• Mapping the Artist Review -2It has been a pleasure for me to interview these amazing artists and poets. Every Saturday we have been able to say “Here Come the Poets.” And they have arrived with all their individual voices and splendor.

      By Kathabela Wilson

      In order of appearance, here are the remaining group of 17 artists/poets of 2015.

      Fereidun Shokatfard

      Fereidun Shokatfard at the Torch Run.When I was 7 years old I fell out of a car driving 80 miles an hour…I know why I did survive –to make a difference…when the stress of my business caused a heart attack over 25 years ago, I went back to art and tried to use my painting as a form of meditation…Full interview.

      Alex M. Frankel

      Alex M. Frankel reads from his own book at Bolton Hall feature, Sunland-Tujunga.I have an idea for a poem…the poem might take a surprising turn: the garden might be a disappointing place, with a dried-up fountain, a few dull cacti, and a faded photograph of Pope John Paul II; the beheading video, on the other hand, might have its own singular fascination: strange how the victim seems totally unafraid, amazing the precision and strength of the executioner, and even more amazing and terrible the…Full interview.

      Alex Nodopaka

      Alex Nodopaka poetry reading at Ten Thousand VillagesWe were United Nations Relief Administration refugees in Austria towards the end of WWII. Morocco was one country of choice for emigrants…I learned my 5th language I progressed from Babble to Ukrainian to Russian to German to French. When I reached the age of reason I switched from wine to Vodka & suddenly spoke in more tongues…I turned 18 and Morocco was independent and France wanted me to serve in Algeria…my parents sent me alone to pioneer America for them…Full interview.

      Sherman Pearl


      Sherman Pearl

      Poetry for me is not just a way of life; it is quite literally a source of new life…I’m not the kind of poet who waits for the muse to make an appearance. It’s taken me years to develop the confidence to write about nothing–maybe a penny I picked up from the street. It’s magical when it turns out to be gold…Full interview.

      Sonny Premo

      Sonny PremoWhat inspires me most is silence…I make my living as a video editor…when I am taking pictures, I look up. This is always interesting and surprising. The tops of buildings, fireworks, interesting cloud patterns, I think people miss things when they don’t look up…The sudden appearance of the unusual beauty – In the distance, in the sky, near the ceiling, above our heads, zipping past a door or window…Full interview.

      Maria Elena B. Mahler

      "The perspective of an Aztec eagle taught me a lot about my own country and about myself" - Maria Elena B. Mahler.My passion for English led me to study communications in Santiago. After graduation I was offered a job in Mexico City…[I ] ran off with a French Canadian and rode behind his Harley though fishing villages in the south of Mexico. I fell in love with his French moustache quicker than I could read a tanka poem and our divorce took almost as long as my novel…Full interview.

      Murray Thomas

      G. Murray Thomas reading his poetry at Bolton HallApparently I was a born writer. Before I even knew how to write, I would dictate stories to my mother and she would jot them down…music has always been a big influence on my writing…The secret was that, rather than trying to force the rhythm of my poems on the music, I had to adapt the words to the beat of the music. It was almost like rediscovering the poems…Full interview.

      Ross Anthony

      Ross Anthony (Photo - RossAnthony.com).How to explain Chili for Homeless? Hmmm. Well, I once road a dirt bike named Chili from Chicago to California giving away books and writing-related presentations as part of a charity event sponsored by my readers and others. Chili and I enjoyed that so much…once a year, each time a reader purchases a copy of [my] book, I cook up a bowl of chili for a homeless person in LA — then go out and deliver the chili on Chili…Full interview.

      Dorothy Skiles

      Dorothy Skiles.“Even now, Grandma still comes calling…
      I’m back in her kitchen, wrapped
      In the familiar smells of
      coffee brewing, bacon crackling.
      I take it all in – her twinkling eyes”

      I’m a big picture person…during the last half of my career with the County of Los Angeles…I did a lot of technical writing…Over time…this experience with detail, like my storyteller grandma, made me a better poet…Full interview.

      Keith Van Vliet

      Keith Van VlietFire and water are exciting to me. A spark, chip of ice, a poem is born. One event I remember from my early childhood…early on the morning after a 4th of July celebration. I wandered down the block looking for fireworks that hadn’t exploded, and I found one called “cherry bomb,” one much more powerful than your average firecracker. I had brought some matches…I lit the short stub of a fuse, which quickly exploded with a loud bang right by me. I wandered home with my ears ringing. I don’t believe I told anyone about it…Full interview.

      Genie Nakano

      Genie NakanoMy poetry is very personal and even therapeutic. As my husband said …

      “my lover says
      a childhood filled with hardship
      made me strong
      perhaps it brought us together
      as we moved towards the light”…Full interview.

      Mari Werner

      Mari WernerThe first time I read something to an audience, I was so terrified I could hardly breathe, but I still wanted to do it. It was a couple little humor pieces, and they laughed, and then I was hooked…Possibly some day when I’m spending less time earning a living I’ll put more attention on getting my poetry published, but for now I pretty much go for the instant gratification of poetry readings…Full interview.

      Joe DeCenzo

      Joe DeCenzoOne fond memory I have is when my parents bought me my first typewriter…They had to redeem 8 books of Blue Chip Stamps and it got me started…I’d have to be alone or find some place where I could meditate on my surroundings. I started hearing rhythms in the woodwork; the ticking of a clock or hum of a running appliance would form the framework of the words that would drop in and fill the meter…Full interview.

      Mary Torregrossa

      Mary Torregrossa…when contemplating a new poem and playing it back in my head, that searching for the right word or image is like making a visual decision while creating a collage…I include texture and color within the details of the narrative. In my heart of hearts, I am a storyteller….Full interview.

      kris moon

      kris moonI am a teacher of English in Japan, and meet with hundreds of students a week…My classroom activities of everyday English include art and poems. Excitement, cheerfulness and surprising sharing are also the essence of renku sessions, which I lead all over the world…Renku is a constantly flowing collaborative poem by many poets, which never repeats itself…Full interview.

      Joan E. Stern

      Joan E. SternI write “poem cards” during our travels to remind myself where I have been…About four years ago, I discovered senryu and was invited to join a group of seventeen women to create a book about the form…I started creating my travel-poem cards in senryu as glimpses of my travel adventures with [my husband] Bob….Full interview.

      Erika Wilk

      Erika Wilkl love being alone, to concentrate at the task. To write, to paint, whatever time I can give to the arts, that time is MINE!…At first, after I retired, I decided to try to write my memoirs, but then I surprised myself with poetry. I’ve also painted for years, and love especially Monet and Picasso. Some of my paintings are inspired and even depict an image I love by these great artists…I love silence while I write, and music while I paint…Full interview.

      The adventure continues…

      Happy New Year,

      From Kathabela

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        • Kathabela Wilson

          Kathabela Wilson is a local poet/writer/artist and musician. Her Poets Salon has become an international respected must read in the poetry world. She's the creator and host of the Pasadena-based group, “Poets on Site.”

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

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      1. Joan E. Stern says:

        Thank you for this fantastic compilation of the year’s interviews and the photo collage you added. I hope 2016 will be equally creative and productive.

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