Wednesday, January 8, 2020

President's Newsbriefs 45:4, Winter 2019

The Newsbriefs No. 45:4 appeared in the California Quarterly vol. 45 No. 4, edited by Pearl Karrer and printed at the end of December 2019. Here is a reprint of this informational post for your convenience.


Trochimczyk, State Senator Anthony Portantino and Suzanne Lummis

As President of California State Poetry Society, I 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, presentation of a Certificate of Appreciation by State Senator Anthony Portantino, an open mike reading by local poets, and a reception. 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!

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 (Round-house 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. 

  Ed Rosenthal, Suzanne Lummis and Trochimczyk with Rose and Peacock Bouquet, plus peacocks

 An influential teacher in Los Angeles, she leads private workshops and has taught for many years at UCLA. The director of The Los Angeles Poetry Festival, she has been associated with the following 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 various certificates, congratulations were offered to Ms. Lummis by CSPS members who attended the ceremony: Kathabela Wilson, Pamela Shea, and Ed Rosenthal.


Trochimczyk, Lummis, Modiano at Beyond Baroque Gala

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. During the 9th Annual Awards Dinner, held on November 10, 2019, awards were also presented to outstanding poets: Harryette Mullen, Diane Luby Lane, and Johanna Drucker.

While Havana prepared to celebrate the 500th anniversary of its founding, Maura Harvey made her third visit to the vibrant city. Once again, she spread the word about CSPS among poets and artists. Cuba supports the arts at a level unknown to us Americans. Poetry and literature in general, music, dance, and all visual arts are a part of daily life. Maura has been invited to participate in the International Poetry Festival of Havana.

Ed Rosenthal, whose “Coyote” appears in CQ 45:3, has published his memoirs inspired by his experience of being lost in the Mojave Desert and miraculously found after a 6-day ordeal. He previously published a book of poems based on this experience, The Desert Hat (Moonrise Press, 2013) named after the poet’s canvas hat on which he wrote farewell messages to his wife and daughter.

Photo by Maja Trochimczyk

In this winter of 2019, we are celebrating holidays and the start of the New Year. It is a new start for CSPS as well: the votes have been counted, and poets voted to approve the slate of Officers for the next two years: Maja Trochimczyk (President), Richard Modiano (VP, Communications), Richard Deets (VP, Membership), John F. Harrell (Treasurer), Margaret Saine (Secretary/Historian).

Photo by Margaret Saine


We remind all members about the payment of dues. Annual renewal of memberships in the CSPS takes place each year in December for the following year. Membership runs January 1st to December 31st. If you join mid-year and we have them, you will receive the prior issues of CQ for the year.

You may renew membership through the website ( or by mail. If you have registered and signed in onto the website, you can see boxes at the right for paying for or renewing your membership. If you can't see any boxes, you are not signed in and may wish to pay by mail.

If you're paying by mail, click CSPS Membership Form to open a membership form in a new window and print it. Membership inquiries and payments by mail should be sent to: CSPS Treasurer, Dr. John Harrell, at 18732 Piper Place,Yorba Linda, CA 92886.

For 2020, they are still at the very low $35 per person for individual poets. You may pay the dues online, after registering on our website: Only after you register (lower right corner of the screen), will you be able to use the PayPal system to make your payment of dues. Please add $3-5 for PayPal fees, so your total will be $38 for  individual members located in the U.S. and the following totals:

Membership Categories: 
  • Domestic Individual $35 per year ($38 online)
  • Domestic Family $39 per year (four members max; $42 online) 
  • Domestic Institution/Library $39 per year (no contest entry rights) 
  • International Individual $51 per year (56 online)
  • International Family $55 per year (four members max, $60 online) 
  • International Institution/Library $55 per year (no contest entry rights) 
Be sure to submit the names of those included in a family membership so they have contest entry rights with the CSPS and the NFSPS. Library memberships receive the publications listed above, but carry no contest entry rights with them.

Please consider supporting our activities with donations. All Board Members and Editors of the California Quarterly work as volunteers and make personal contributions to support the CSPS.

Donor and Patron Categories 

  • Donor ~ Membership + $5, $10, $15, or $20 
  • Patron ~ Membership + $25, $50 or $75 
  • Silver Circle Patron ~ Membership + $100 
  • Gold Circle Patron ~ Membership + $200

Benefits of CSPS Membership as of 2019 
  • Quarterly receipt of the California Quarterly, which includes the quarterly Newsbriefs in the pages at the back of the issue. The CSPS Poetry Letter and the Strophes newsletter of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS), previously available in print format, now may be read online under the Newsbriefs tab on the website, or on the national website,, respectively.
  • Reduced reading fees for the CSPS monthly contests ($1.50 per poem vice $3.00 per poem - two poems minimum).
  •  Entry rights to all NFSPS national poetry contests.
  •  A link from the CSPS Links page to his or her personal website (if any) 

Grateful for 2019, we are looking forward to writing & promoting poetry in 2020.
Happy New Year!

~ Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D.
   President, CSPS 

Trochimczyk at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York, January 5, 2020

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