Thank you to Marsha, Phil, and to everyone who was involved with the project for putting this all together. Thanks to these amazing poets and storytellers, “Dear America: Telling the World We Lived,” can spread history and life lessons to a younger generation. I don’t think we’ll ever recover from the pandemic but sharing our stories and poems will help our experiences last forever. Today I am sharing the stories and poems of Eileen Fiori, Marcy Wingard, and Jerry Garcia.  Eileen has always had a thirst for knowledge. After taking courses on women’s studies in mid-life; Eileen realized that she did not want to followRead More →

Hi, my name is Karen Gonzalez. I am the new intern at the Ventura County Poetry Project. I am currently working to get my Bachelor’s degree in English at CSU Channel Islands. I love writing, reading, and making music. My favorite poets are Maya Angelou and Anne Sexton. My love for reading started when I was little. My mom would take my siblings and I to the library almost everyday. Even though my mom did not speak fluent English, she tried her best to teach me how to read. Once I got the hang of it, I was able to dive into different stories andRead More →

One morning, Gerald Zwers stood in his driveway. He took 100 mindful steps and ended up in front of a neighbor’s house. Looking left was “a great wall of green,” the hedge of a neighbor, and to his right, Zwers saw an intersection full of life and his own shadow stretching across it. “My immense, long shadow across the intersection,” he said, “That’s life. We have no idea how far we stretch.” Zwers has been stretching himself as an artist and an organizer of art shows for decades. A prolific painter, Zwers is hoping to augment visual art through collaboration with poets. Ekphrastic poetry isRead More →

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 →