Sunday, March 29, 2020

CSPS President's Newsbriefs 46:1, Spring 2020

I am pleased to inform our members that CSPS received a $2,000 grant for poetry workshops and distribution of poetry volumes to youth at Phoenix House California, enrolled in substance abuse and mental health treatment. This grant is a part of a larger project, funded by the Dignity Health Foundation – Northridge Hospital, entitled “Close to Nature – A New Approach to Teen Behavioral Health.” CSPS is one of four small nonprofits collaborating with Phoenix House, along with the Theodore Payne Foundation for Native Plants, and the Saffyre Sanctuary. The main idea of the project is that engagement in healthy pursuits – like hiking, study of nature, equine therapy, creativity, and reading and writing poetry – is an antidote to addiction and a great resource for lasting recovery. We are looking forward to activities and reports by CSPS members Pamela Shea, Cile Borman, and Beverly M. Collins who will lead poetry workshops with the high-risk youth, once the current state of emergency is lifted and we are all healthy and happy as larks!

We are working very hard to ensure the future viability of our organization, seeking additional grant funding and inviting more poets to join the CSPS. We welcome all new and returning members! We have been very lucky in successfully adding Alice Pero to our Board of Directors, as Director at Large; she will assist us with her insights and experience. An author of two poetry volumes (Thawed Stars and Sunland Park Poems, the latter in a dialogue with Elsa S. Frausto) and hundreds of published poems, Ms. Pero is the founder and co-curator of the celebrated Los Angeles poetry series Moonday, a teacher of poetry in elementary and middle schools, and a talented flautist, leader of the Windsong classical music ensemble. Ms. Pero has recently been named the 10th Poet-Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga (2020-2022). As the 6th Poet Laureate, I’m so pleased to see the laurels being passed from our 9th, Pamela Shea, to Alice! The perfect 10! Congratulations!

The CQ Editors nominated the following poets for the annual Pushcart Prize 2019: Stephen Ajay, Susan Bernando, Holly Day, Alice Pero, Margaret Rooney, and Russell Salamon (posth.). Congratulations to all poets! Details, titles, and sample poems are on out blog,

Submissions to our Annual Poetry Contest 2020 are now being accepted, either via the website or by mail to the Annual Contest Chair, Joyce Snyder. The deadline is June 30, 2020 and we hope to receive many inspired submissions. The Judge is Kaecey McCormick. More information is posted on our blog,

The reader responses to the past two issues of the California Quarterly were enthusiastic and rewarding. My issue of the CQ 45:3 (Autumn 2019) included a tribute to former editor Russell Salamon, that elicited words of praise: “Maja Trochimczyk has set the season’s table with a bounty of diverse and inspired voices in this most recent issue of the venerable California Quarterly. So far, I’ve seen wonderful work by Georgia Jones-Davis and Susan Rogers, but much more to be appreciated. Lovers of Russell Salamon‘s work will find a tribute written by me along with a few surprises from Russell, the former editor of CQ and much missed poet.” (Lois P. Jones). “Celebrating dear Friend and lover of all of us poets, Russell Salamon... all his encouragement and vision..., his way of savoring wonder and cherishing the wonder of others… Russell always amazed me with the endlessness of his wonder and his confidence that poetically there was always more to be said. He always proceeded to say more, and exquisitely so. He participated in Poets on Site performances and books, with a vivid grace and confidence is our work. I was honored also to write with him responsively with delight.” (Kathabela Wilson). “Fabulous poems by Russell Salamon and one of my favourite journals! Love the cover! Congratulations to Lois and Russell and to all published in this issue!” (Linda Ibbotson).

Readers also praised the whole issue: “Isn't it amazing how the poems in that issue seem to be united, like creatures who find themselves nurturing one another beneath the soil.” (Alice Pero). “I’m so proud to be included alongside the such skilled poets.” (Ed Rosenthal). “I’m thrilled to be a part of this issue of CQ!” (Georgia Jones-Davis). “As usual, it’s a beautiful journal: as a frequent contributor, I’m more and more proud to see my work in it along with that by excellent authors.” (Alessio Zanelli). “I've been wanting to tell you how lovely your issue turned out! Beautiful poems and flow! Selection… And every time I pick it up, I find another poem to enjoy. It's so very nicely put together.!” (Nancy Covers Dougherty) “Thank you for the autumn issue of CQ. I appreciate having my submission of “Greening” published in it. The writing in the journal is inspirational to me. I have renewed my membership in the CSPS, and I have ordered an additional copy of the issue. I appreciate the work you do for writing and writers.” (P.C. Moorehead). “Thank you so much for your committed contributions to our shared poetic passions.” (Linda Hendrickson-Baral). “I am pleased and honored to be part of your collection. Thank you very much for all your hard work.” (Susan Morrison). “Thank you for including my poem in this edition of CQ. It is an honor to be part of this publication.” (Mariano Zaro).

Pearl Karrer, the Editor of CQ 45:4, Winter 2019, shares some responses from readers: “The winter issue is full of wonderful poems, and I'm honored to have my work included. I’m sure that having my poems published in CQ helped me to finally have a collection of my poems publishes, a dream come true! (Johanna Ely).”The cover is a masterpiece!” (Maura Harvey). “I am so excited to be in CQ again...” (Allegra Silberstein). “Wonderful...Delighted to have 2 poems in the issue.” (James Deahl) “Lovely! Thank you for the book, and your beautiful cover! I am proud to be part of it.” (Martina Nicholson). “Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my work!” (Susan Bernardo). “The edition is so well done...You have selected so many wonderful deep and contemplative poems. I keep rereading the poems...” (Joyce Snyder).

Margaret Saine’s News: Longtime CQ contributor Pande Manojlov writes: “On February 13th, 2020, I received the most important poetry award of his country, the Republic of Macedonia: the ‘Aco Shopov Prize’. I am very happy!”  Congratulations, dear Pande! Kalyna Temertey, from Toronto and the Toscana, and Nizar Sartawi, from Amman, Jordan, visited the poetry festival in Kérala, Tamil Nadu. And what did they talk about? The CQ, of course! :-). Susan Gunter, who is fluent in Bulgarian, due to a lengthy stay in the country, is bringing Alexander Shurbanov’s poems to our attention in the current issue of the CQ 46:1. Dr. Shurbanov has translated his “Moment” into English himself.

Margaret Saine was invited to read her Spanish poems at several events of the “Semana de Cultura” in Holguín, Cuba, in January 2020. CQ poet Eliécer Almaguer was one of the organizers and I met lots of great poets and novelists, among them Elizabeth Soto, who are published in CQ 46:1. Let’s enjoy this issue and have fun writing & promoting poetry in 2020. 
~ Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D.
   President, CSPS

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