Recent media stories about Moon Tide poets:
One Last Lee Mallory Alert!
By Victor Infante, OC Weekly
May 2, 2013
To be fair, Mallory—a veteran professor of English as a second language at Santa Ana College and a mainstay on the Orange County poetry scene since the '80s—never made a very plausible villain. Sure, he came up for some good-natured ribbing in the pages of OC Weekly: Jim Washburn deemed him one of OC's scariest people; I dubbed him "The Poet Laureate of OC's Middle Class"; Commie Girl columnist Rebecca Schoenkopf recounted his weird, faux-gestapo behavior one night at Club Mesa; former editor Will Swaim (allegedly) hid under his desk to avoid taking a call from him.
Now, Mallory is retired—his classes have ended, his readings shuttered. Some of his papers, including work by nearly every OC-based poet, have been boxed and sent to his alma mater UC Santa Barbara for a special "Lee Mallory Collection," which is part of that school's study of the legendary poet Charles Bukowski, of whom Mallory was an acquaintance. Other work by Mallory is being preserved at the Santa Ana College Nealley Library.
Small Presses: Poetic Communities Coast to Coast
By Mike Sonksen, KCET
April 19, 2013
For local book denizens, April is far from the cruelest month — it is National Poetry Month, and the megalithic Los Angeles Times Festival of Books takes over the USC campus on the weekend of April 20 and 21. In spite of the ever-changing climate of the publishing industry and new tablet technology, there's been a rise in boutique small press publishers across the country concerned with producing well-crafted printed books. Hundreds of small presses across America are producing poetry books; the number is probably even higher than that. This week L.A. Letters spotlights a few quintessential small presses and communities of poetry across the country that are redefining the art form and promoting community simultaneously.
Moon Tide Press is based in Orange County and has quietly been publishing several top shelf poetry books over the last five years, including "Tide Pools" an anthology of Orange County Poetry," "Sleepyhead Assassins" by Mindy Nettifee, and "What We Ache For" by Eric Morago. They also host a popular reading series in Fullerton at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center. Their newest book is "The Silence of Doorways" by Sharon Venezio. Known for her central role in the Valley Contemporary Poet series, this is her first full-length work. Serenading Picasso, Descartes, Sartre and the Grateful Dead, she writes, "A good way to fall in love / is to drive ten miles over the limit / with no seatbelt." Travelling back to the geography of her childhood, she says, "my father is a ghost in my camera lens / collecting variations of light." Venezio constructs a kaleidoscope of daring lyrical images.
Sharon Venezio — 'Next Big Thing' Interview
By Sharon Venezio and Lynne Thompson
April 3, 2013
Thanks to the talented Lynne Thompson for tagging me in this chain letter interview. It was great fun to read her interview and reflect on these questions. Lynne's new book Start With A Small Guitar is due out by What Book Press in the fall of 2013. Can't wait! Thanks, Lynne, for including me in this project.
Author: Sharon Venezio
What is the working title of the book:
The book is titled The Silence of Doorways.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
Remembering Bukowski with O.C.'s 'poet grandfather'
By Michael Miller, Daily Pilot
Feb. 17, 2013
So begins the document that Lee Mallory has set in front of me at a cramped wooden table in the corner of Alta Coffee in Newport Beach.
By now, I've grown so accustomed to word processors and social media that the text — written on an old manual typewriter and photocopied for my use — looks like a carefully guarded antique. Which, in a way, it is.
The title reads "Bukowski — New Year's Eve," and the first page, along with the 1972 copyright, declares that the text may not be used anywhere without the author's permission. Mallory has written that permission for me by hand in the margin. He is making his slow departure from Orange County's poetry scene, and as he prepares to retire to Las Vegas, he's called me here to Alta to pass on a memento that he's held onto for more than two decades of producing readings.
Newport's "Love Poet" leaves town
By Christopher Trela, Newport Beach Independent
Feb. 1, 2013
After 50 years of living in Newport Beach, Lee Mallory — the town's unofficial Poet Laureate — is retiring and moving to Las Vegas.
It's a gamble of sorts for Mallory, who for 20 years ran monthly poetry readings at Alta Coffee on Balboa Peninsula and taught English at Santa Ana College from 1980 until his retirement last December.
Mallory is betting that he'll find new fodder, and new outlets, for his poetry, but odds are he won't come close to the payouts — and accolades — he's received in Orange County.
Beyond Baroque event to celebrate release of local poets tribute book
By Helga Gendell, The Argonaut
Dec. 20, 2012
The book is a compilation by Moon Tide Press publisher/editor Michael Miller of the work of 10 acclaimed poets who passed away over the last decade and a half. Each author is spotlighted with a photo, a biography, and an essay by another poet who knew him or her, says Miller.
Half of the poets profiled had either lived in Venice or commonly performed their work in the beachside community. Miller said the intent of the project was to honor the poets' contributions to the scene and bring their voices to a new generation of readers.
