Thursday, August 8, 2019

CSPS Newsbriefs 45:2 (Summer 2019)

The Spring 2019 has been very busy for California State Poetry Society and we are so much better for it. I’m delighted to announce the decision of the Board of Directors of the California State Poetry Society to award Honorary Membership in the Society to Suzanne Lummis, an eminent poet, teacher, writer, editor, and impresario. The decision was made unanimously during the CSPS Board meeting on May 18, 2019 in Yorba Linda. The presentation of the Honorary Membership Certificate and a Featured Poetry Reading by Ms. Lummis will take place on October 27, 2019 at 4:30 pm at Village Poets Monthly Reading at Bolton Hall Museum (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042).

Suzanne Lummis’ poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, Antioch Review, Ploughshares, New Ohio Review, Plume, The American Journal of Poetry and The New Yorker.  Her most recent collection, Open 24 Hours, won the Blue Poetry Prize and was published by Lynx House Press in 2014. Previous full-length collections include In Danger (Roundhouse Press/Heyday Books) and Idiosyncrasies (Illuminati).  She edited Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Poetry Series/Beyond Baroque Books), noted in The Los Angeles Times as one of The Ten Best Books of 2015. An influential teacher in Los Angeles, she leads private workshops and has taught for many years through the UCLA Extension Writers’ program where she evolved courses in poetic craft, the persona poem, and the poem noir.  She is 2018/19 COLA fellow, an award from the Cultural Affairs Department to outstanding mid-career artists and poets. More information is posted on our new blog:

The CSPS poetry submissions are in the process of moving to a new platform, on a trial basis for one year:  Please, do not forget to entitle your Word file that you will upload using the following format: poet’s last name, first name, number of poems, date submitted.   Also, please include the poet’s name, mailing address, and email address on each page of the submission. The CQ only accepts unpublished poetry and prefers shorter, one-page poems (a maximum of five poems submitted in a single document). These instructions are posted on site, but from my experience as a CQ editor, opening the first batch of 42 submissions to CQ 45:3 (up to five poems in each, i.e., over 200 poems to select from!), our talented and absent-minded poets do not read the guidelines! The CSPS Submittable site contains the basic submission instructions, but will soon include images, links and additional information. However, if you cannot use the computer to submit, please mail your printed poems with the required information on each page (name, address, email) to CSPS Editors, PO Box 4288, Sunland CA 91041-4288.

Huntington Lake, photo by Maja Trochimczyk

The poets who entered the 2019 Annual Contest will find out who wins in October 2019; the winning poems will be included in the CQ 45:4 this winter.  The Monthly Poetry Contests are administered now by Richard Modiano, Vice President for Communications.

The winning poems for March 2019 are: 
1. “Mojave” by Greg Gregory
2. “Blue, Blue Skies” by Jane Stuart
3. “Your Song” by Amanullah Khan.

The winning poems for April 2019 are: 
1. “Returning to the Ruins” by David Anderson
2. “Dark Days of the Rebellion” by Jerry Douglas Smith
3. “Haiku” by Lillian M. Fisher.

The winning poems for May 2019 are: 
1. “Italian Memories” by Jane Stuart
2. “Water Color Artist” by Kathleen Howd Machan
3. “My Jewels” by Lilian M. Fisher.

These poems will be posted on our website and included in the Poetry Letter by Margaret Saine.

Arizona State Poetry Society is seeking jurors for their Annual Poetry Contest (deadline in September) which is adjudicated by a committee, unlike ours that has one Judge (Lisa Rosenberg this year). If you want to volunteer to serve as an Annual Contest Judge in Arizona email

Big Tujunga Wash, Angeles National Forest, Photo by Maja Trochimczyk


We are mourning the loss of a wonderful poet and friend, a former editor of the California Quarterly, Russell Salamon who died recently in Florida.  A tribute by Lois P. Jones will be published in CQ 45:3 along with her selection of his unpublished poems.

The CQ 45:1 was so inspirational for the artist Marion Wong (whose work graced its cover) that she became a member of the CSPS! Welcome, Marion, and thank you ever so much for your wonderful art!

