Los Nietos Press is pleased to announce the release of Sharing Stories: Global Voices Coming Together.
This collection of 39 stories by members of the The Creative Writing for Seniors class, held at the Norwalk Senior Center, is a celebration of the stories that have poured out of this class over many years. The anthology contains the work of 39 authors, selected from the “Shared Stories” columns that have appeared over the last three years in The Downey Patriot and The Norwalk Patriot.
“The weekly column from which these pieces come … is an example of journalism at its most organic, with raw and honest storytelling that shines a light on the American way of life, in all its varied forms.”
— Eric Pierce, Editor, The Downey Patriot
For more than a decade, a senior center southeast of downtown Los Angeles has been a gathering place for individuals who come to learn about writing and to share their stories. Some participants join the group as new writers, while others have dabbled in poetry and various forms of prose. It is a friendly group, always open to newcomers.
Members come from all walks of life – housewives, office workers, veterans, educators, medical personnel — and their backstories reflect the diversity of southern California. They are both native born and immigrant.
Some grew up without running water in the Midwest, others grew up without running water in the Philippines. Some grew up experiencing the conflicts of the segregated South, others had their youth sacrificed to war, here and in the Pacific. In various ways their stories reveal strength, courage, curiosity, compassion, and a desire to remain engaged with life.
Three years ago, The Downey Patriot began featuring the stories from this writing group in a weekly column, “Shared Stories.” This anthology celebrates the column’s anniversary.
|Sabreen Adeeba||Claire Hess|
|Yolanda Adelé||Angelo Holt|
|Nobuyo Avery||Daniela Kanz|
|Charlotte Boquist||Virginia “Ginger” Lane|
|Karen Borrell||Shirley Mark|
|Mina Anne Chudilowsky||Frank Novak|
|Janice Collins||Kikumi Kay Okino|
|“Kacie” Kathy Cooper||Noemi Rabina|
|Gail Earl||Yolanda Reyna|
|Charlene Farnsworth||Dulce Ruelos|
|Belle Fluhart||Dora Silvers|
|Maria Lourdes Garcia||Sharon Benson Smith|
|Barbara Goodhue||Barbara Keesee Sparks|
|Maria Helen Gutierrez||Loie Tannehill|
|Kay Halsey||Katie Troy|
|Helen Hampton||Cynthia “Cindy” Vanasse|
|Gloria Hannigan||Evelyn Watson|
|Elaine Held||Vickie E. Williams|
|Owen Heninger, M.D.||Candy Wong|
This second collection of poetry continues Trista Dominqu’s tour through the blue-collar working class Southern California that moves beneath the glitz of Hollywood, the money Santa Monica and the Chrome skyline of Downtown. In poems such as “So Cali”, “Working Class Blue” and “45 minutes of Spanglish” she explores the world of steel-toed shoes, tattooed forearms, skate parks and mills South East of the city epicenter.
This book is personal, matter-of-fact, and will reach your soul.
“In So Cali, Trista Dominqu tells us what it is really like to grow up in Southern California. It is a place where different cultures rub up against each other with their food, music, and language; where graffiti is art; where the beach is a long trolley ride away. A place where the most important thing is not the weather, is not surfing, is not Hollywood; it is family.”
– G. Murray Thomas, My Kidney Just Arrived
“Trista Dominqu’s collection, So Cali, reads like a family photo album … with childhood moments of trolley rides, anthills, avocados, pool dives, and June bugs. It zooms out to a working class neighborhood, with baseball caps and flannels, young mothers and gutter kids, local libraries and Spanish teachers, and sons with protective mothers. … You will close these pages with images so tangible, vibrant, and immediate, you will confuse them with memories of your own.”
-Sarah Thursday, All the Tiny Anchors
Dominqu’s first book, “The Beauty of Muttliness,” debuted in 2013 at Poetry Matters. She has also performed at such venues as the La Puente art walk, Poetry Palooza and the Green Salon. Her work has appeared in Full of Crow and Cadence Collective online poetry magazines, and multiple anthologies by Cadence Collective, Lummox Press and Lucid Moose Lit.
