Thursday, May 14, 2015

On Awards and Women Poets - Marlene Hitt and Beverly M. Collins


In April and May 2015, I was nominated for two honors, 2015 Women in Business Awards of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal and the 2015 Women Making a Difference Awards of the Los Angeles Business Journal. 

It was a great honor to be selected for these distinctions, among some of the most dedicated and talented women of our city.  I was not able to attend the second ceremony. At the first, I was accompanied by Elizabeth Kanski, President of the Polish American Film Society in Los Angeles, and two Vice Presidents from Phoenix Houses of California, Dr. David Richardson and Earlene Bryson.  The nominations had as much to do with my day job, as Senior Director of Planning at Phoenix House, as with my evening preoccupations as a poet, publisher, and music scholar.

Maja Trochimczyk with Elizabeth Kanski

Award Gala with the Presentation of Finalists.

I was very excited about these distinctions, but, at the same time, I was busy contributing to the "distinctions" of others, notably, two female poets from our local communities, Marlene Hitt and Beverly M. Collins. Both have their books published with Moonrise Press this spring.

ISBN 978-0-9819693-5-0, 118 pages, $15.00, paperback
Los Angeles: Moonrise Press, 11 April 2015
Distributed by

The first reading will take place at Bolton Hall Museum, in Tujunga
on May 24, 2015, 4:30pm.

Clocks and Water Drops is the first full-length collection of poetry by Marlene Hitt, the first Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, a former Director at the Bolton Hall Museum, a local historian, poet, and community activist. The book of reflections about her life, family and neighborhood changing through the decades, includes 73 poems in sections dedicated to: Children, Marriages, Portraits, Neighbors, Seasons, Small Things, Passages, and Farewells. The title captures the poet’s fascination with the flow of time, as relentless and powerful as drops of water that can shape rocks and move mountains. Poet Jack Cooper praises Hitt’s “astute and thoughtful voice” while Kath Abela Wilson admires her “confident and consistent phrasing, and exacting vision.”

What Am I Thankful For?

Why, for this little seed
caught between my teeth!
This seed from berries
cooked into jam
mounded in the cut-glass dish
my mother gave to me, 
sweet jam boiled
from my own berries
piled on bread
bought from Ralph’s
just two blocks away,
bread made from flour
ground from grain
grown on great fields,
grain that drank rain
dropped from clouds
that were coaxed from the sea,
grain, fed by the sun
that hangs in the great galaxy
spinning the universe,
which hangs above this sweet earth
while it turns over and over, 
where, under gathered clouds
heavy with rain
coaxed from the sea
which wakens the soil
rich with grain,
ripened kernels of wheat,
are milled into flour
to be baked into bread
which I can buy at Ralph’s
just two blocks from here
on which I can spread
this mound of jam
resting in the cut-glass dish
my mother gave me,
sweet jam made from my own berries
whose little seed
is caught between my teeth.

                                MUD IN MAGIC BY BEVERLY M. COLLINS

EPUB e-book version, $8.00

Paperback Version: ISBN 9780996398107, 96 pages, $15.00

Beverly M. Collins’s "Mud in Magic" is her second poetry book, filled with  the wisdom of experience,  Her skillful and often aphoristic or narrative poems portray a scene or a character that we could encounter on our streets, in our cafes.  The poems are organized into three parts: Thought Bistro (Part I), Tinder Flames (Part II), and Elixir CafĂ© (Part III).  The beauty and wonder of daily life fill these pages and delight the readers.   Beverly M. Collins is fourth in a family of five daughters. Although born in Milford, Delaware, Bev is a Jersey-girl to the bone. She is also a graduate of Taylor Business Institute, a great admirer of Art who carries a deep appreciation and respect for other Artists. As a singer, Collins is a former national finalist for Talent America. As a poet, she is one of three 2012 prize winners for the California State Poetry Society whose works appear in a growing number of publications.


Two people, cuddled in one blanket,
gaze at a blinking Christmas tree.
Breaths and hearts in unison.
Silence speaks loudly of contentment
She is yin to his yang.
He is apple of her desire.

Two people scolded by the heat
of an argument. Stubbornly rooted
in the center of their living room. Yell over
one another until numb in the eardrums.
Silence speaks loudly of resentment.
She is the thorn in his side.
He is the pain in her neck.

Two people swept up in the rapture
of renewed vows. Look knowingly,
tearfully into the familiar corners
of one another’s soul.
His thumbs gently stroke her finger
as they hold hands. Silence speaks loudly
of alignment. She is the M in Muse
He is the B in Backbone.

Two people; side by side on a hill,
turned peacefully toward the sky.
Near stone proclamation of long fruitful life
silence speaks loudly of eternal entwinement.
She is the warmth in the afternoon breeze.
He – the moonbeam in the night sky.