Archives for category: Fred Voss

On the last Sunday of each month, the Los Angeles Visionaries Association (LAVA) welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2 p.m.), for a structured Salon featuring formal presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with others. The Salon features two distinct presentations, each lasting about 45 minutes. Admission is free. 



Joe Oesterle, author of Weird Hollywood and the classics Weird California and Weird Las Vegas will read  spooky stories from his books and share anecdotes from his weird road travels, and sign copies of Weird Hollywood. Joe Oesterle is a former Senior Editor of National Lampoon, a visual artist, musician, animator, and curator of the strange and marvelous. At the Salon, Joe will be joined by Count Smokula, a 496-year-old accordion-playing vampire from the vaguely Eastern-European nation of Smokesylvania. A mainstay in the Los Angeles Underground scene, the Count has been described as a cross between Bela Lugosi and Jackie Mason.



Poet Fred Voss will read for about 20 minutes from his Bloodaxe (UK) collections Hammers And Hearts Of The Gods and Carnegie Hall With Tin Walls and from Tooth And Fang And Machine Handle, his winning chapbook from Nerve Cowboy‘s (USA) 2013 Competition. Poems mostly about his working experiences, reflections on those experiences, and his 35-year life as a machinist which will include non-machine shop philosophical poems and a couple domestic-comedy “Frank & Jane” poems which bear a striking resemblance to his marriage to poet Joan Jobe Smith.


A teenager in 1950s’ L.A., go-go girl in swinging 60s-70s, poet, writer, teacher, mentor, founding editor of PEARL, and confidante of Charles Bukowski for nearly a decade, Joan Jobe Smith will read 20 minutes’ worth of selected poems about the movies, lands of 1,000 dances, and her friendship with Bukowski from her 2012 literary profile Charles Bukowski: Epic Glottis: His Women & His Art (& me), and the 2013 Bukowski Anthology, both published by Silver Birch Press.


DATE: Sunday, February 23, 2014

TIME: Noon – 2 p.m.

PLACE: Les Noces du Figaro, 618 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 90014

On April 17, 2013, John Densmore — best known as drummer for The Doors — released The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison’s Legacy Goes on Trial, a memoir about his extended legal battle with bandmates Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger over the right to use the name “The Doors.”

OFFICIAL OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK: The subject of The Doors Unhinged is the “greed gene”, and how that part of the human psyche propels us toward the accumulation of more and more wealth, even at the expense of our principles and friendships and the well being of society. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, The Doors fractured because of this. In his book, drummer John Densmore looks at the conflict between him and his band mates as they fought over the right to use The Doors’ name. At the same time, Densmore examines how this conflict mirrors and reflects a much larger societal issue — that no amount of money seems to be enough for even the wealthiest people.

OUR THOUGHTS: When The Doors started out in 1965, the bandmates decided to share everything equally — and give everyone equal credit. That meant that no matter who had written a song, the credit line would read: The Doors. This has always struck me as smart — and a way of making sure that everybody stayed involved and felt appreciated, because everybody was making the same amount of money.

But after frontman/rock god Jim Morrison died in 1971, the three remaining bandmates couldn’t agree about how and when to use The Doors’ music and name, with Densmore as the holdout when it came to selling out (especially when it came to using their songs for advertising). All hail, John Densmore! 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: An original and founding member of the musical group The Doors, John Densmore co-wrote and produced numerous gold and platinum albums and toured the United States, Europe, and Japan. His autobiography, Riders on the Storm, was on the New York Times bestseller list, and in 1993 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He has written numerous articles for Rolling Stone, London Guardian, The Nation, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and Utne Reader. He co-produced Road To Return, narrated by Tim Robbins — a film that won several prestigious national awards and was screened for Congress, resulting in the writing of a bill. He also executive produced Juvies, a film narrated by Mark Wahlberg that aired on HBO and won numerous awards, including 2004 IDA for excellence and U.S. International Film Fest for creative excellence.


Joan Jobe Smith (pictured in June 2013 with John Densmore) — author of the Silver Birch Press Release CHARLES BUKOWSKI EPIC GLOTTIS: His Art, His Women (& me) — was a go-go dancer for seven years and in 1966 danced live with The Doors at Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.


Smith and her husband, poet Fred Voss (pictured at left with John Densmore) — a longtime avid fan of The Doors — attended a book signing on June 1, 2013 at Fingerprints, a record store in Long Beach, California, where they waited in line with hundred of other fans for a chance to meet Densmore and hear about his book. The reading was originally planned for late May, but Densmore rescheduled out of respect for his bandmate Ray Manzarek, who passed away on May 20, 2013 at age 74.

Like Fred Voss, I am a longtime, avid fan of The Doors — and I can’t wait to read The Doors Unhinged (great title!), available at

Photos by Fred Voss and Joan Jobe Smith

Joan Jobe Smith, author of the Silver Birch Press release CHARLES BUKOWSKI EPIC GLOTTIS: His Art, His Women (& me) paid a visit to her friend and mentor on Sunday, June 16th — Father’s Day. She offers these details: “Confettied his grave with pink geraniums. Buk loved flowers, preferred yellow roses and sunflowers. He didn’t say what he thought about [my book] EPIC GLOTTIS. But he has said ‘Don’t try!’ And I didn’t. Writing my Buk Book came easy. Buk was one fine Muse. He is also the Literary Father to me and Fred [Voss — Joan’s husband].”

PHOTO: Joan Jobe Smith stands next to Charles Bukowski‘s grave while offering pink geraniums and her memoir, CHARLES BUKOWSKI EPIC GLOTTIS. Photo by Fred Voss. (Charles Bukowski is buried at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.)



