Poetry Within Reach in Unexpected Places is the second four-week series of readings/performances by nine (9) culturally diverse emerging and seasoned Pasadena-connected published poets know as the Pasadena Rose Poets. The last date in the series is Wednesday April 11, 2018 from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. Attendees will have an opportunity to talk with and learn more about these local “citizen poets,” who model involvement in the City’s “Town Square,” as they read poetry during the public comment portion of the City Council weekly meetings.
They celebrated their one-year anniversary on February 26, 2018. City Council meetings are taped and available on line @ ww5.cityofpasadena.net. Dr. Gerda Govine Ituarte, Poet, is the Producer and MC for this series. She will be reading/performing with Poet/writer Carla Sameth and ”guest poet” Toni Mosley. The reading is free-to-the-public.
From its inception in 2016, thanks to funding from an NEA grant and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, the speaker series was established. Additional grant funding was approved for the 2017-2018 ﬁscal year from the Cultural Affairs Division. The Pasadena Rose Poets read at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, John Muir High School, The Pasadena Senior Center, La Pintoresca Park, Santa Catalina Library, Open Studios, La Linea Curva Studio, Altadena Library District, Beyond Baroque and The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens.
The purpose of Poetry Within Reach is to stimulate greater activity in the Civic Center area by introducing temporary and permanent poetry events/performances. Second to model community involvement as “citizen poets,” in the Civic Center by connecting with various Pasadena communities and the third is to incorporate poetry as an integral part of the Public Art Master Plan.
Poetry Within Reach is a project of Border Council of Arts & Culture/Consejo Fronterizo de Arte y Cultura (COFAC) funded by the City of Pasadena Arts and Cultural Affairs Division Arts and Culture Commission and COFAC.
Gerda Govine Ituarte’s poetry collection includes Future Awakes in Mouth of NOW [Editions du Cygne (Swan World, 2016); Alterations|Thread Light Through Eye of Storm (La Casa del Tunel Productions, 2015) and Oh, Where is My Candle Hat? (Asterisco Editoria de Poesia, Tijuana, 2012). Summer 2016 she established a four-week lunchtime poetry reading series “Poetry Within Reach in Unexpected Places,” and created the Pasadena Rose Poets comprised of nine seasoned Pasadena-connected poets. In February 2017. She established weekly poetry readings at City Council meetings. Her poetry has appeared in, i.e., Journal of Modern Poetry, Pasadena San Gabriel Valley Newspaper, Altadena Poetry Review, Hometown Pasadena, Coiled Serpent and Spectrum. She read at The Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena Senior Center, Pasadena Central Library, La Pintoresca Park, Avenue 50 Studio, Beyond Baroque, World Stage and Huntington Gardens. She has an M.A. and Ed.D. from Teachers College Columbia University. www.poetryartbookstation.com
Carla Sameth is a writer living in Pasadena. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and other publications such as The Nervous Breakdown, Brevity Blog, Brain, Child & Brain Teen Magazine, Mutha Magazine, Full Grown People, Angels Flight Literary West, Tikkun, Entropy, Pasadena Weekly, and La Bloga. Her story, “Graduation Day at Addiction High,” which ran in Narratively, was selected by Longreads for “Five Stories About Addiction.” Her poetry has appeared in Unlikely Stories, The Bitchin’ Kitsch and Hometown Pasadena. Carla was selected as a fall 2016 PEN In The Community Teaching Artist, and teaches at the Los Angeles Writing Project (LAWP) at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA). She is a member of the Pasadena Rose Poets who present “poetry within reach and in unexpected places.” Carla has an MFA in Creative Writing (Latin America) from Queens University.
Previously she “brought home the oatmeal” as a single mom, running her PR ﬁ rm, iMinds PR. Website: carlasameth.com, Twitter: @ carlasameth
Toni Mosley recently retired from heading up a nonproﬁt afterschool program in Mid-City, Los Angeles, where she provided homework assistance and math and science tutoring for under-performing students in public and parochial schools. Mosley learned that all children have stories that they are ashamed to share until they ﬁnd someone who is genuinely interested in listening and willing to help. Like the young girl in Mosley’s program who came in crying and ﬁghting, upset because she witnessed her father throwing her mother to the streets the night before. Or the youngster who constantly acted out because his mother called him stupid but was actually the brightest boy in Mosley’s program. Upon retirement Mosley had no idea how she would spend her remaining years until the desire to tell her own growing-up stories sparked an interest in writing. Her upcoming memoir Looking for Normal are stories blended with poetry about growing up with a father with an undiagnosed mental problem and her mother who suffered with him. Mosley’s poetry was most recently featured in Hometown-Pasadena.