Archives for posts with tag: Pearl Magazine


Born on January 19, 1943, Janis Joplin left us in 1970, but continues to lift our spirits and bring us joy through her music. Yes, Janis (“Pearl”) Joplin would have turned 70 today! Ms. Joplin was an inspiration to many — especially women — showing that a female could front a rock band. To me, she was the female equivalent of Jim Morrison — a gifted, charismatic, one-of-a-kind artist that no one before or since has come close to matching.


My favorite Janis Joplin tune is one she penned herself called “Kozmic Blues.” Listen to this brilliant song in a brilliant 1970 performance here.

Joan Jobe Smith named her literary journal Pearl in co-honor of Janis Joplin (the other honoree was Smith’s mother, Margaret — a name that means “Pearl”). Visit Pearl Magazine online at this link. Founded in 1974, Pearl Magazine will celebrate its 50th edition in 2013.

Photo at top: Janis Joplin, New York City, late 1960s — all goodwill and benevolence.


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



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