Thursday, April 29, 2021

CSPS Newsbriefs No. 1, 2021 - CSPS Annual Contest Entries Due by June 30, 2021

 NEWSBRIEFS 2021, NO. 1 (SPRING 2021)

This issue of the California Quarterly (vol. 47, no. 1) is filled with great poems selected by Bory Thach, our newest CQ Editor, from hundreds of poems submitted via Submittable and by mail. We appreciate Bory’s insight and taste! 

The cover of CQ 47:1 is a painting Harmony, by Sylvia Van Nooten, that was recommended by the former Editor, Margaret Saine. Van Nooten is an asemic artist living in western Colorado. Asemic art, with its pastiche of ‘language’ and images, allows her to merge texts and painting creating a hybrid form of communication which is open to interpretation. Her work has appeared in The South Florida Poetry Journal, Experiment-O Issue 13, The Raw Art Review, Spring 2021 and she has a painting on the cover of the summer 2021 edition of The Raw Art Review.

Monthly Contests – 2020 Winners. Alice Pero, the Monthly Contests Chair and Judge, selected the following poems as winners of our Monthly Contests. The prize-winning poems are posted on our blog, Congratulations to all!

January: 1. Jane Stuart - Our Winter Garden, 2. Jane Stuart - Early on a Winter Morning, 3. David Anderson - The Apple Spy; February: 1. Pamela Shea - Rosebuds and Lovers, 2. Jane Stuart - Dancing Into Love Again; 

March: Dorothy Skiles - The Coyote’s Howl; April: No award.

May: Marlene Hitt - Enlightenment; 

June: Joyce Futa – Kumquat Marmalade; 

July: Jackie Chou – Cerulean; 

August: Joan Gerstein – Self-Portrait as Clark Gable One Liner; 

September: Louise Moises – Empty Chairs; 

November: Charlene Langfur – Meandering; 

December: Ambika Talwar – Losses into Treasures.

To submit poems to contests, send them to Monthly Contest email, and pay fees via PayPal to 

CSPS Annual Contest 2021. 

The contest submission period is now open, from March 1st to June 30th, 2021. We are delighted that a distinguished poet and experienced editor, Georgia Jones-Davis, agreed to serve as CSPS Annual Contest Judge, while Joyce Snyder continues in her role as the Annual Contests Chair. The cash awards are $100, $50, and $25 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places respectively, plus publication in the CQ 47: 4 (2021 Winter). 

After 25 years as a journalist, Georgia Jones-Davis turned to poetry with publications in Westwind, Brevities, Nebo, Poets Against War, Ascent Aspirations & South Bank Poetry, London. She authored two chapbooks, Blue Poodle (2011) & Night School (2015) published by Finishing Line Press. A former board member of the Valley Contemporary Poets in Los Angeles, she was honored as a Newer Poet by the Los Angeles Public Library ALOUD series.  

Please upload poems and pay the contest reading fees via our website  


send a cover letter with all poet information and a list of the submitted poems, plus one copy of each poem with no poet identification to:

CSPS Annual Contest Chair: 

3371 Thomas Drive 

Palo Alto, California 94303

Reading fees: Members of California State Poetry Society and/or all member societies of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (please indicate which Society you are belong to), $3.00/poem; Non-members of any NFSPS-affiliated societies, $6.00/poem. You may also send fees for the contest to PayPal, to,

Requirements:  The length of poems should not exceed the limit of 80 lines (two-pages) per poem. Up to now, we did not have a limit on the numbers of poems submitted, but, please, do not send whole books!  For the California Quarterly, the limit is 6 poems, so we might keep it at that. 


Maura Harvey edited the California Quarterly 46:2 (Summer 2020) that elicited the following reader’s comment: “As I look over that Quarterly from last summer, I realize there is so much of nature in it, so many writers talking about living things outdoors, the seasons, the passage of time—as if we were especially aware of the natural world because we were so confined inside. I don't know if you were aware of that, if you intended that, but of course, poets should be more attentive and it seems this collection bears that out.” ~ Liz Dossa, Foster City, CA. In January 2021, Maura was a featured poet for the Monthly reading of the Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga, on Zoom. She sent the following comment from a listener: “Wonderful opportunity to stop and listen. To connect with poets around the state & get a glimpse into their diverse approaches. Enjoyed Maura’s use of local flora and fauna in her poetry and the ever present voz latina.” ~ Madeleine Wood, Fairfax, CA, High School Teacher of Spanish.

The California Quarterly 46:4 (Winter 2020)  that I edited, featured a painting by Julian Stanczak on the cover. Barbara Stanczak, the artist’s widow, commented: “I just received a copy of the California Quarterly. It is beautiful, sophisticated and so very elegant with Julian's Constant Return # II, 1965. It graces the clover and gives the edition beauty and the weight of quality. Thank you for sharing.” Poets were also pleased with the issue: “Honored to be with such great writers.” ~ Cindy Rinne. “I am happy, grateful and excited to be included in this wonderful issue of California Quarterly” ~ Stefano Bortolussi. “The poem “Aquamarine” is wonderful. It reads like a song. I love the cover too!” ~ David Rosenheim. “I loved reading the editor's note – I think you did a wonderful job on it!! I also love the cover. Admittedly, I was not familiar with Julian Stanczak, so thank you for introducing me; it will be something enjoyable to look into.” ~ Ivan Amaya Hobson. “The whole issue looks just wonderful. I am happy to be included.” ~ Karen McPherson.

California Quarterly Editors. We are now looking for new Editors to work with us on the CQ Editorial Board. If interested, send your bio to the President,

Membership Dues. Please note that individual dues for 2021 have been increased to $40. Other dues are listed on the following pages. CSPS membership includes four issues of the CQ, access to contests with lower fees, and access to the National Federation of State Poetry Society contests – their newsletter, Strophes, is found on the NFSPS website. 

Maja Trochimczyk 

Los Angeles, California

CSPS President

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