Officers & Editors

CSPS Board of Directors

CSPS Officers

President – Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D. 
Vice President/Communications – Richard Modiano
Vice President/Membership – Richard M. Deets
Secretary/Historian – Margaret Saine, Ph.D.
Treasurer – John Forrest Harrell, Ph.D.

California Quarterly (CQ) Board of Editors
Editorial Chair – Pearl Karrer
Issue Editors – Nancy Cavers Dougherty, Terry Ehret, Maura Harvey,
Pearl Karrer, Margaret Saine, Maja Trochimczyk

CSPS Board Members 
John Brautingham
Alice Pero

CSPS Poetry Contests 
Monthly Contest Chair – Richard Modiano, VP Communications
Annual Contest Chair – Joyce Snyder

Other CSPS Positions

Managing Editor: Maja Trochimczyk

Art Panel – Maura Harvey, Pearl Karrer, Margaret Saine

CSPS Poetry Letter Editor – Margaret Saine



Maja Trochimczyk is a Californian poet, scholar, translator, photographer, and non-profit director from Poland. She studied musicology at the University of Warsaw, and sound engineering at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, leaving  Poland in 1988 with two M.A. degrees. In 1994, she earned her Ph.D. in musicology from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Dr. Trochimczyk published five books of poetry (incl. Slicing the Bread,  2014; Into Light, and The Rainy Bread, 2016). She also edited three poetry anthologies: Chopin with Cherries (2010); Meditations on Divine Names (2012), and Grateful Conversations (2018, co-edited with Kathi Stafford).  Her poetry and photographs appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in English and Polish: California Quarterly, Cosmopolitan Review, Magnapoets, Quill and Parchment, Ekphrasis Journal, Edgar Allan Poet Journal, Epiphany Magazine, Lily Literary Review, Loch Raven Review, Lummox Journal, Quill and Parchment, Phantom Seed, Pirene's Fountain, poeticdiversity, Poezja Dzisiaj, The Sage Trail, The Scream Online, Spectrum and many anthologies. She also published seven books of music studies and hundreds of articles on music, immigration, and Polish culture. Dr. Trochimczyk is a recipient of PAHA's Creative Arts Prize (2016) for her two poetry books about WWII experience of civilians. She has served as Acting President of CSPS since February 2019 and edited volumes 44:1 and 45:3 of the California Quarterly.


Elected Executive Director of Beyond Baroque in 2010, Modiano is a writer, curator, and editor. In 2007 he produced Beyond Baroque’s “On the Road” 50th Anniversary Production and in 2009 he produced the marathon reading and panel discussion of “William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch at 50.” He was on Board of Directors for Valley Contemporary Poets from 1997-2005 and served as Board President in 2004-2005. His poems have been published in Blue Satellite, Big Scream, Maintenant, Mas Tequila Review, Malpais Review, the Los Angeles Cultural Weekly, and he is a contributor to The Bukowski Anthology. Modiano has been elected unanimously by e-mail vote  in May 2019 and we are very pleased to gain his expertise and experience to help CSPS spread its wings. He will also serve as the Chair of Monthly Poetry Contests. He is Director Emeritus of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, CA.


After a career as a mathematics teacher, Richard Deets became the Vice President – Membership of the CSPS in the fall of 2012. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Livermore Valley Opera and the City of Dublin’s Heritage and Cultural Arts Commission. His poems have appeared online in a variety of milieus. They include “Christina’s Courage,” “I Desire You,” “We Sailed on with Happy Hearts”, “I Want to Cuddle You,” and many others. Still effectively serving as a teacher, Richard’s published articles on poetry include The Elements of Poetry online at


John Forrest Harrell first published poetry as a sophomore at Harvey Mudd College and has occasionally done so over the decades since. A retired program manager and engineering executive, he continues to feed his interests as an Austrian School economist, a Celtic Catholic theologian and an information scientist. Dr. Harrell’s poems have occasionally appeared in the CQ over the better part of the last three decades; The Hand of the Midnight Moon, a collection of his poems, was published in March of 2017. He has served as the Treasurer of the CSPS for more than twenty-five years, as an editor, a proofreader and as Managing Editor (with Pearl Karrer) of the CQ. Since June of 2012 he has also served as the acting CSPS President. Most recently, he edited the third issue of the CQ for 2017 (Vol. 43, No. 3).


Ute Margaret Saine was born in Germany. After a Yale Ph.D. in French and Spanish, she taught languages, literature, and culture in California and Arizona, as well as writing and translating poetry in five languages. Since 1991, she has been a board member of the CSPS and a CQ editor since 1994. She also edits the CSPS Poetry Letter, now on the CSPS website, and formerly served twice as the CQ Annual Contest Chair. For ten years, until June 2019, she gathered all submissions from the Orange PO Box, distributing them to editors. 

