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
Managing Editor: Maja Trochimczyk
Bory Thach, Terry Ehret,  Maura Harvey, Margaret Saine, Maja Trochimczyk

CSPS Board Members at Large
Alice Pero, Monthly Contests Judge 
Ambika Talwar 
Konrad Tademar Wilk

CSPS Poetry Contests 
Monthly Contest Chair – Alice Pero
Annual Contest Chair – Joyce Snyder

Other CSPS Positions

Art Panel – Maura Harvey, 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 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. 




Bory Thach was born in a refugee camp located on the border between Thailand and Cambodia. His family immigrated to the United States when he was four years old. He served in the U.S. Army and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has an MFA from California State University San Bernardino. Fiction and creative nonfiction fall under the art of storytelling, while poetry for him is more of a study of language, an art form in itself. His work appeared or is forthcoming in: Pacific Review, Urban Ivy, Arteidolia, Sand Canyon Review and We Are Here: Village Poets Anthology. He recently completed a book of poetry dialogues with Cindy Rinne, Letters under Rock (2019) that has been presented as a quasi-theatrical performance in art galleries and museums in Southern California. He joined the Editorial Board in July 2020 and will start his duties from volume 46 no. 4 of the California Quarterly.


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.



Alice Pero joined the CSPS Board as a Director at Large  in May 2019 and became the Chair of Monthly Poetry Contests in January 2020. She has published poetry in many magazines and anthologies, including Nimrod, National Poetry Review, River Oak Review, Poet Lore, The Alembic, North Dakota Quarterly, The Distillery, Fox Cry Review, The 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 Poems, written as a dialogue 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.


A Director at Large since May 2020, Ambika Talwar is an India-born author, wellness consultant, artist, & educator whose vision is to realize her sacred destiny and invite others to find their brilliance.  Insights gleaned through life challenges have prompted her to make her poetry a call to action. Composed in the ecstatic tradition, her poetry is a “bridge to other worlds.” She has authored Creative Resonance: Poetry—Elegant Play, Elegant Change and also 4 Stars & 25 Roses (poems for her father).  She is published in various journals and anthologies including Kyoto Journal, Inkwater Ink - vol. 3; Chopin with Cherries; Meditations On Divine Names; VIA-Vision in Action; in Poets on Site collections; St. Julian Press; Tower Journal; Enchanting Verses; Quill & Parchment; California Quarterly; Life & Legends, and others. She has also interviewed with KPFK and Human Frequency Radio, and recorded poems for the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California.

Ambika's works also appear in Grateful Conversations (2018), a collection of poems, photos and essays by Westside Women Writers based in Southern California. Her poem Sweet Fire Dance of Dissent (for Rilke's Spanish Dancer) was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by the editors. In 2018, she was one of 10 to earn Commendable Mention in The Great India Poetry Contest spearheaded by On Fire Cultural Movement, and, has since been a judge for their weekly poetry contest in 2019.

In 2016, Ambika published My Greece: Mirrors & Metamorphoses about her travels through Greece in 2002. It is a poetic-spiritual travelogue that seeks to discover our collective human purpose. She asserts it is time for creatives to offer a new narrative to change our worldview, which has led to destructive ways to one that arises harmony.  A grateful and willing performer, she has read at various venues in Southern California and also at the Eden Hall, Chatham University, Pittsburgh. Ambika also made a short film titled Androgyne in 2000 for which she earned the Best Original Story Award at a festival in Belgium. She wrote, produced, and directed this film. She has also written two original feature-length screenplays.

Also a wellness, practitioner, Ambika practices IE:Intuition-Energetics™, a powerful fusion of modalities and creativity principles for speedy recovery from ailments and practice being whole again. “Both poetry and holistic practices work beautifully together, for language is intricately coded in us. And we must be free of false beliefs and confusions,” she notes.  This process achieves speedy and efficient results. An English professor at Cypress College, California, Ambika makes her home in Los Angeles and in New Delhi, India.


Elected to the Board of Directors of CSPS in May 2020, Konrad Tademar Wilk is an American poet living in Los Angeles. His works range from single sonnets to epic poems on themes including current events, myth, and philosophy. In addition to American subjects, his work is strongly informed by international events and history, especially those of freedom and oppression. Tademar's early childhood was spent in Poland where he was particularly influenced by the rise of the anti-communist Solidarity labor union.

Following his return to the U.S., he studied philosophy and literature at Los Angeles City College where he was president of the Poet's Platform. He then went on to graduate from UCLA. His poetry book Fifty Sonnets, titles like labels only get in the way... is available for purchase on-line.  Other poetry chapbooks are out of print. He is currently working on two epic poems "Prometheus" and "Trafficking In Time" - scheduled for release in the near future. He has appeared in Los Angeles venues such as the Onyx, Ground's Zero, Magicopolis Theater, Wilshire Art Gallery, Bolton Hall Museum, and Pig and Whistle. In 1991, he founded the Witching Hour Poetry Gathering which has met continuously for over 20 years. 

Additionally, he is a founding member of the Pecan Pie Organization, dedicated to artistic promotion and stage performances.  Mr. Tademar recently served as the artistic director for Warsaw 80/75 performance of poetry, dance and music, celebrating the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII (German attack on Poland), and the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.  The event was held at the Santa Monica Playhouse in September 2019.

Some of his stories and poems are available on the internet. - 138 poems posted since 2010

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