Nancy Dougherty, the editor of the current issue reports that her poem, "Inversion" will appear in the next West Marin Review, Volume 9.

Kath Abela  Wilson’s whimsical photos of found objects and poems inspired by them, entitled Figures of Humor and Strange Beauty was published in December 2018 by Glass Lyre Press of Chicago.

In 2019, Margaret Saine, CSPS Secretary/Historian, published her fourth book of German poems, Ein Lied Davon (Wiesenburg, Schweinfurt).  She published the German translation of Lebanese poet Anwar Salman’s collected poems (Wiesenburg Verlag, Schweinfurt, Germany, 2019), which she based on their English version by Nizar Sartawi (Inner Child Press, Waterford Works, New Jersey, 2018).  Subterranean Blue Press published Saine’s fifth book of poems in English, A Book of Travel (editor Rebecca Anne Banks, Montreal, Canada). Saine translated Khedija Gadhoum’s book of poems Bibénes—Doors from Spanish to English, for publication in the US. Gadhoum was born in Tunisia, but writes in Spanish, she is a Spanish professor at the University of Georgia, Athens, USA.

Saine also edited an anthology of twelve Italian poets, whom she translated into English for the Nepalese poetry journal Pratik, edited by poet Yuyutsu Sharma, currently a guest professor at Columbia University.  Our hard-working Secretary was also invited to the Festival Internacional de Poesía Los Confines 2019, at Gracia near San Pedro Sula, Honduras, from July 24-28.

My two haibun about trains, “Parallel Tracks” and “Home No More” have been accepted for The Train Anthology edited by Jacquie Pearce; “The Skylark’s Lesson” will appear in Lummox Poetry Anthology, vol. 8, edited by RD Armstrong. I have been invited to give a lecture on Polish émigré composers in America at a conference by the Institute of the Arts, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland, October 15-16, 2019. My new poems and poetry reflections are posted on my blog,

Send us your news – publications, conferences – etc. and let us know how you like submitting via the, and do not forget to follow the guidelines about titles and names on each page of each poem. You would not want to have your poem published with someone else listed as its author, right?  Please email your comments to me at

All the best wishes for a wonderful, peaceful and poetic summer! Happy writing!

Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D.
Acting President, California State Poetry Society

Home after the Fourth of July Parade, July 2019

Thursday, August 1, 2019

California Quarterly, 45:2, Summer 2019, Edited by Nancy Cavers Dougherty

The second issue of the California Quarterly vol. 45  in 2019 (Summer) was edited by poet Nancy Cavers Dougherty and is now being mailed to members and authors. The issue is free to members and authors of poems, who receive one free copy, while the Editor has five copies at his/her disposal for promotional purposes.


What I love about poetry is its variety of voice, of ideas, its sheer range of form, and ever-fresh use of language. The poems in this issue well display this! Here are poems about destiny, free will, nature, faith, longing, remembrances, and from as far away as Kosovo to home state California. Nature features in many of the poems. It is clear that nature involves us, humankind, as part of the equation. There is exuberance of Earth’s belly first cries spring in “Unlikely and Least” (Raphael Block), and the wonder of gardening in “The Art of Transformation” (Charlene Langfur). Solace is found in companionship “By the River” (Milly Brown). In “Faded,” Raleigh Scott Wood addresses what is lost by ceaseless building, soon the sycamores will have no sky. And Fred Yannantuono asks what’s ahead in “Unsure of What the Sea’s Insurgence Plans.”

Taking to the sky, the bird of “American Kestrel” (Joyce Snyder) reminds us of the utter/balance with the world/around him. John Forrest Harrell writes, The moon drips eerie, wistful loneliness in ”Karmic Strings.” I can’t help but relate to the beautiful sounds that Margaret Rooney evokes in “Cellist,” my thanks! In “Amelia Earhart,” Reza Ghahremanzadeh finds inspiration and hope.
Interesting word choices abound: milkened sky of “Out Park Presidio” (John Briscoe), shrug-hop of “Feeding Time in the Valley” (Arlene Downing-Yaconelli), leaf-hood of “Vine in Leaf” (Doreen Stock) and others to discover.

