Photos in Picasa Web Album.