City Lights: Local poet's career goes 'back to sand'
By Michael Miller, Huntington Beach Independent
Oct. 11, 2012
The journalist in me has tried to write a lede for this column, and the poet has fought him tooth and nail. Just how should I begin a piece about the closing of Lee Mallory's Orange County poetry readings? With wordplay? A personal anecdote? Should I even aim for prose, or, in the spirit of Lee, should I dispense with capitals and syntax and let the words flow as they will?
Yes, I think that's the way to go. And rather than shoot for a feeble imitation, I'll let Lee write the start of this column himself. He's earned it:
I see eons / of geologic time / tight band of / strata & sand, / above, I think of Indians / Gabrielanos, Juanenos / gathering, hunting / hauling kids, / while SUV's whir below / now they rest / old bones / deep in willow roots & time / cradled gently / back to sand
Review of Peggy Dobreer's "in the lake of your bones"
By Marie Lecrivain, Al-Khemia Poetica
April 1, 2012
I've read, published and listened to Peggy Dobreer's poems for over ten years. Her first collection, in the lake of your bones (copyright 2012 Moon Tide Press), offers readers a first-class opportunity to explore the ephemeral elegance of both the poet and her work.
lake is divided into three sections: "in the silt," which presents her more concrete, narrative poems; "in the marrow," which draws the reader into deeper aspects of love and desire, central themes of Dobreer's work; and "in the water," with poems, like a series of lovely pebbles, skip across the surface of one's mind to gently sink, and then germinate in the unconscious.
City Lights: Mastering the performance of poetry
By Michael Miller, Huntington Beach Independent
Feb. 23, 2012
I'm talking, of course, about Poetry Out Loud.
For the second straight year, I got invited to help preside over the annual event sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, in which high school students dramatically recite poems from memory. Friday afternoon, a dozen students vied at the local competition at the Orange County Department of Education headquarters in Costa Mesa.
The Nazca Lines of Susan Davis
By Charles Hood, Antelope Valley College Blog
Feb. 8, 2012
My church hosts a social function titled "pairs and spares" — I am sure the term is not original to them — that allows couples and those without partners to share food and fellowship in a happy, safe, non-judgmental venue. I like that term a lot and it describes my days recently, where everything seems to be coming to me in matched pairs.
For example, I was looking for a Charles Olson quotation and found it in a journal entry from 12 years ago, where it was a companion to a clipping from Archaeology magazine. On the desert plains of Peru large-scale earth art ("geoglyphs") called the Nazca Lines spell out diagrams in stone, and the quotation I needed was paired with a shot of an archaeologist, Persis Clarkson, on site at this stony location. When making that journal page collage, I had hoped to go there, and while as of now I have never made it, life ain't over yet — I may make it yet.
Review of Susan Davis' I Was Building Up to Something
By Glenn Lyvers, Poetry Quarterly
As an editor, I have some invested interest in all the writers I publish. I want them to be successful. I want others to be able to recognize the talent I discover, or print — and the importance of their work. I hope that in my old age, some writer will say "Glenn Lyvers was important to my career." Or perhaps it would be enough to know that some readers chose books to read because they trusted my opinion.
Imagine how happy I was to be asked to review a new book by the winner of last year's Rebecca Lard award. I recognized the beauty of her poems instantly, and I was delighted to hear our judge picked her poem, "The Season Begins in a Waiting Room," from the hundreds of submissions we received.
Meet Lee Mallory, O.C.'s poetry man
By Heather Goldin, Orange County Register
June 3, 2011
Lee Mallory set out to "shatter the stereotypes" of poetry when he launched a monthly reading near his Newport Beach home in 1991. After finding the perfect venue, complete with quiet waiters, dim lighting, and the smell of rich coffee in the nostrils, Poetry at Alta was born.
Poetry at Alta is not just another poetry reading — it's performance poetry. Each session, held on the second Wednesday of the month, presents a featured poet as well as a musician and an anything goes atmosphere prevails.
"The best poems surprise and shock," Mallory says. "I once crashed two plates together (because I was) caught up in the moment. … Performance adds an extra dimension."
The Poetry at Alta readings started three years after Mallory — who teaches at Santa Ana College — founded The Factory Readings in Santa Ana as an unofficial lab for his students to test out their work.
What's the Verse That Could Happen?
By Paige Turner, Newport Beach Independent
April 8, 2011
Lee Mallory, affectionately known as The Grandfather of Poetry in Orange County, hosts and produces the second-longest continuously running series of live poetry readings in Orange County. The readings are held monthly at the Alta Coffee House on the Peninsula, and feature not only live poetry performances, but live music and open-mike readings.
Mallory is on a mission. He is a poet and self-proclaimed zealot who is dedicated to shattering stereotypes about poetry and reversing the damage that bad high school English teachers have done, turning students off from narrow definitions of what poetry is.
"Poetry is exciting," says Mallory. "It is highly relevant to our lives."
He believes if he can get people into his readings, their view on poetry will not only change, but they find themselves inspired to try their hand at writing poetry themselves.
