Archives for posts with tag: Long Beach California

11 a.m. Just like Edward Hopper’s Redhead
by Joan Jobe Smith

I lean toward my pied a terre window where I live, to gaze
out at the downtown Long Beach, California, cityscape.
Except I’m not a real redhead, my real hair’s really grey,
and I’m not naked.

I see the green hula-dancing palms, the Jupiter-sized camellia tree
fat with enough pink blossoms to polka-dot a yellow brick road to      Hawaii.
I see the two-story apartment buildings next door and other side of the      alley,
and telephone poles pointing the way to the reach-for-the-sky Villa      Riviera,
the long-ago swanky hotel now a condo with ye olde verdi-gris copper      rooftop
when lit up at night glows emerald cabochon while its spy-eyed
grim-grey gargoyles on the eaves glower and squat and curse
dread and dare demons to impale upon the spiked turrets.

At age two during World War 2
I could see all that out my bedroom window when
we lived in a 4-plex on the Old Pike (before the city tore it down for
land fill and a marina), the happy rattletrap roller coaster roars only a
block away from where I played with my dolls near boogie-woogie
hamburgers, jitterbug sailors paying a dime for a shoeshine, each
awaiting Long Beach cityscape sundown blackout
so’s the Japanese bombers wouldn’t see us down here near
the Pacific Ocean sand, everyone in the world wondering: What’s next?

and now, here in 2015,
3 weeks after my 75th birthday, at 11:19 a.m., I remember
it’s time to take out the trash to the alley dumpster, leave out food
and recyclables for the homeless, who, noontimes wander there,
worry, wondering, “What’s next?” the way I do, too, in here
with my dyed red hair as I look out my cityscape window,
waiting, wondering, “What’s next?” just like
Edward Hopper’s 11 a.m. naked lady does, too (doesn’t she?), as she
leans, sighs, at whatever in her 1926 cityscape makes her remember      and see.
Except I’m not naked.
Or am I?

PHOTOGRAPH:Villa Riviera” (Long Beach, California) by EYADSTUDIO


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Jobe Smith, founding editor of Pearl and Bukowski Review, worked for seven years as a go-go dancer before receiving her BA from CSULB and MFA from University of California, Irvine. A Pushcart Honoree, her award-winning work has appeared internationally in more than five hundred publications, including Outlaw Bible, Ambit, Beat Scene, Wormwood Review, and Nerve Cowboy—and she has published twenty collections, including Jehovah Jukebox (Event Horizon Press, US) and The Pow Wow Cafe (The Poetry Business, UK), a finalist for the UK 1999 Forward Prize. In July 2012, with her husband, poet Fred Voss, she did her sixth reading tour of England (debuting at the 1991 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival), featured at the Humber Mouth Literature Festival in Hull. She is the author of the literary memoir Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art & His Women (& me) (Silver Birch Press, 2012). Her writing is featured in LADYLAND, an anthology of writing by American women (13e note Éditions, Paris, 2014). Her poem “Uncle Ray on New Year’s Day . . .”  won the 2012 Philadelphia Poets John Petracca Prize.

Congratulations to founding editor Joan Jobe Smith and editor Marilyn Johnson on the 40th anniversary of Pearl Magazine. Help Joan and Marilyn celebrate at a birthday bash on Saturday, June 28, 2014.

WHAT: Pearl Magazine‘s 40th birthday celebration

WHEN: Saturday, June 28, 2014, 3-5 p.m.

WHERE: Gatsby Books, 5535 E. Spring St., Long Beach, CA, 90808

WHAT TO EXPECT: Poets featured in the pages of Pearl will be on-hand to read their work.

To check out Pearl Magazine, visit

IMAGE: Pearl Magazine, Issue 46 (2012), cover by David Roy Scott.

On Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, Gatsby Books in Long Beach, California, will host a fundraiser for the Long Beach Poetry Festival — featuring readings by poets who have appeared in Silver Birch Press anthologies and blog.

WHAT: Fundraiser for 3rd Annual Long Beach Poetry Festival — suggested donation: $10. Hors d’oeuvres, wine, and sparkling conversation will be served. Bring cash for wine, baked goods, and books!

WHERE: Gatsby Books, 5535 E. Spring St., Long Beach, CA, 90808, 562-208-5862,

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, 7-9 p.m.

