My parents were both griots.When I was very young, I watched my father play and my mother sing and I noted how my father taught my older brother to play the kora, but I was forbidden.
Susan Hayden is the Creator/Producer & Curator of the monthly, mixed-genre literary series, Library Girl, now in its 9thyear at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica, CA. In 2015, she was presented with the Bruria Finkel/Artist In The Community Award by the Santa Monica Arts Commission for her “significant contributions to the energetic discourse within Santa Monica’s arts community.” Susan’s proudest achievement has been raising her son, singer-songwriter Mason Summit.
Jim Stone is a poet and professor. He has been a cowboy, marine, carpenter and rodeo bronc-rider. Graduating summa cum laude in Social Justice from the University of Washington, he accepted a professorship in sociology at Jamestown University in Jamestown, North Dakota.
Virtue rides into town on a
convertible Clydesdale. She’s wrapped
and is eating an apple concoction.
Ah, Virtue! They want
are so succulent! They want to use
for purposes of personal
Virtue drinks nothing but
from glaciers and the sap of lacebark
I first saw Prince Diabate perform at an event for the Dalai Lama’s citywide World Festival of Sacred Music held in LA in 1999. I was mesmerized. I was flattened by the cascades and crescendos of celestial sound that flowed from his exuberant kora (West African harp). It sounded like angel tears bursting into fireworks of joy!
Fine-art photographer Aline Smithson’s best advice received: “Take chances. Embrace fear as a friend and learn to live with it.”
Aline Smithson is a Los Angeles based artist best known for her conceptual portraiture and a practice that uses humor and pathos to explore ideas of childhood, aging, and the humanity that connects us. She received a BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara and was accepted into the College of Creative Studies, studying under artists such as William Wegman, Alan Ruppersburg, and Charles Garabian. After a career as a New York Fashion Editor, Aline returned to Los Angeles and to her own artistic practice.