How Poetry Changed Me by  Gabrielle Costanzo   Reading and writing poetry is very therapeutic to me, in a way that no other medium can do. The expression of emotion in just one poem is so powerful. When I write one, I don’t have to worry about proper sentence structure or all the technical rules, because poetry is open. There is something so relieving after going through a major life event, happy or sad, about putting it on the page. Putting my emotions on a page makes the shapeless and free floating memories and feelings in my head into shapes, into words, into something thatRead More →

  The complexity of home ground. What if the ground of our creativity, of our well-being is the ground itself? And, if the ground where we live is compromised by extractive technology yet still carries life and potential for nurturance, what should we do? For many of us, our understanding of beauty is based in this life and land. What if, as a people, most of us are late-comers, immigrants, and we did not and have not understood the land or cultures already here. What if a careless people came to a land they did not understand? And we are their descendants. What does lifeRead More →

  “Pandemic Postscript”, Poetry and more –by Amy Uyematsu on Eastwind – Politics and Culture of Asian Americans   Introduction: I’ve been writing poetry since my involvement in the early Asian American movement of the late 60s.  Japanese-American and Asian-American themes have been important in much of my writing through the decades.  While I also take on many other topics – among some of my favorites, are stones, women, culture – my anger about racism and white supremacy continues to fuel poems.  During the pandemic, that anger has become rage as we’ve witnessed more racist killings of blacks and the global Black Lives Matters protests, and as we AsianRead More →

Wit, Grit, and Experience – The Women’s Reading by Gabrielle Costanzo On March 7th the Ventura County Poetry Project hosted their annual International Women’s Day reading, which featured inspiring performances by a talented and diverse group of women. Each woman brought their own unique experiences and poetry to the reading. All the women who read put on a powerful performance, showing just how moving and empowering poetry and women can be. I had the honor of attending this reading via zoom, and would like to share some of my thoughts and highlights of the reading. The first woman to read was Zayan Reza. She isRead More →

Defining Moments by Lin Rolens As Amanda Gorman read her poem at the presidential inauguration and then read again at the Super Bowl, she vividly reminded us about the transformative power of language and poetry—and this is a moment for poetry. And, as the Ventura County Poetry Project launches its fourth annual poetry contest, we hope to tap into some of that remarkable energy. Last year’s contest was the most successful of our contests to date: we enjoyed many and varied, quality entries from all over our county and well beyond, and, in spite of the fact that our reading ceremony celebrating the winners wasRead More →

Conor Logan’s audio recording of the workshop – https://www.spreaker.com/user/13205062/thousandtalespodcast-vcpp-kindwriters-pu Kind Writers Are Exactly That!     By Marsha de la O Kind Writers, a new publishing company with the goal of building literary community between writers and publishers, held a virtual workshop on Jan. 30th sponsored by the Ventura County Poetry Project. Their editorial staff attended: Sophia Apodaca, founder and jack of all hands, Sam Aleks, art editor and fiction editor, Shayleene MacReynolds, non-fiction editor, Annabelle Bonebrake, poetry editor, and Jacqueline Molina, web design, art direction and blog editor. They spoke out on their guiding beliefs. “Our core value is to put writers and community first,”Read More →

Meet the Publishers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzv5nbN4HQU Sophia Apodaca, Samvel Aleksanyan, and Shayleene McReynolds What do they really do? Why did they become editors? How do you get published with them? How are they coping under lockdown? Donations requested. Reserve your spot in 2 steps: Register with Mary Rummel: mrummel@d.umn.edu Donation via PayPaypal: vcpoetryproject.org https://vcpoetryproject.org/donations/     Ventura County Poetry Project www.vcpoetryproject.org   more poetry here… over 1000 videos www.youtube.com/user/AskewPoetryJournalRead More →