Monday, September 20, 2010

Chopin in Venice and at the Polish Fest LA

The third installment in the ongoing series of events dedicated to poetry inspired by Chopin's music took place on September 12, 2010, at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, California. It was yet another version of poetry and music, changed by the presence of different poetic voices and an entirely new selection of music: transcriptions for flute of Chopin music and his rarely played Variations on Rossini.

The next Chopin with Cherries event is scheduled for September 25, 2010 at 1 p.m., at the Polish Fest LA, at Our Lady of the Bright Mount Catholic Church on Adams St. Los Angeles. There will be a brief Chopin lecture, followed by a concert by two pianists, with four poets reciting their work: Lois P. Jones, Mira N. Mataric, Susan Rogers, and Maja Trochimczyk. For more information about Polish Fest LA visit its website.

At Beyond Baroque, the music was provided by Rick Wilson, who played two antique flutes as well as improvised music for poets who wished to recite their work with flute accompaniment. Rick performed on a crystal glass flute by Claude Laurent (Paris, 1834, in the photo) and on an ivory flute by J. & W. Wainwright (London, ca. 1830). Both instruments are from his collection of over 130 antique flutes:


  • The "Minute Waltz" - Waltz, Op. 64, No. 1 (transposed from D-flat to D) – Rick Wilson
  • Marilyn Robertson – We speak Chopin
  • Lois P. Jones – This Waltz is not for Dancing
    (Chopin’s Waltz in A Minor, Posthumous)
  • Russell Salamon – Waltz in A Minor
  • Russell Salamon – Eternal Nocturne
  • Rick Lupert – Chopin in an Old Church
  • Maja Trochimczyk – A Study with Cherries

  • Variations on a Theme by Rossini ("Non piu mesta"
    – La Cenerentola) in E Major, Op. B.9 (1824) – Rick Wilson
  • Maja Trochimczyk – Harvesting Chopin
  • Kathi Stafford – Mazurka, Formed of Rain
  • Kathi Stafford – Second Movement
  • Georgia Jones-Davis – Chopin’s Sorrow
  • Radomir Vojtech Luza – Frozen Flowers
  • Radomir Vojtech Luza – Beyond Utopia
  • Waltz in B Minor, Op.69, No. 2 (flute transcription) – Rick Wilson

  • Fantaisie on a Melody of Chopin, Op. 29 by Jules Demersseman, Theme and Variation – Rick Wilson
  • Erika Wilk – Winter in Majorca
  • Erika Wilk – Everlasting Love
  • Maja Trochimczyk – How to Make a Mazurka
  • Ruth Nolan – Concerto No. 1, in E Minor, on Highway 111, in Palm Springs
  • Mira N. Mataric – Chopin and I
  • Mira N. Mataric – Dance with Me
  • Kath Abela Wilson – How I Fell in Love with Chopin

  • Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 2 (flute transcription) – Rick Wilson
  • R. Romea Luminarias – There Is No Other Love
  • Lia Brooks – During Nocturne (read by Lois P. Jones)
  • Susan Rogers – Alicia Plays Chopin

  • Życzenie/The Wish Op. 74, No. 1 (song in flute transcription) – Rick Wilson

A photographic report from the event by Kathabela Wilson may be found on Picasa Web Albums. She commented about "a fantastic concept realized again. Each Chopin with Cherries performance is different, and a wonderful realization...I love these programs that present such poetic and musical strengths and beauties."


LIA BROOKS has great difficulty thinking about anything else but poetry. When she isn’t writing you’ll usually find her with a nose in a book or somewhere outside walking, either in the woods or by the sea. Her work has been published in Penumbra, South, Shadow Train, First Time, California Quarterly, Loch Raven Review and various other print and online magazines and anthologies in the U.K. and the U.S. She was short-listed for the New Leaf Short Poetry Prize in 2007 and her work has been part of two ekphrastic events in collaboration with painters in California and Indiana. She is also a painter and resides in Southampton, England.

LOIS P. JONES has been published in American Poetry Journal, Rose & Thorn, Tiferet, Quill & Parchment, The California Quarterly, Kyoto Journal, and other print and on-line journals in the U.S. and abroad. She is co-founder of Word Walker Press and a documentarist of Argentina’s wine industry. She has featured in London, Prague, Los Angeles, Seattle as well as Tacoma Washington’s Distinguished Writers Series. You can hear her as host on 90.7 KPFK’s Poet’s Cafe (Pacifica Radio) and see her as co-producer of Moonday’s monthly poetry reading in Pacific Palisades, California. She is the Associate Poetry Editor of Kyoto Journal and a 2009 Pushcart Nominee. In 2010 her poem “Ouija” won Poem of the Year for IBPC judged by Dana Goodyear.

