Officers & Editors

CSPS Board of Directors

Alice Pero, Maja Trochimczyk and Ambika Talwar, 22 October 2023
Bolton Hall Museum, Tujunga

CSPS Officers

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

California Quarterly (CQ) Board of Editors
Managing Editor: Maja Trochimczyk
Editors:  Nicholas Skaldetvind, Bory Thach, Maja Trochimczyk 
and Konrad Tademar Wilk

CSPS Board Members at Large
Terry Ehret, Maura Harvey
Monthly Contest Chair – Alice Pero

Other CSPS Positions
Art Panel – Maura Harvey, Maja Trochimczyk
CSPS Poetry Letter Editor – Maja Trochimczyk



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, Slicing the Bread, and The Rainy Bread.
She has served as Acting President of CSPS since February 2019 and edited volumes 44:1, 45:3, 46:4, 47:2, 48:1, and 49:2 of the California Quarterly.

A recent interview: (20 October 2023)


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).


A Director-at-Large since May 2020, and Secretary since October 2020, Ambika Talwar,professor emeritus, is an India-born author, wellness consultant, artist, and 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.” Ambika was recently awarded the Nissim International Poetry Prize (2021) for herv participation in composing a poem a day with The Significant League in April 2021. She has authored Creative Resonance: Poetry—Elegant Play, Elegant Change and also 4 Stars and 25 Roses (poems for her father).  She is published in various journals and anthologies including Breathe Poetry, Paws, Collateral Damage, 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 justify;">many others. She has interviewed with KPFK and Human Frequency Radio and recorded poems for the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California.

Ambika's works also appear in Ruddy Ravens, Cheshire Cat, Rusty Rats (2021),Roseate Sonnet (2020),and 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 & 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 justify;">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 so you can experience 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 justify;">confusions,” she notes. Recent retiree as English professor at Cypress College, California, Ambika makes her home in Los Angeles and in New Delhi, India.


(see the bio above)


Nicholas Skaldetvind is an Italian-American poet and paper-maker. He holds a M.A. (2019) from Stockholm University, Department of English and Transnational Creative Writing  (thesis "The Spontaneous Poetics of Jack Kerouac’s Letters from 1947-1956: Repetition, Language, and Narration.”)  In 2015 he received B.A degree from Saint Louis University, Madrid,  Department of Spanish Language and Literature, Department of International Studies, and Department of Ibero-American Studies. He is a recipient of numerous scholarships and grants, including  Graduate ERASMUS  Merit Scholarship (September 2018 – January 2019) at Bath Spa University. Department of English and Creative Writing in Bath, England; as well as scholarships at creative writing workshops at Berkeley, CA; Naropa University, Colorado and book arts and papermaking workshop at Wells College in Aurora, New York. He also was an undergraduate Exchange Student at the University of Copenhagen, Department of Political Sciences, English Literature, Spanish Literature, and Historical Linguistics (August 2012 – May 2016) and took a writing course in Danish in 2015. 

Skaldetvind's research and teaching interests include: Twentieth-century American Literature, Transnational Studies, Epistolary Poetics, Life Writing, Literature of the American West, Papermaking and Book Arts, Fibers and Shrinkage, and Paper Drying Process. He is a multilingual poet and writer: native speaker in English, with advanced knowledge of Spanish, Danish,  intermediate knowledge of Swedish, Portuguese, Italian, and French. He joined the Editorial Board in September 2023.


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 started his duties from volume 47 no. 1 of the California Quarterly.


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

Maja Trochimczyk and Margaret SainePhoto from Maja's photo exhibit Rose of Roses at the Back Door Bakery,  Sunland, CA April 2017.


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 was elected the 10th Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga in April 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.

Read a recent interview with Alice for more information:


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. She served as a California Quarterly Editor for many years, and after stepping down from that role in 2022 she remains on the Board upon request of the President, to support CSPS with her formidable expertise. For more information visit  and


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). In September 2023 she stepped down from the role of the CQ Editor and become a CSPS Director-at-Large.

CSPS Poets Bory Thach (CQ Editor), Elsa Frausto, Ambika Taylor (CSPS Secretary), and Maja Trochimczyk (CSPS President)
at the birthday party of Alice Pero, CSPS Monthly Contest Chair, Pacific Palisades, September 2021.



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, ending her term in 2020.


William Scott Galasso is the author of sixteen books of poetry, including Silver Salmon Runes published in 2016; Rough Cut: Thirty Years of Senryu and Mixed Bag, A Travelogue in Four Forms, a collection of Haibun, Haiku Sequences, Tanka and Short Poems (2018). His most recent book is Legacy: 30 Years of Haiku (Galwin Press, 2020), described as “a collection of over six hundred poems, ranging from classical nature to personal, intimate haiku… This lifetime achievement stands out as a treasure to stir your senses and heighten your awareness of earth’s nature and our humanity.”  In this book, Bruce H. Feingold writes, “Galasso invites us into a world of quietude, beauty and humility and has mastered the art of saying so much with so few words. His images stand out like exquisite carvings, and he demonstrate[s] the hallmark of great haiku…”

An active member of the Southern California Haiku Study Group, Galasso is the contributing editor of the SCHSG anthology, Eclipse Moon (November 2017).  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hofstra University, and worked for 25 years as an actor for Kim Brooke Group (1990-2015), while also providing event security for Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC as a team captain, or staff member.  As a volunteer, he supported the Hopelink Foodbank as the coordinator of collection and distribution of donations, also supervising other volunteers, as well as assisting special needs clients, especially the elderly and the disabled.

one breath
the difference between
I am and I was

Maja Trochimczyk, President; Ambika Talwar, Secretary; and Bory Thach, Editor
Pacific Palisades, September 2021

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