Poetry & Cookies

Apr 23, 2017

found me
one prolific night.
Stole my words,
my voice,
my malapropisms,
illiterating them from memory
yet holding them for ransom,
for real.

Pay in bit coins
the red pop-up page demanded,
by a certain date
after which the price will rise.

I examine my maladjusted bank account
and draw my optical conclusion:

Byte me!

—Mary Langer Thompson
Mary Langer Thompson, the 2012 Senior Poet Laureate of California, is one of dozens of poets in attendance at this year’s “Poetry & Cookies” event to launch Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2017 published by the Altadena Library.



Poets included in this publication are award winners, Pushcart Prize Nominees, Poets Laureate, writing teachers, editors, publishers, professors, and emerging authors. The poets, and the 160 poems in the book are multi-culturally diverse and represent a broad variety of styles: traditional, unrhymed, short, long, humorous, poignant, political, inspirational, experimental, and, “everything in between.”

Emerging authors include14-year-old Elliot Negrin and 89-year-old Norma Burks! Professors are represented by, for example, Emily Fernandez who teaches composition and poetry at Pasadena City College and Don Campbell who has taught at local colleges including Occidental. Other Anthology 2017 poets include Pasadena City College composition and poetry teacher Emily Fernandez, Poet Laureate of North Hollywood Radomir Vojtech, and Pushcart Prize nominees Alice Pero, Karineh Mahdessian, Luivette Resto, and Jack Bowman—just to name only a few.



Every anthology seeks to raise the bar on excellence, gathering within its pages the creativity and vision that its editors proffer to lovers of literature. Here, the editors succeeded in giving us a panoply of wisdom, artistry, insights, and enjoyment that will bring us again and again to this gem of a book. Here, poets of different generations, cultural backgrounds, roots and writing styles share their individual and collective humanity with us.
Quill & Parchment



For the first time in the 15-year history of an Altadena poetry anthology, the creation of this book was led by co-editors: Elline Lipkin, Poet Laureate of the Altadena Library District 2016-2017; and Pauli Dutton, editor of the Poetry & Cookies Anthology, from which the Altadena Poetry Review evolved in 2015.

The co-editors worked closely with a peer review panel of published poets and editors who discussed all submitted poems. The Anthology Selection Committee, all volunteers, include Tim Callahan, Gloriana Casey, Gerda Govine Ituarte, Briony James, Thelma T. Reyna (Library Poet Laureate, 2014–2015), and Elsa M. J. Seifert. 



Poetry & Cookies is a free event and open to the public, so come sip a beverage, listen to some poems, mingle with poets, eat several cookies, snap a few photos, and browse—and buy!—poetry books for sale, including the Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2017!


Poetry & Cookies
Saturday, April 29th, 1-4:30 p.m. (break from 2:30 to 3)
Altadena Public Library
600 E. Mariposa St., Altadena 91011
Free event
For details, visit

Full list of Pushcart Prize nominees: Lois P. Jones, Tim Callahan, Lalo Kikiriki, Beverly M. Collins, Mark A. Fisher, G T FosterNancy Lind, Radomir Vojtech Luza, Karine Mahdessian, Shahé Mankerian, Jack G. Bowman, Alice Pero, and Susan Rogers.



“To the Young Prospector”

You’ve staked your claim,
named it “Home Run,”
and bought all your mining tools,
your dredge, sluice, and pan.
Your prospects look good
to keep what you find.
El oro es tuyos, all yours.

You camp among the tall timbers,
near a stream. Even spot bears
your mother warned you against.
Los osos son peligrosos, dangerous!
But you’re on your way to riches.
You’ll disturb the surface, then the universe
in search of glorious glints.

Before you strike out, consider this:
Where is the gold country?
I say it’s within reach,
in the wild cove
del corazón, your heart.

—Mary Langer Thompson


Mary Langer Thompson
Langer Thompson’s poems, short stories, and essays appear in various journals and anthologies. She is a contributor to two poetry writing texts, The Working Poet (Autumn Press, 2009) and Women and Poetry: Writing,Revising, Publishing and Teaching (McFarland, 2012), and was the 2012 Senior Poet Laureate of California. A retired school principal and former secondary English teacher, Langer Thompson received her Ed.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She enjoys conducting poetry workshops for schools, prisons, and in her community of the high desert.




1 Response for “Poetry & Cookies”

  1. Thank you for featuring my poetry. As someone who grew up in Glendale, California, Pasadena is very dear to me, having spent a lot of time in the Pasadena Library, Vroman’s, the Pasadena Playhouse, and shopping on Colorado Blvd. The Poetry and Cookie event is free on April 29th, and everyone who can go should attend!



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