GEORGIA JONES-DAVIS wakes up in the morning thinking about poetry as much as breakfast. That she began, whilst a student, to compose poetry at the same time that she started to listen to the music of Chopin is no coincidence, she insists. She spent over twenty years rough-housing it in journalism, working as a reporter, book review editor and literary reviewer for The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, New York Newsday and The Chicago Tribune, etc. Georgia is squarely focused on poetry now and still listening to Chopin. Her work has appeared in West Wind, The Bicycle Review, Brevities, Voices From the Valley, The Los Angeles Times and the California Quarterly. She is a co-director of Valley Contemporary Poets (VCP) and at work on her first book of poems.

R. ROMEA LUMINARIAS (Rey Luminarias) studied architecture and poetry in Manila, Hong Kong, China, Seattle and Los Angeles, California. His works have appeared in various publications, including issues of the Caracoa Literay Journal and the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly. His poems have been included in an anthology, Philippine Protest Poetry. A member of Poets West, Rey Luminarias is also a painter and paper sculptor. He teaches architecture, painting, marimba music, and creative writing. Rey’s collection of large-print meditative writings and an illustrated book of poems and riddles are forthcoming this year.

RICK LUPERT has been involved with poetry in Los Angeles since 1990. He served for two years as a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets, a 30-year San Fernando Valley based literary organization. His poetry has appeared in places such as The Los Angeles Times, Chiron Review, Stirring, The Blue Jew Yorker,, Caffeine Magazine, Blue Satellite and others. He edited A Poet’s Haggadah: Passover through the Eyes of Poets anthology and is the author of 12 poetry collections. He has hosted the weekly Cobalt Café reading series in Canoga Park since 1994 and is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California. Rick created and maintains the Poetry Super Highway, an online resource and publication for poets. (

RADOMIR VOJTECH LUZA is a friend to peasants and poets, senators and saints. His poetry is breaking ground at warp speed and possessing enough images and details to stand in museums for hundreds of years and millions of minutes. Radomir has published poetry in literary journals, anthologies and websites; he hosted po-rap (his own music form) readings all over the country. He has fifteen poetry and prose books to his credit, including Damaged Goods, as well as two chapbooks, Personal Goods and More Personal Goods, published by Poets on Site. His poetry recently appeared in Phantom Seed, Sage Trail, The Bicycle Review and poeticdiversity. His featured poetry gigs took place in New York City, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Washington DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, St. Louis, among other cities.

MIRA (MIRJANA) N. MATARIC is a Californian poet and writer from Serbia. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in languages and world literature at the University of Belgrade and, after immigrating to the U.S. in 1981, pursued a Master’s in Special Education from Emporia University, KS. Her poetry, short stories, translations (Serbian/ English), essays and travelogues have appeared in literary magazines and journals for decades. Mira has published 30 books in English and Serbian, including her own poetry and prose, as well as many translations. Her writings offer a vibrant, picturesque, true depiction of life and people in times of strife and joy, always filled with wisdom, beauty and love of life. She received numerous awards for poetry in the U.S. and Serbia, as well as three Presidential Citations for her volunteer work in advancing literature and teaching creative writing.

RUTH NOLAN, M.A., is founder of Phantom Seed, a California desert literary magazine. She was born in San Bernardino, grew up in the high desert town of Apple Valley, and worked as a helicopter hotshot firefighter for the Bureau of Land Management during her college years. She currently lives in Palm Desert, where she is Associate Professor of English at College of the Desert. She is editor of a new anthology, No Place for a Puritan: the literature of California’s Deserts, forthcoming from Heyday Books in fall, 2009. She is recipient of a 2008-09 Joshua Tree National Park affiliate writer’s residency, and has published several collections of poetry, including Wild Wash Road, and Dry Waterfall l. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including, recently, Pacific Review. She serves on the advisory committee for the Inlandia Institute, based in Riverside, CA.

MARILYN N. ROBERTSON lives in Northeast Los Angeles. She has studied with Suzanne Lummis and been a featured reader at the “Viva Poetry” series leading up to Lummis Day in NELA, at the Light the Sky poetry series at the Eagle Rock Plaza, and at the Pat Pincus Memorial Poetry Readings in Brentwood. Her poetry appears in the forthcoming book, The Poetry Mystique published by Duende Books. She is a graduate of Occidental College in English Literature, with Masters’ and doctoral degrees in education from USC. She was a president of the California School Library Association. During her 34 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District, she served students as one of the district librarians specializing in storytelling and children’s literature.

