Book: Laguna Beach Anthology of Poetry & Short Fiction (2018)
In Summer 2018, LITLAGUNA, a nonprofit organization supporting the literary arts in Laguna Beach, challenged Laguna Beach poets and authors to create prose or verse inspired by my photograph Yangon Monastery Myanmar. Forty-three writers contributed original work. Laguna's Literary Laureate, Suzanne Redfearn, collected their contributions in this anthology, available on Amazon. On August 30, 2018, many of these writers read their pieces at a gathering at Laguna Beach's Susi Q Center.
From Suzanne's introduction:
There is a long tradition of writing responding to visual art, so we thought it would be fun to challenge local Laguna Beach poets and authors to respond in verse or prose to a piece of local art.
It just so happened that at the time of the idea, The Artists Fund, an organization that provides disaster-relief grants and professional-growth grants to local Laguna Beach artists, was featuring their latest exhibit at city hall. Jeff Rovner's beautiful photograph Yangon Monastery Myanmar was an obvious choice. There is mystery in the open door that leads to darkness, hope in the light shining through an unseen window above, time etched in the scarred paint on the walls, promise in the youth of the monk and the breeze that lifts the blazing orange fabric of his robe.
And more importantly it spoke to dozens of poets and authors who put pen to paper to write about it. A photo taken in a faraway land of an unfamiliar world then viewed thousands of miles away in a small beach town in California and interpreted through the personal lens of each observer, the results so remarkable it was worthy of making the collection into a book. This project not only speaks to the power of words but also to the power of art, showing how a single inspiration, a snapshot capturing a stunning moment in time, can be interpreted in so many different ways, each expression a window into the unique soul of the writer who created it.
The anthology includes writings from the following contributors:
Rosalia Rodriguez Mattern
The Shapiro Family
Sarah E. Vogel
Lisa Hughes Anderson
Amy Francis Dechary
Katherine Tria Kehoe
Ellen Girardeau Kempler