WHO: Anna Badua, Donna Hilbert, Kevin Lee, Tamara Madison, Clint Margrave, and Paul Kareem Tayyar will read from their work.

WHAT ELSE:  People who can’t make the event, can contribute via PayPal here: (Enter the email address:



On July 9th, the recent Silver Birch Press release Phoenix by Philippa Mayall was featured in the Huffington Post — and on July 10th, the Long Beach Post featured the Silver Birch Press Silver Anthology in a photo that accompanied “The Importance of of Honesty in Poetry,” a profile of poet extraordinaire Donna Hilbert by G. Murray Thomas. Read the article at the Long Beach Post. The article includes a poem (“Old Man at the Pool”) that appears in the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology. (Hilbert’s poetry also appears in the Silver Birch Press Silver Anthology — the reason for the above photo — and the Silver Birch Press Green Anthology.)

Thanks, Donna, for reading the Silver Birch Press Silver Anthology during your photo shoot. We feel honored!


Silver Birch Press Silver Anthology contributor jax NTP and contributor and co-editor Joan Jobe Smith have organized a reading in Long Beach, California, to celebrate the book’s recent publication. Details in poster above (designed by jax NTP — thank you!). A range of writers featured in the Silver Birch Press Silver Anthology will read from their work at the event.

In case you can’t read the fine print, here are the details…

EVENT: Authors reading from their work featured in Silver Birch Press Silver Anthology

DATE: Sunday, January 13, 2013

TIME: 2-4 p.m.

PLACE: The Wine Crush

LOCATION: 3131 East Broadway, Long Beach, CA, 90803

This promises to be a fun afternoon — and we hope some of our readers in Southern California can attend and meet the authors.


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.


by Joan Jobe Smith

Lucky Me: PEARL! One of the wonderful gems in my life: my PEARL literary magazine I nacre-manced in 1973 with the generosity of California State University Long Beach Honors Program grants and artisan extraordinaire David Scott who designed layout and logo and helped me name PEARL Pearl after Janis (AKA Pearl) Joplin, someone we both admired.

My first two all-women issues (Spring 1974 and Fall 1974), with the advice of my new poetry pal and mentor Charles Bukowski, included some of America’s prominent female poets: Lyn Lishfin, Rochelle Holt, Ann Menebroker and Linda King (Bukowski’s then-sweetheart) – and included as well newbie poet par excellence, first-rate artist and future friend and co-editor Marilyn Johnson.

Issue #3, Spring 1975, featured Charles Bukowski’s poetry (plus a Polaroid of him in a waterbed w/Linda King) and #4, slated as a raucous-iconoclastic Male Chauvinist Pig parody of the mid-1970s’ War Between the Sexes – had I not run out of funds – would’ve included Anais Nin, with whom I’d developed an enthusiastic literary friendship, and Henry Miller. Lucky for me, my personal pearl shined nacre-gem-bright once again in 1986 when Marilyn Johnson bought a PC and eagerly volunteered her genius techno know-how and artistic wizardry to help me reprise PEARL.

Now, in 2012, Marilyn and I can proclaim that PEARL, produced, sans grants, with personal penny-pinching and prodigious patrons for nearly 40 years (27 continuously) has become the longest-running litmag in Long Beach, California, and one of the longest-running independent literary journals in the United States – and maybe the world, publishing an eclectic word-jewelry collection of writers that has included first-time poets to Poet Laureates Billy Collins and Delaware’s JoAnn Balingit.


This year, we celebrated our 45th issue featuring the outstanding poet Clint Margrave and #46, an all-fiction issue featuring the winner of our annual short story contest, Irene Keliher. In 1989, we established our annual Pearl Prize, which includes publication and a monetary prize (now $1,000) – and we can gratefully praise our distinguished list of judges Ed Ochester, Dorianne Laux, Suzanne Lummis, Gerald Locklin, Frank Gaspar, Ann Menebroker, Robert Peters, Denise Duhamel, Lisa Glatt, David Hernandez, Donna Hilbert, Jim Daniels, Fred Voss et al for their expert selection of some of the finest contemporary emerging and established writers in the English language to win the coveted Pearl Prize.

Marilyn Johnson and I look forward to continuing to many more wonderful years as co-pearl divers. Visit us online at