Poetry Within Reach & Poetry Pioneers

Apr 18, 2017

The City of Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek issued a Proclamation: Whereas to observe this month and celebrate the cultural riches our community has to offer, five of the Pasadena Rose poets will be reading…

To celebrate National Poetry Month.

Five of the Pasadena Rose Poets—Gerda Govine Ituarte, Marcia Arrieta, Teresa Mei Chuc, Hazel Clayton Harrison, and Mel Donalson—will be reading in “Studio on Fourth” at the Pasadena Central Library on April 27.

The Pasadena Rose Poets were created to establish a lunch-time reading series July through August in 2016. The idea was to create a poetry component of the NEA “Our Town My Pasadena” public art project grant received by the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division and Side Street Projects.

The Pasadena Rose Poets (PRP) have read at Lit Crawl L.A. 2016, John Muir High School, La Pintoresca Library, Book Show Bookstore, City Council meetings on a regular basis, and the Pasadena Museum of California Art during Pasadena ArtNight March 2017.



Pasadena Pioneers of Poetry will be honored:
Rae Ballard
Don Kingfisher Campbell
Beverly LaFontaine
Thelma Reyna

Local publishers of literary works including poetry are to be honored as well
Golden Foothills Press (Thelma Reyna)
Indefinite Space Poetry/Art Journal (Marcia Arrieta)
Red Hen Press (Kate Gale)
Shabda Press (Teresa Mei Chuc)
SGV Poetry Quarterly and Spectrum (Don Kingfisher)

Pasadena Rose Poet Books available for sale and light refreshments will be served.


Poetry Within Reach
Thursday, April 27th, 7-9 p.m.
Pasadena Central Library, 284 E. Walnut St., Pasadena 91101
Free event

Presented by Consejo Fronterio de Arte y Cultura/Border Council of Arts and Culture.



“Poetry Within Reach Series”

Pasadena Rose Poets


Dr. Gerda Govine Ituarte, poet, is the author of three books:  Future Awakes in Mouth of NOW, (Editions du Cygne/Swan World, Paris France), June 2016; Alterations|Thread Light Through Eye of Storm, 2015 and Oh, Where is My Candle Hat? 2012. Anthologies include: Coiled Serpent, The Altadena Poetry Review, Hometown Pasadena, Journal of Modern Poetry, Indefinite Space, Dryland, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly and Spectrum.



Marcia Arrieta is a poet, artist, and teacher, who has an affinity for islands, gardens, and travel.  The author of two poetry books: archipelago counterpoint  (BlazeVOX, 2015) and triskelion, tiger moth, tangram, thyme (Otoliths, 2011), she has an MFA from Vermont College. She edits and publishes Indefinite Space, a poetry/art journal.



Teresa Mei Chuc is the author of two books of poetry, Red Thread (Fithian Press, 2012) and Keeper of the Winds (FootHills Publishing, 2014). Her poetry is in the anthology Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees. Teresa’s chapbook of poetry How One Loses Notes and Sounds was published in 2016. Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands Anthology  (symphonic voices of 163 poets around he world) was published by her press, Shabda in 2017.



Hazel Clayton Harrison earned her B.S and M.ED from Kent State University. Her poetry has been published in many anthologies, including The Altadena Poetry Review Anthology – 2016 and Coiled Serpent.  Her memoir, Crossing the River Ohio, is available on Amazon.  Read her posts about current events on



Dr. Mel Donalson received his Ph.D. from Brown University. An editor of two books, including Cornerstones: An Anthology of African American Literature, he completed three books on cinema, including Black Directors in Hollywood. In addition to his poetry collection, Dancing on Quicksand, his latest collection, Revelations  was published in 2017.  He wrote three novels, including The Third Woman.



Dr. Kate Gale is the author of five books of poetry. Recent works are Goldilocks Zone, (New Mexico Press 2014) and Echo Light, (Red Mountain Press 2014). She is the editor of the Los Angeles Review. Articles, poems and fiction have been published in Gargoyle, Oberon, Rattle, Eclipse, Poems & Plays and Quarterly West. She is Managing Editor of Red Hen Press in Pasadena.



Shahé Mankerian’s manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, was a finalist at the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition and the Quercus Review’s Poetry Book Award. Shahé serves as the principal of St. Gregory Hovsepian School in Pasadena. He’s been honored with the Los Angeles Music Center’s BRAVO Award.

Carla Sameth, MFA is co-founder of The Pasadena Writing Project, works with The Los Angeles Writing Project at Cal State LA and teaches creative writing to incarcerated youth with WriteGirl. She published work in several anthologies/publications including Brain, Child, Narratively, MUTHA Magazine, Pasadena Weekly, Hometown Pasadena, Tikkun, and La Bloga. She was selected as a Teaching Artist for a fall residency with PEN.  



In Buzios
by Carla Sameth

No hay tristeza en Buzios
Could it be true
Only well scrubbed well loved some say spoiled delicious
open affectionate doted over darling happy children

A girl walks over Orlo Bardot
(named after none other than…)
with a shy velvety grey kitten
already taken care of while

In Rio bloody pregnant dead dog lies thrown out
as garbage
Hours away from Buzios
There in the early morning on the way to the laundry in Copacabana streets

I see dog teets full of milk dead not asleep
Later she will be taken away with the garbage
as if only imagined
that discarded carcass surrounded by trash bags

An illusion of order in colossal Rio
where everyone, even the tourists stay on high alert
In Rio a little boy wanders alone in drizzle darkness
diaper wears him

Maybe one year or two judging by Frankenstein toddler walk
Totters in empty plaza no adult in sight
except man sitting in center of plaza who stares at phone fiddles with coke can
We stop in disbelief don’t want to know what he is doing

Move towards baby we can’t leave
Police officer appears Annoyed
Gestures to man with coke can and phone who sheepishly moves towards baby
We don’t know if he belongs with him

Or what life he’s headed to
In the desolate plaza where all should beware of walking alone
But he’s gone with the man with the coke can Just like that
No toddlers wander alone in Buzios

No dogs with teats full of milk bloody bitches discarded as waste
swept away with the trash so street is clean for tourists in Copacabana
No this is Buzios well dressed visitors from Rio
walk the promenade Orlo Bardot

as if the rest of Brazil didn’t exist No favela evictions readying Rio for Olympics
No toddlers wandering in dark plazas alone with diaper
Only samba and graffiti safely strolling any hour along the water
Three and a half hours and a million light years away from Rio

“Sure I’ll watch your stuff” dice la Argentina
“but here no one worries no one would take anything”
(they can’t even boast that, even in the US).
But in Buzios it’s all as if there is nothing more important

than capturing the best shade of sunset the finest beach for solitary sunbathing
the best pousada
Shrimp that fisherman catch each day
Bobbing upon picturesque ocean for us to see

There are even three dormant fisherman day after day
Frozen in time, sculpted, courtesy of VISA sign says
Don’t you know? They own you!
No hay tristeza in Buzios

But Rio Cariocas dance
with happiness in spite of it…the need to be on…to be aware…24 hours a day
As if I can speak as one who knows
I can only speak as one

who knows joking singing dancing laughing in spite of the shit death disaster
bloody mess of life and pregnant dead bitches laying in the street
toddlers teetering alone in drizzle of midnight black plazas
Life is laughter in disaster passion in survival

In this truth I rejoice with the Cariocas
But today I am happy to walk
peacefully along the ocean
swim unafraid of guarding my few reais in hidden body crevice

Eat without fear of walking home
Only wondering about best place to drink Caipirinha
Privileged. Sometimes.
I am not just one thing.





Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena