2013 POETS

Mariano Zaro

Mariano Zaro is a poet and fiction writer. He has published four bilingual poetry books Where From/Desde Donde, Poems of Erosion/Poemas de la erosión, The House of Mae Rim/La casa de Mae Rim and, recently, Tres letras/Three Letters. His short fiction has appeared in The Baltimore Review, Pinyon, The Portland Review, Magnapoets, and the Louisville Review. He is the winner of the 2004 Roanoke Review Short Fiction Contest. He conducts poetry workshops and teaches Spanish Language at Rio Hondo College (Whittier, CA). More information at www.marianozaro.com

Teresa Mei Chuc

Teresa Mei Chuc was born in Saigon, Vietnam and immigrated to the U.S. under political asylum with her mother and brother shortly after the Vietnam War. She teaches literature and writing at a public inner-city middle school. Teresa received her Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing (poetry) from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Teresa is the author of Red Thread: Poems (2012).

Hiram Sims

Born and raised in various parts of Los Angeles, Hiram Sims is a poet, essayist and English Professor, teaching at several colleges and universities in Southern California. He first discovered poetry at the age of five when he plagiarized a decorative poem on his mother's bathroom wall. In his 4th Grade English class, he was proclaimed the "Captain of Limerick Poems." He later went on to the University of Southern California to receive a B.A. in English: Creative Writing and a Masters of Professional Writing in Poetry. In addition to teaching essay writing, creative writing, and literature, he is the founder of the Urban Poets Society. He has published three collections of poetry, including Poems of a Young, Troubled Mind, Write or Die, and 21 Love Poems and a Psalms of Despair. For more on Hiram, visit hiramsims.com.

Pam Ward

Los Angeles native, Pam Ward’s first novel, "Want Some, Get Some," Kensington, chronicles L.A. after the ’92 riots.  Her second novel, "Bad Girls Burn Slow,” is about wicked folks in the funeral business. A UCLA graduate and “California Arts Council Literary Fellow,” Pam merged writing and graphics and produced “My Life, LA: The Los Angeles Legacy Project” documenting the impact of black Angelinos on the land through poster/stories which premiered at the Leimert Park Book Festival. She’s published numerous L.A. poets through MASON JAR MEDIA and SHORT DRESS PRESS including the acclaimed anthology, “Supergirls Handbook.” Visit Pam Ward atwww.pamwardgraphics.com and www.pamwardwriter.com

Michael Datcher

Michael Datcher is the author of the New York Times Bestseller Raising Fences.  His poetry and essays are widely anthologized.  He is a professor of English at Loyola Marymount University.

Conney D. Williams

Conney D. Williams is a Los Angeles based poet, actor and performance artist originally from Shreveport, Louisiana where he worked a radio personality. He has one previous collection of poetry “Leaves of Spilled Spirit from an Untamed Poet (2002).” His poetry has also been published in various publications and anthologies, Voices from Leimert Park; America: At the End of the Day; and The Drumming Between Us. He has appeared on stage and television. He has a passion for writing has performed his poetry on television, radio, galleries, universities/schools, coffee houses, and stages around Southern California and across the country; including the Black Arts Festival.  He is a community activist and has worked with youth for over 25 years. He is formerly an ordained minister and Youth Pastor in the Church of God in Christ. He hosted a weekly cable television bible study and also recorded a gospel rap cd called L.I.F.E (1985). He is the Artistic Director at the World Stage in Leimert Park; and is a member and current Coordinator for the Anansi Writers Workshop. This workshop at the World Stage has produced some the most respected African American writers in the country. His has collaborated with artist Charles Bibbs on the production of WordArt; a monthly event of poetry, jazz, and visual art. He has hosted several poetry venues and been a curator for many poetry/jazz events throughout Los Angeles. He has been the Poet’s Stage Coordinator for the Leimert Park Book Fair for five of its six-year existence.

Visit Conney D. Williams at:

Gloria Enedina Alvarez

Gloria Enedina Alvarez: Chicana poet, intermedia artist, playwright, librettist, literary translator and curator, presently teaches creative writing and works as a consultant in public schools, universities, libraries, museums, and art centers. Her literary/artistic efforts have been recognized by the CAC, National Endowment for the Arts, Cultural Affairs Department, City of L.A., COLA Award, Poets & Writers, Inc., among others. She has published and read widely in the U.S., Latin America and Europe. Her plays and librettos for opera, Los Biombos, Cuento de un Soldado/Story of a Soldier, El Niño, have been produced internationally. Her books of poetry in English and Spanish include La Excusa/ The Excuse and Emerging en un Mar De Olanes. Her poetry has been published in various anthologies and numerous periodicals.

Gerda Govine Ituarte

Gerda Govine Ituarte, poet, curator, columnist  and CEO of G. Govine Consulting, was born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and emigrated to New York City in the mid 50’s and California in the early 80’s.  She lives with her artist husband Luis in Pasadena and Tijuana, B.C., Mexico.  Writing poetry allows my reservoir of memories and observations to flow freely and bring comfort and joy. I reflect, illuminate and connect with others using words to create a sense of place. I am in love with words that anchor, touch and nourish my spirit and soul.

Dr. Govine Ituarte writes, “As We Speak” a column for the Pasadena San Gabriel Valley Journal and is a guest writer for The Pasadena Weekly Newspaper.  She graduated from Teachers College Columbia University with a M.A. and Ed.D. in Higher and Adult Education Administration and Research.  She earned a B.S. and M.A. in Business Education from New York University.  She was appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission for Women in 2012 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.  She is CEO of G. Govine Consulting and provides expert witness, litigation consultation, training, writing and public speaking in the area of human resources, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion.

(626) 484-0740      Pasadena, CA

Peter J. Harris

Peter J. Harris, founder and Artistic Director of Inspiration House, is an African American cultural worker who has since the 1970s published his poetry, essays, and fiction in a wide range of national publications; worked as a publisher, journalist, editor and broadcaster; and been an educator, and workshop leader for adults and adolescents.

Harris is also founding director of The Black Man of Happiness Project, a creative, intellectual and artistic exploration of Black men and joy.

He’s author of the joyful ebook, “The Vampire Who Drinks Gospel Music,” which takes readers from darkened movie houses filled with enthusiastic narrators, to the Washington, D.C., campus of Howard University, to covens illuminated by masterful art and hidden in plain sight off the coast of Georgia and outside Ile Ife in West Africa.

In 2011, he was a Contributor-Collaborator with his daughter Adenike Harris on her Creative Thesis: Restorative Notions: Regaining My Voice, Regaining My Father: A Creative Womanist Approach to Healing from Sexual Abuse, Georgia State University.  The thesis can be found here. He is co-writing the adaptation of the Creative Thesis, which is called Ghost on the Door:  Healing Conversations & Loving Lessons for Survivors of Sexual Violence from a Courageous Daughter & Her Non-Abusive Father, a candid, ethical, loving dialogue between a Black father and a Black daughter confronting, surviving, and transcending her rape by a Black step father.

Links: Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Smashwords (Apple Devices

Tchikonsase Aje

Tchikonsase Aje is a mother, teacher, poet and a member of the Anansi Writer’s workshop for over twenty years. She was among the first group mentored in the Emerging Voices program run by PEN West to foster minority development in the writing of literature. She has been a recipient of the Brody Award for literature and has worked as a literature professor for Otis Parsons, Poetry teacher for the LA Philharmonic, the Pasadena Armory Center for the Arts, The Heart Project, Public Allies, Tebot Bach, and various other non-profit organizations throughout Los Angeles area. She is also a member of the Back Porch Fiction writing workshop where she is currently working on penning her first novel.

S. Pearl Sharp

S. Pearl Sharp    Offerings include the just released audio collection of short stories, Uncertain Rituals, the recent re-release of Life Is A Saxophone, her 1985 film on poet Kamau Daáood, and two poetry w/jazz CDs: On The Sharp Side and Higher Ground.  She has published four volumes of poetry, the non-fiction book  Black Women For Beginners,  now in its 4th printing, and her commentaries have aired on NPR.   An award winning documentary filmmaker, her hallmark work is The Healing Passage/Voices From The Water.  S. Pearl enjoys collaborating with dance, jazz and visual artists.  YouTube channel - A Sharp Show.  www.spearlsharp.com    

Billy Burgos

Billy Burgos is an Illustrator/Designer/Poet from Los Angeles. He is a Curator on staff at Gotpoetry.com. His poetry has been featured in both Anthologies and Literary Journals and Zines. In 2007 Billy was chosen as an up and coming poet by the L.A. Poetry Festival. He has served as workshop facilitator of the Beyond Baroque Wednesday night workshop and hosts the First Sunday Open Reading at Beyond Baroque. Billy is the host of Word Ballast, a blogtalk poetry show where he has interviewed such poets as Nikki Giovanni, Nikky Finney, Thomas Sayers Ellis and Nick Flynn. His vivid paintings of some of L.A's most interesting poets called The Faces of Poetry is a traveling gallery/poetry exhibit which has been featured in both art journals as well as KCET. His first full length collection of poetry called Eulogy to an Unknown tree is out now on Writ Large Press.

Imani Tolliver

Imani Tolliver is a poet, visual artist and educator. She has been a consultant for several museums, educational institutions and has been honored with a Certificate of Appreciation by the City of Los Angeles for her work as a promoter, host and publicist in support of the literary arts in Southern California. She also served as the 2007/2008 Poet Laureate for the Watts Towers Arts Center in Los Angeles, California.

She has been a featured poet across the country, including the Smithsonian Institution, Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, The World Stage Performance Gallery, University of Southern California, California State University at Long Beach, California State University Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Central Library.

Imani also volunteers, marches, and pitches in whenever she is able, in support of the vibrant and beautiful LGBT community of which she is wholly and happily a part.

Visit Imani Tolliver at: Imanitolliver.com