Los Nietos Press is proud to announce the publication of Persons of Interest, the latest collection of poetry by Lorine Parks.
Parks is a prolific writer who finds subject material in daily events and news stories. Although she studied classical literature, her first published book, Catalina Eddy, was fanciful personification of the many manifestations of Southern California weather in the form of a mafia family. For her latest collection she draws on her classical roots, but also from her many years as a professional travel consultant, to explore fascinating individuals throughout history, and to weave a woman’s perspective to this expansive cross section of life.
“Wonderful, Parks weaves her signature extensions of metaphor and mystery, geography and myth” – RICK SMITH
“Persons of Interest is a fascinating, chilling and remarkably clear-eyed navigation along the tightrope world that we all must walk.” –FRANK KEARNS
“Among these poems we get, as part of the bargain, the wonderful “Old Woman”series. Women of all ages will empathize. Women writers of all ages will be jealous they hadn’t thought of it first. I know I am.” – SUZANNE LUMMIS
Lorine Parks will be the featured reader at POETRY MATTERS, the monthly poetry reading that she curates at STAY GALLERY. Her reading will take place on February 19th. Doors open at 7:00, open mike begins at 7:30.
Downey Native to be Featured Poet
by Carol Kearns
Downey poet and artist Rosalie Desimone Sciortino will be the featured reader for Poetry Matters, Thursday, January 15, at Stay Gallery. Her work over the years has had an impact on the Downey arts scene in many ways. Sciortino was a leader in Writers Workshop West (a writing group spearheaded by theater director John Hume), and a board member of the Downey Art League. She has often been a contributing writer to the Downey Patriot, and before that the Downey Eagle. Doors will open at 6:30 PM for a reception, and her artwork will be on display for a week.
Reflecting her wit and creativity, Sciortino’s new book, The Gift, includes a whimsical short story and several memoirs of her Downey childhood, in addition to her lyrical poetry. Her poems convey her love of nature and reflections on the human spirit. “Her gift is the transformation of the common to the uncommon,” writes poet Zaida Ramos.
Sciortino is a virtual native of Downey, having arrived here with her family when she was just twenty days old. Her parents, who met and married in Colorado after immigrating separately from Sicily, settled into a farmhouse with acreage at the corner of what is now Paramount and Florence where the Chase Bank sits.
At that time Paramount Blvd, known then as College, dead-ended at Florence, and vehicles were only able to turn east or west. Sciortnio recalls that loaded hay trucks would shake the timbers of the house as they rolled to a stop at the corner.
Sciortino was the youngest of seven siblings, with her neighborhood defined by orange groves, sooty air from smudge pots, irrigation ditches, and the “magical sylvan retreat” of the Rio San Gabriel river bed. Relatives from Los Angeles described their weekly visits to Downey as “a trip to the country.”
In the 1970’s Sciortino was an active member of the Downey Art League when the organization’s membership was at its height. She explored a variety of media, including oil, collage, and acrylic, winning numerous prizes. Her subjects range from stylized still-life’s to realistic figures and cityscapes.
While writing and painting were her chosen vehicles for expressing her love of nature and beauty, Sciortino’s creativity was not limited to these art forms. Fans of talk radio on KABC in the 1980’s remember Sciortino’s comedic call-in’s to the morning Ken and Bob Company show. Listeners were invited to win prizes by calling in with explanations and descriptions of common terms. Sciortino would call in so often that she would change her name, but she could not disguise her voice. She recalls that her husband’s golfing buddies would tell him, “Your wife’s on the radio again.”
As an avid KABC listener, Sciortino’s prize-winning success was legendary. She twice won tickets to an opening game of the Dodgers, several dinners at high-end restaurants in Beverly Hills, and tickets for the Cirque de Soleil when it premiered during the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.
Sciortino’s impact on the Downey art scene extends beyond her own writing and painting. Sciortino has contributed years of community service as a member of the Downey Symphony Guild, helping with fund-raisers that support the regular season concerts and the Music in the Schools program. The music education program, started in 1995, serves 11,000 local elementary students in the area’s public and private schools.