Her poems have appeared in many journals here and abroad. She has published five books of poetry in English – Bodyscapes, Words of Art, Lit Angels, Gardens of the World  and A Book of Travel– as well as six haiku chapbooks in five languages. Four books of poems and a postwar childhood memoir have been published in Germany – Das Flüchtige bleibt (The Ephemeral Remains); Das Weite suchen (A Yen to Travel); Atem der Stille (The Breath of Silence); Ein Lied davon (Same Old Song); and Ungeschicktes Kind (Awkward Child). Searching for Bridges is a bilingual English-Arabic book of her poems edited by Palestinian poet and critic Nizar Sartawi. Saine’s poems in Italian are to be published in 2020. She has edited many CQ issues, most recently vol. 44, No. 4. 



After a background/career in microbiology and music, augmented with creative writing and two-dimensional art, Pearl Karrer teaches piano, exhibits art in juried shows and writes poetry. Her poems appear in many journals such as Slant, Visions-International and The Comstock Review. They are featured in many anthologies, most recently the coffee table book, Room to Breathe, The Wild Heart of the San Francisco Peninsula and No, Achilles. Her collections include Weathering, The Thorn Fence and Balanced Between Water and Sky. Joining the editorial board of the CSPS in 2002, Pearl has edited a number of issues of the CQ, as well as serving as a proof reader and maintaining the cover art library for the CQ. As of 2013, Pearl has served with John Harrell as the Managing Editor of the CQ. Most recently, she is the editor of the second issue of the CQ in 2015, Vol. 41, No. 2.


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).


Terry Ehret is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Night Sky Journey. Her poems and poetry books have won a number of literary awards over the past several decades, including the National Poetry Series and the California Commonwealth Club Book Award, and four Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. With a BA from Stanford and an MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State, she has taught college and private seminars on poetry and writing for many years and presently offers workshops at the Sitting Room, a community library in Penngrove, California. Terry is one of the founders of the Sixteen Rivers poetry publishing collective in the San Francisco Bay Area; from 2004-2006 she served as Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, where she teaches writing. In the summers she leads writing-travel programs in Ireland, Wales, and Tuscany.


Maura Harvey is a bilingual poet, author and artist who has lived in California since 1950. She holds a Ph.D. in Latin American Literature from UC Irvine. Her poetry in both Spanish and English has appeared widely. Dr. Harvey is a founder of Taller del mar, a monthly poetry workshop with members from Tijuana and San Diego. She feels very proud to have published a poetry anthology in Barinas, Venezuela, in 1993 and to have been able to meet Venezuelan and Cuban poets personally while travelling in those countries. She has exhibited her art in many venues in California and had a show in Instanbul, Turkey, in 2006. She joined the editorial board of the California Quarterly in 1999, editing many issues and serving for years also as Secretary of the CSPS and as the CSPS Annual Contest Chair. Most recently, she edited the second issue of the CQ for 2017 (Vol. 43, No. 2).

also serve as Editors, while Maja Trochimczyk is also the Managing Editor. See their biographies above. Photo from Maja's photo exhibit Rose of Roses at the Back Door Bakery,  Sunland, CA April 2017.



Joyce Snyder, after retiring from a career as a nurse clinical specialist in mental health, now has more time to pursue her interest in poetry—taking an adult education class, joining a weekly poetry salon and attending workshops with Ellen Bass in Santa Cruz. She’s a docent at Tor House in Carmel, the home of Robinson Jeffers. She likes nature hikes and watching her grandchildren grow. She enjoys reading the California Quarterly and appreciates their publication of a few of her poems. Joyce joined the CQ Editorial Board and began serving as the CSPS Annual Contest Chair in 2016.



John Brantingham teaches creative writing at Mt. San Antonio College, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, and the Center for the Arts. He is the author of Dual Impressions: Poetic Conversations about Art, an ekphrastic collection. He also published the following books and chapbooks: East of Los Angeles,  Putting in a Window,  The Mediterranean Garden,  Heroes for Today,  Mann of War,  Let Us All Pray Now to Our Own Strange Gods,  The Gift of Form,  The Green of Sunset,  In the Land of Bears, and  Study Abroad. Brantingham also co-authored How to Write, a textbook, and wrote The Gift of Form: A Pocket Guide to Formal Poetry. His blog "30 Days until Done" contains different instructions every month: "This month we are writing poems about joy," or "This month, we write poetic letters..." Visit: Two of his poems were featured by Garrison Keillor on the Writer's Almanac and you can find his books on


Alice Pero has recently joined the Board as a Director at Large. She has published poetry in many magazines and anthologies, including NimrodNational Poetry ReviewRiver Oak ReviewPoet LoreThe AlembicNorth Dakota QuarterlyThe DistilleryFox Cry ReviewThe Griffin, and G.W. Review, and others. Her book of poetry, Thawed Stars, was praised by Kenneth Koch as having “clarity and surprises.” She also published a chapbook Sunland Park, with Elsa Frausto. Pero teaches poetry and is a member of California Poets in the Schools, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering students to express their uniqueness through writing, performing and publishing their own poetry. She is also the founder of Moonday, a reading series that has been on-going in the Los Angeles area for upwards of sixteen years. Ms Pero has created dialogue poems with more than twenty poets. She also created the performing group, Windsong Players Chamber Ensemble and performs with them as a flutist.

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