"I have had people come up to me and say, 'I am finding myself (through writing),'" he says.
The Artists Are Not Starving
By Yoon Song, Dig Magazine
April 7, 2011
There's something romantic and liberating about expressing yourself through a poem. It's cathartic to some, an obsession to others, but rarely is poetry something one pursues for the financial gains to be reaped, A highly edited piece of work might take months or years to finish, yet will only take up a single page. A completed poem captivates you like the curves and angles of a brand new car — but what you don't notice are the multiple coats of wax that make all of it pop. So for creative writing majors here at Cal State Long Beach with an emphasis on poetry, writing is much less about money than it is about creative expression.
Eric Morago performing his poetry is like watching severed power lines crackle in the air. There's a sense of excitement that grounds you to the floor, unable to move until his last word is spoken.
By Jerry Sullivan, Orange County Business Journal
Feb. 20, 2011
And the only thing super about the Great Park’s recent poetry reading on Super Bowl Sunday was the audacity of such an effort.
That might read like a sweeping indictment of the Great Park’s chances of becoming a civic treasure.
The place isn’t much more than a relatively small section of a giant patch of old military land anchored by a Sunday farmers market and balloon rides—and the latter has led to more than one pun about hot air.
The Great Park might not even be near great at this point. But it’s got a chance because it’s got grit.
There’s no other way to explain the steadfast—or stubborn?—nature of promoters who pitted a couple of earnest poets against the most marketed spectacle of the year.
LMU Extension program brings poets to campus for first reading of the season
By Amy Lee, Los Angeles Loyolan
Jan. 13, 2011
The LMU Extension Program’s Spring Poetry Series kicks off its season at 8 p.m. today in U-Hall 1857 with poets/authors Michael Miller and Judith Pacht. The event is free and will start with eight to 10 open readers and an introduction to upcoming writing programs. This will be followed by readings from the two poets. The audience will have the chance to talk to Miller and Pacht and also have them sign books.
Peggy Dobreer, Community Relations coordinator of the LMU Extension Program, started the series on campus in the fall of 2008. Before its move to LMU, the series’ initial run was a reading called “A Horse of Another Color,” which was named after a full-sized calliope horse in Santa Monica’s Velocity Cafe, the original location of the series.
The poets will each have a 20-minute reading. Miller is the publisher of Moon Tide Press. He is also the host of the poetry and music series at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton called “Second Thoughts.” His book “College Town,” which he will be reading from, along with his newer poems, consists of a collection of 35 poems. Although the poems touch upon many subjects, they are all connected by the common theme of how different lives connect to each other.
There's Poetry in Altruism
By Sandy Banks, Los Angeles Times
Nov. 23, 2010
Last week, Tamen flew out herself to celebrate with the man whose gift her life restored.
I met up with them on Thursday, at poetry night on the campus of Loyola Marymount University, where Thomas read from his soon-to-be-published collection of poems, titled "My Kidney Just Arrived."
An outsized man, newly robust, Thomas wore a bright Hawaiian shirt and clutched a sheaf of thank-you cards signed by his friends. He introduced Tamen to the crowd as "a woman with only one kidney, but a heart as big as the ocean." He tried, but he couldn't get through his poems without crying.
"What do you say to someone who saved your life?" he asked, handing off the cards to Tamen. "Thank you, thank you … as many times as I can."
Morago Has His Way With Words
By Michelle J. Mills, Whittier Daily News
Nov. 21, 2010
"I always tell people that I was writing poems in high school, but I was writing poorly," Morago said. "I always had this desire in me to write and express myself through the means of poetry."
As a teen, he attended open mic poetry readings regularly and would write poems specifically to read at them, but in college, he studied theater arts.
"I love plays, but I wasn't the best actor," Morago said. "It was hard for me to fall into character and be somebody else.
"But the training "was a huge help to who I am as a poet and a performer."
A Less Visible Art Flourishes
By Jennifer Erickson, Laguna Beach Independent
Aug. 13, 2010
Anyone who doubts the vitality of a poetry scene in Laguna Beach might find surprising the back story of an upcoming poetry reading by Jane Hilary and Gabriella Miotto, contributors to “Pop Art: An Anthology of Southern California Poetry.”
The members of the Laguna Poets Workshop are two of 10 poets featured in the recent Moon Tide Press publication, and will read their poetry and sign copies of their work at Latitude 33 Bookshop Saturday, Aug. 14, at 5 p.m.
Poetry thrives amid the fiction and non-fiction stacks at the Laguna Beach Library. In addition to providing a bi-monthly venue for the more advanced poets who belong to the workshop, the library encourages aspiring poets of all ages and abilities to test their mettle with an annual poetry contest. This year, the contest attracted 200 entries and more than 100 people showed up for the awards ceremony.
The art of verse remains popular among book buyers, who “are constantly asking us for poetry,” said Kim Vater, manager at Latitude 33 Bookshop.