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Grateful Conversations - A Poetry Anthology by Westside Women Writers
Edited by: Kathi Stafford and Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D
280 pages
ISBN: 978-1-945938-22-1 ($24.80) Paperback, 280 pp., black/white illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-945938-24-5 ($98.00) Color Paperback, 280 pages with color illustrations
ISBN 978-1-945938-23-8 ($10.00) E-Book in EPUB format with color illustrations
Publisher:Moonrise Press
To Order:


Grateful Conversations is a portrait of a group of female poets from California,
who come together each month to hone their craft and share their verse. Known
as  Westside  Women  Writers  and  active as a group since 2008, they include
Millicent Borges Accardi, Madeleine S. Butcher, Georgia Jones Davis, Lois P.
Jones, Susan Rogers, Kathi Stafford, Sonya Sabanac, Ambika Talwar and Maja
Trochimczyk. In the words of the WWW founder, Millicent Borges Accardi,
this is "a community of women writers working together to support each other
with strong attention to craft, to grow as writers and as people in community."
The volume includes poems written for seven workshops and self-portraits in
poetry of the nine writers.


Nine women poets converse, wake us up, send us to higher ground. Grateful
Conversations carries us in and out of the emotion of memory, family, spirit,
solid things and landscapes. Unlike much modern poetry, the nine writers present
life and hope, not death and loss. This anthology gives us abundance, not scarcity,
joy, not the grating irritations of guilt, fear and dissolution. There are generous
portions for each poet: Accardi, Butcher, Jones-Davis, Jones, Rogers, Sabanac,
Stafford, Talwar, Trochimczyk each get twenty to thirty pages of poetry with
photographs taken by the poets and also there are seven sections of workshop
poems. These are poets on quests for spiritual renewal, yet the poems are not
sticky with New Age platitudes, but articulate, moving, textured and the reader
is grateful, uplifted. "Look at these dogwood blossoms/caught in the act of
flying,"writes Lois P. Jones.
—Alice Pero, author of Thawed Stars

Grateful Conversations, edited by Maja Trochimczyk and Kathi Stafford, brings to
its readers a wealth of women's wisdom and talent. This beautiful book contains
poetic self-portraits of nine poets that form the Westside Women Writers group.
The poets selected their own favorite poems that represent their worldviews and
experiences; they also provided illustrationsa—photos of nature and families.
A large portion of the volume is dedicated to verse based on shared themes,
prompts, or site-visits to museums. Wisdom comes with age, and all nine poets
featured in this anthology are over 50 years old so they have lived through a
lot. While I feel compassionate towards the tragedies they describe, both personal
and of others, I particularly like poems about family, the little blessings of
daily life that are too often overlooked and should be cherished, with gratitude
and grace. Rarely can one find in one place so many deeply moving and inspired
poems, about the traumas of the past, the gifts to be cherished in the present,
and hopes for a bright future.
—Marlene Hitt, poet and writer, Clocks and Water Drops (Moonrise Press, 2015)


KATHI STAFFORD graduated from the Masters in Professional Writing program
at the University of Southern California with a poetry concentration. Her poetry,
book reviews, and interviews have appeared in many journals, such as Rattle,
Hiram Poetry Review
, Connecticut River Review, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy,
and Southern California Review. Her poetry has been anthologized in Chopin and
and Sea of Alone: Poems for Hitchcock. She is a former editor of the
Southern California Review and her "day job" background is as a corporate
attorney. Her first book, Blank Check (Finishing Line Press), was released in

MAJA TROCHIMCZYK, Ph.D., is a Polish American poet, music historian,
photographer, and author of seven books of poetry, including: Miriam's Iris
(2008), Slicing the Bread (2014), The Rainy Bread (2016), Into Light (2016),
and two anthologies, Chopin with Cherries (2010) and Meditations on Divine
(2012). Her poems appeared in such journals as the California Quarterly,
Cosmopolitan Review, Ekphrasis Journal, Epiphany Magazine, Lily Literary
, Loch Raven Review, Lummox Journal, Quill and Parchment, Pirene's
, Poezja Dzisiaj, The Scream Online, Spectrum. Her work was also
included in anthologies by Poets on Site, Southern California Haiku Study Group,
and others.

As a Polish music historian, she published seven books, most recently Górecki in
Context: Essays on Music
(2017) and Frédéric Chopin: A Research and Information
(rev. ed., 2015).   A former Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, she is the
founder of Moonrise Press, Board Secretary of the Polish American Historical
Association, and President of Helena Modjeska Culture Club. Her research studies,
articles and book chapters appeared in English, Polish, and in translations in ten
countries. She read papers at over 80 international conferences and is a recipient
of honors and awards from Polish, Canadian, and American institutions, such as
the American Council of Learned Societies, the Polish Ministry of Culture, PAHA,
McGill University, and the University of Southern California. Two solo exhibit-
ions displayed her photographs of leaves and roses.


Grateful Conversations
by Susan Rogers

Everything we have we're given
in love to use in love, in grace.
There is nothing we alone have written.

We are but a conversation
of light. Through this exchange we trace
everything we have. We're given

sour and sweet, lemon, raisin
and grain to bind them into place—
There is nothing we alone have written.

We eat cakes but have forgotten
their origin. We have erased
everything. We have; we're given.

We look. We laugh. We love. We listen.
We welcome gifts we embrace.
Yet there is nothing we alone have written.

Watch sunset turn to a ribbon.
Remember honey and its taste.
Everything we have we're given.
There is nothing we alone have written.


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