Thank you, talented poets, for your magnificent poems! And a heartfelt thanks to all our readers! I wish to especially thank poet and longtime California Quarterly President, Editor and Treasurer, John Forrest Harrell, for his many years of devoted service to this journal. We wish him well with more time for his writing and more years as our Treasurer.

Nancy Cavers Dougherty
Sebastopol, California
Editor of CQ Volume 45, Number 2


Unlikely and Least - Raphael Block 7
Moon Music - Mark J. Mitchell 8
Out Park Presidio - John Briscoe  9
Crepuscular - Reza Ghahremanzadeh 10
I’m Only Thinking... - David James 11
Instinctual - Amy Trussell 12
After Sorrows - Jackie Huss Hallerberg 13
All the Weight - Holly Day 14
Venice - Ken Autrey 15
Aftershock - Michael Cadnum 16
Unsure of What the Sea’s... - Fred Yannantuono 17
My Husband Is a Gypsy - Marcia B. Loughran 18
Vine in Leaf - Doreen Stock 19
Bear Lake, Idaho - Ana Manwaring 20
American Kestrel - Joyce Snyder 21
Afterwards - John Terenzi 22
Karmic Strings - John Forrest Harrell 23
Faded - Raleigh Scott Wood 23
We Were Speaking of Picasso - Doreen Stock 24
By the River - Milly Brown 25
Grand Canyon Treasure - John Forrest Harrell 26
Travel Time - C. Fausto Cabrera 27
Stealing Fire - Raphael Block 28
News - Andrew Vogel 29
Prayer Rug - Fahredin Shehu 29
Le Onde - Paolo Staglianò 30
The Waves - Margaret Saine (tr.)  31
Interlude - John Forrest Harrell 32
The Parade - Gregory Natt 33
Without Device - Margaret Rooney 34
The Dilemma of the Quercus - Ana Manwaring 35
Faith - Jackie Huss Hallerberg 36
Invisible Silence - Linda Ibbotson 37
Something Cold Hit the Window - Pamela Stone Singer 38
The Art of Transforming... - Charlene Langfur 39
Image of our Winterreise - Fahredin Shehu 40
Veteran’s Day, 2018 - Thomas A. West, Jr. 41
Scent - Laura Blatt 42
Votive - Andrew Vogel 43
Out of the Loop - Kate McNairy 44
Amelia Earhart - Reza Ghahremanzadeh 45
Folk Song - Mark J. Mitchell 45
How to Live - Marilyn Robertson 46
Television - Kate McNairy 47
The Player King and His Troupe...- Robert Cooperman 48
Free Will - d.p. houston 49
Beachcomber - Bray McDonald 50
Feeding Time in the Valley - Arlene Downing-Yaconelli 51
Cellist - Margaret Rooney 52
Sky Burial - Pamela Stone Singer 53
History - Gregory Natt 54
Momentary Sighting - Marcia B. Loughran 55
The Rain in Santa Clarita - Michael P. Montgomery 56
Common Prayer, Sutro Heights - John Briscoe 57
 Ramble in a Coastal Wood - Deborah Taylor-French 58

Cover Art: Lettuce Christine Walker



Nancy Cavers Dougherty recently joined the CSPS Editorial Board; she is the editor of the second issue of 2014. Originally from Massachusetts, her interest in the arts has led her to watercolors, ceramics, snow sculptures, and most recently poetry and collage. She is the author of three chapbooks; Tape Recorder On, Memory In Salt, Levee Town and a collaborative work, Silk. Her poetry has appeared in descant, Language and Culture, Compass Rose, Westview, Big Scream, The Pinch and other journals as well as several anthologies. She has served on the Sonoma County Poet Laureate Committee as the 5th District representative. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Sonoma State University and works as an advocate and supporter of several local organizations, with a focus on mental health and art therapy programs. Most recently, she has edited the fourth issue of the CQ for 2017 (Vol. 43, No. 4).