SUSAN ROGERS considers poetry a vehicle for light and a tool for the exchange of positive energy. She is a practitioner of Sukyo Mahikari—a spiritual practice that promotes positive thoughts, words and action. Her poems are a part of the 2010 Valentine Peace Project and were part of the 2009 event “Celebrating Women: Body, Mind and Spirit.” They have also been performed at several museums and art galleries in Southern California. Her work can be found in the 2009 haiku anthology, Shell Gathering, numerous chapbooks from Poets on Site and can be heard online as part of the audio tour for the Pacific Asia Museum.

RUSSELL SALAMON has been writing poetry since 1963 when at Fenn College in Cleveland, Ohio he discovered his purpose to create art in words. He has written a poetic novel about the Sixties, Descent into Cleveland, (Words and Pictures Press, 1994). Two books of poems Woodsmoke and Green Tea (deepclevelandpress 2006) and Ascent from Cleveland: Wild Heart Steel Phoenix, (Bottom Dog Press with Fredonia Press 2008) are still in print. Breeze Hunting, a chapbook (Inevitable Press 2001) exists. Author of many poems, most recently the Black Axioms Series of love poems. He is one of the editors of California Quarterly, having just selected for Volume 36, Number 1.

KATHI STAFFORD’s poetry has appeared in various literary journals such as Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Offerings, and Hard Row to Hoe. She is poetry editor for Southern California Review. Additionally, she is a Pushcart Prize nominee for 2009. She is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC.

MAJA TROCHIMCZYK is a poet, music historian, photographer, translator and non-profit director, born in Poland, educated in Warsaw and at McGill University in Canada (Ph.D., 1994), and living in California ( She published four books of music studies (After Chopin; The Music of Louis Andriessen; Polish Dance in Southern California, and A Romantic Century in Polish Music), two books of poetry illustrated with her photographs (Rose Always and Miriam’s Iris, 2008), and hundreds of articles on music and culture. Over 70 poems appeared in such journals as Loch Raven Review, Magnapoets, poeticdiversity, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, Quill & Parchment, Ekprasis, poeticdiversity, as well as anthologies by Poets on Site and others. Dr. Trochimczyk currently serves as Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga and President of Modjeska Club (2010-2012).

ERIKA WILK is a poet, born in Bavaria, raised in Salzburg, Austria, and for the past fifty years a California girl. She is a member of two poetry groups based in Pasadena, Emerging Urban Poets and Poets on Site. Her poetry has been published in the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly and several chapbooks by Poets on Site, written to paintings by Milford Zornes, Henry Fukuhara, etc.

KATH ABELA WILSON is the creator and leader of Poets on Site, a poetry performance group where poets collaborate with dancers, musicians, and artists to perform on site of their inspirations, including museums and galleries. She edited 16 chapbooks of Poets of Site including hundreds of poems. Her poetry appeared in The California Quarterly, Prism, Tinywords, Asahi, Astro Poetica, Haiku News, Ribbons, Red Lights, Shakespeare's Monkey Revue, Pirate Pig Press, Star*Line, astarte, lunarosity, Totem, Phantom Seed, and in various anthologies. She sings in the alto section in the Caltech Glee Club and fell in love with Chopin as a young girl. Without a piano, she learned to play some of his pieces on a paper keyboard, for her weekly lessons. She often travels the world with her Caltech math professor husband Rick Wilson and they collect musical instruments, flutes and percussion.

RICK WILSON bought his first flute in an antique shop in Amsterdam in 1977 and has since become a serious player, student, and collector of historical flutes. Twelve instruments from his collection of over 130 antique flutes were on display at the Fiske Museum of Musical Instruments in Claremont, CA in 1993. He studied the one-keyed Baroque flute with Stephen Preston in London in 1978--79 and has participated a number of times in the Baroque Performance Institute of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he worked with Christopher Krueger. He continued studies of 19th century multi-keyed flutes with Stephen Preston and Jan Boland at the Wildacres Flute Retreat in the 1990s, and has worked on traditional flute techniques with Chris Norman at the Boxwood Festival. He played in Los Angeles since 1981 with the Huntington Ensemble, was part of the Hollywood Early Music Players, and has also performed with the Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra, Con Gioia, and numerous other local groups. Rick Wilson is a Professor of Mathematics at California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.