Congratulations to Fred Voss — whose writing appears in the Silver Birch Press release CHARLES BUKOWSKI EPIC GLOTTIS by Joan Jobe Smith — on winning the 2013 Nerve Cowboy Chapbook Competition with his collection Tooth and Fang and Machine Handle, available fall 2013 from Liquid Paper Press. For ordering information, visit the Nerve Cowboy website.

Photo: Fred Voss by Joan Jobe Smith


Silver Birch Press authors Joan Jobe Smith and Fred Voss — whose book Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis will be available later this month — will appear on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at the Long Beach Poetry Festival.  For more information on this free event — which takes place in Long Beach, California, from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. — visit the official site.


Silver Birch Press author Joan Jobe Smith is currently on tour in England and France with her husband, fellow poet Fred Voss. They were thoughtful enough to ask a friend to snap this photo and forward it — despite their hectic schedule. Thank you Fred & Joan!

Here are some highlights of their schedule:

On July 5th, Joan and Fred were featured performers at the 2012 Humber Mouth Literature/Arts Festival in Hull, England, at the Hull Truck Theatre (

On July 13,  Joan and Fred will read in London at the Betsey Trotwood (

The poets have spent the past few days in Paris, where they appeared at a number of exciting venues. More details to come.

On August 16, 2012, Silver Birch Press will release Joan Jobe Smith’s years-in-the-making book, Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art & His Women (& me)

Photo: Adelle Stripe


The Charles Bukowski tribute in downtown L.A. on June 30th featured stories about Buk, poems by or about the man, as well a few unexpected additions.

Joan Jobe Smith, pictured above with her husband, poet Fred Voss, read her poem “Bukowski Chugs Cheap Beer…” and a poem Bukowski wrote about his beloved daughter Marina. She also reflected on her many late-night phone calls with Buk and how he encouraged her to start writing about her experiences as a go-go dancer. At intermission and after the show, audience members crowded around Smith to express how much they enjoyed her readings and stories.

Gerald Locklin (at right on video screen in above photo), a long-time Bukowski friend, read his favorite Bukowski poem “Fire Station,” and explained that the loved the poem because it was Buk at his best — funny and a bit dirty. Find Locklin’s books here.

Jack Grapes (at left on video screen in above photo) first started corresponding with Bukowski in 1965 when he was a young aspiring poet living in New Orleans. So began a pen-pal relationship (and occasional in-person meeting) that lasted 30 years. Grapes recalled that when he received his first reply from Bukowski, he couldn’t bring himself to open the envelope for three days — afraid of what Buk would say about the poems he’d sent. Grapes shared the letter with the audience in its entirety — a lengthy missive where Buk expressed his thoughts and feelings about the art of poetry and encouraged young Marcus (as Jack was then known) to keep writing. One thrilling comment — that lines in one of Grapes’ poems were as good as anything ever written by anybody. Check out his website here.

(Photo by Silver Birch, Los Angeles, June 30, 2012)



Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis:

His Art & His Women (& me)  by Joan Jobe Smith

Joan Jobe Smith was born in Paris, Texas, then moved to San Francisco and eventually to Southern California. A go-go girl for seven years, she boogaloo’d live with Jim Morrison, the Ike and Tina Turner Review, and Dick Dale. Founding editor of Pearl and Bukowski Review, she received a BA from California State University Long Beach and attended one year of law school before receiving an MFA in writing from University of California Irvine. In 1974, she founded Pearl Magazine.

Since 1973, her poetry, stories, reviews, essays, and memoirs have appeared internationally in more than 500 publications as well as 21 published books of poetry, notably Jehovah Jukebox (Event Horizon, 1993, USA) and Pow Wow Café (Poetry Business, UK, 1998) and anthologies The Outlaw Bible, Literature and Its Writers, New Geography of Poets, Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and The Best of California Women Poets.

Her many honorariums include US and UK arts council grants and a finalist post for the 1999 UK Forward Prize. With her husband, poet Fred Voss, she did five-whistle-stop poetry reading tours (1991-2001) around the UK — debuting at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and ending at the Hull Literature Festival. In 2011, Fred Voss and she headlined the Pittsburgh University Writers Festival and performed at the Long Beach Poetry Festival.


June 30, 2012: Joan will read at the Grand Perfomance Tongue & Groove Tribute to Charles Bukowski in Los Angeles with actors Rebecca DeMornay and Harry Dean Stanton and poet/writers Dan Fante, Gerald Locklin, Jack Grapes and more. For more information, visit:

July 5, 2012: Joan will appear with Fred Voss at the 2012 Humber Mouth Literature/Arts Festival in Hull, England, at the Hull Truck Theatre. Info available at:

July 13: Joan and Fred will read in London at the Betsey Trotwood. Get additional info here:

Photo: Courtesy of Joan Jobe Smith


We are pleased to announce that Silver Birch Press will soon publish a book by renowned poet and famed interviewer Joan Jobe Smith (pictured above right; also pictured are Charles Bukowski muse Pamela “Cupcakes” Wood and poet Fred Voss).

Entitled Charles Bukowski Epic GLOTTIS: His Work & His Women (& me)the book includes rare interviews with many of the women in Bukowski’s life (Pamela “Cupcakes” Wood, Linda King, Frances Dean Smith, and Ann Menebroker), poetry, essays about Bukowski’s public readings, and more. The book  is a must-read for avid followers of the Bukowski canon and a fun introduction to the great writer for people just learning about the poet of Los Angeles. Stay tuned.

Pamela “Cupcakes” Wood (at left in above photo) is the author of a fun, fascinating memoir about her relationship with Bukowski. The book, entitled Charles Bukowski’s Scarlet, is available at Amazon.