Thursday, November 14, 2019

Congratulations to CSPS's own, Suzanne Lummis and Richard Modiano

As President of California State Poetry Society, Maja Trochimczyk was delighted to present the Honorary Membership in the Society to the extra-ordinary poet Suzanne Lummis. The presentation took place at Bolton Hall Museum on October 27, 2019. The Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga hosted  the event that included also a featured reading by Ms. Lummis, a presentation of a Certificate of Appreciation by State Senator Anthony Portantino and one from Village Poets, an open mike reading by local poets, and a reception. 

Maja Trochimczyk, Senator Portantino, Suzanne Lummis

Sen. Portantino is a poet and a great friend of poetry; he came in person to our event because he owes a huge debt to Ms. Lummis, who encouraged him to read his own poetry at public literary events. We are all so grateful to Suzanne for all she does for poetry and for her insights and talent!     
Maja Trochimczyk, Senator Portantino, Suzanne Lummis

Suzanne Lummis

Village Poets with Ms. Lummis: Trochimczyk, Lummis, Skiles, Shea, DeCenzo, Hitt

Suzanne Lummis with her Peacock Feather Rose Bouquet, and Maja Trochimczyk

Suzanne Lummis with Maja Trochimczyk and Ed Rosenthal "Poet Broker" holding bronze peacocks. 

Standing L to R: Marlene Hitt, Cile Borman, Joe DeCenzo, Ed Rosenthal, Peter Larsen, Gene Schutz, 
Dr. Mira Mataric, Dr. Rick Wilson, Kathabela Wilson, Taura Scott. Seated L to R: Maja Trochimczyk, 
Pamela Shea, Suzanne Lummis, and Dorothy Skiles

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 (Lynx House Press, 2014). Previous full-length collections include In Danger (Roundhouse Press/Heyday Books) and Idiosyncrasies (Illuminati).  Suzanne 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. She also was principal editor of the anthology, Grand Passion: The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond. An influential teacher in Los Angeles, she leads private workshops and has taught for many years at  UCLA. 

Suzanne Lummis, Photo by Joe DeCenzo

The director of The Los Angeles Poetry Festival, she has been associated with the following poetry schools and poetic sensibilities: The Fresno School (students of Philip Levine); Stand-Up Poetry that aspires to combine the dynamism and bracing irreverence of performance poetry with the skill and attention to detail found in literary poetry (term by Charles Webb);  The Poem Noir (named by Lummis herself), with dark themes, atmosphere, and voice of cool detachment that are inspired by the low budget black-and-white crime movies of the 40s and 50s; and, last but not least, Los Angeles Poetry. 

In addition to the  certificates from Sen. Portantino and Village Poets, congratulations were offered to Ms. Lummis by CSPS members who attended the ceremony: Kathabela Wilson, Pamela Shea, and Ed Rosenthal.

Taura Scott, Kathabela Wilson, Rick Wilson perform at the event, sponsored in part by the Moonrise Press.


Maja Trochimczyk, Suzanne Lummis and Richard Modiano at 9th Annual Awards of Beyond Baroque

Congratulations to Richard Modiano, CSPS Vice President for Communications, for his Special Award from Beyond Baroque, for years of dedicated service as Executive Director of this amazing cultural institution. We are lucky to have Mr. Modiano join us at CSPS. At Beyond Baroque's 9th Annual Awards Dinner,  held on November 10, 2019 at Santa Monica Bay Women's Club, Richard Modiano was introduced by poet David St. John and read a poetic statement reminiscing about his years of work for Beyond Baroque as well as poems. 

Also honored were poet Harryette Mullen with the George Drury Smith Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry (introduced by Stephen Yenser; Diane Luby Lane - with the Distinguished Service Award, introduced by her first student Jazzmine Williams; and Johanna Drucker, recipient of the Alexandra Garrett Award for Service to Beyond Barque, introduced by Danny Snelson and Karen Kevorkian. In addition to dinner and drinks, attendees enjoyed rare performances by maestro David Amram, singer/songwriter/poet Vince Bell, and punk press impresario V. Vale.

Richard Modiano with Maja Trochimczyk