A Garden of Verses: Poetry Day in the Garden - April 1, 2017

garden verses webApril 1, 2017

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

California poets welcome the season and National Poetry Month by sharing poems that celebrate our Garden, all gardens, nature and the environment of this fragile earth and out into limitless space.

Come and stroll the Garden's paths anytime throughout the event time to enjoy the art of the spoken word performed by poets in the Garden.


Poets scheduled to appear and read on April 1 (this list is still growing!): 

Marcyn Del Clements, chief organizer for Garden of Verses, has been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Appalachia, Eureka Literary Magazine, Flyway, frogpond, Hollins Critic, Literary Review, Lyric, Pilgrimage, Sijo West, and Snowy Egret. Some of her other interests besides poetry are: photography, botanizing, birding, dragonfly watching, singing Gregorian Chant, singing in the Claremont Chorale and in choir at Saint Ambrose Church, stamp collecting, playing recorders, learning the Celtic harp and playing Native American flutes. She is having her swimming pool converted into a pond, so she can swim with fish.

A Southern California native, Rebecca Bauman is the Assitant Managing Editor of The Los Angeles Review and Outreach Coordinator at Red Hen Press, where she creates grants for the press's funding initiatives and manages the Writing in the Schools program. Outside of the press, she mentors low-performance composition students and assists in teaching English writing labs at Pasadena City College. Rebecca holds an MFA in creative writing through Mount Saint Mary's University. 

Lory Bedikian’s The Book of Lamenting was awarded the 2010 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. She earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon, where she was awarded the Dan Kimble First Year Teaching Award for Poetry. Her work has been selected several times as a finalist in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition and in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award Competition and has received grants from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial fund and AFFMA. Poets & Writers chose her work as a finalist for the 2010 California Writers Exchange Award. Recently, her work was included in the anthology Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Beyond Baroque Books, 2015 and chosen as a finalist in the 2015 AROHO Orlando Competition.

Andrea Carter Brown is the author of The Disheveled Bed and an award-winning chapbook, Brook & Rainbow. Her poetry has won the James Dickey Prize from Five Points, the River Styx International Poetry Prize, the Puddinghouse Press Chapbook Competition, and is cited in the Library of Congress Online Research Guide to the Poetry of 9/11. Recent work has appeared Southwest Review, Crab Orchard Review, Atlanta Review, Miramar, and Askew. Previously, her poetry has been published in The Gettysburg Review, Ploughshares, and Mississippi Review, among many other journals and anthologies. A founding editor of Barrow Street, she has been Managing Editor of The Emily Dickinson Journal and taught creative writing at Pomona College. Currently serving as Chair of the VCCA Fellows Council, she lives in Hollywood.
Daniel Cryns, bio coming soon.

Mary Fitzpatrick is one of the founders of the Garden of Verses event at RSABG. Her poems have been featured in Mississippi Review,Atlanta Review and North American Review as contest finalists; and have also been published in Agenda, Albatross,The Dos Passos Review, ASKEW, The Georgetown Review, Hunger Mountain, and in anthologies Wide Awake, Poetry Mystique, A Bird Black as the Sun, and Cancer Poetry Project 2. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz, she holds an M.F.A. from UMass Amherst and lives in Pasadena.

Poet, photographer and filmmaker, Jerry Garcia was born and raised in the corner of East Los Angeles that became Monterey Park in Southern California. He spent his childhood fearing “The Bomb” during the cold war, was a teenager during the fabled “Summer of Love” and studied Communication Arts during Richard Nixon’s Watergate Era.  He is too old to have been named after the guitar hero of the same name, but can rock and roll just the same.  These are the circumstances that inform his writing with references to pop culture and mid-20th Century history.Garcia has served the iconic Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center of Los Angeles in various capacities including president of the board of trustees. He is a producer and editor of television commercials, documentaries and motion picture previews. His poetry has been widely published online and in print, including:  Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Series), The Coiled Serpent Anthology(Tia Chucha's Press) and his newest collection On Summer Solstice Road.

Karen Greenbaum-Maya is a retired clinical psychologist, former German major, two-time Pushcart nominee and occasional photographer. Her photos and poems appear in anthologies and journals including Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Off the Coast, Otoliths, Comstock Review, Naugatuck Review and Measure. Marge Piercy and B.H. Fairchild have awarded her poems Special Merit and Honorable Mention in the Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Competition. Her first full sentence was, “Look at the moon!” She co-hosts Fourth Sundays at the Claremont Library. Kattywompus Press publishes her two chapbooks, Burrowing Song, a collection of prose poems, and Eggs Satori. Kelsay Books publishes her full-length collection The Book of Knots and their Untying. For links to work on-line, go to: www.cloudslikemountains.blogspot.com/.

Cindy Bousquet Harris is a poet and a licensed marriage and family therapist. Her poems have appeared online and in print journals, including Indiana Voice Journal, Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing, Eclectica, and Blue Heron Review. In addition to reading at the lovely Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Cindy’s had the pleasure of giving poetry readings at the Claremont Library, Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, and at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, CA. She lives in southern California with her husband and children.

Tim Hatch writes poetry that explores themes of abuse, fragility, and our human obligation to one another. He earned his MFA at Cal State San Bernardino, and his poetry has appeared in East Jasmine Review, The Vehicle, Touch: The Journal Of Healing, and Apeiron Review. He  teaches English at Mt. San Jacinto College, and his collection of poetry, Wild Embrace, is forthcoming from Pelekinesis Publishing Group in early 2018.

Cathy Henley-Erickson, Professor of English Emerita from the University of La Verne, earned a B.A. in English from Mills College and an M.F.A. in poetry from UC Irvine. While at ULV, she was department chair, Director of the Writing Program, and in 2002 received the Excellence in Teaching Award. For many years she conducted ULV’s monthly diversity film series, “How Does Our Garden Grow?” and was the Claremont Courier’s resident movie critic from 1984 to January of 2009. She is the first poet laureate for the city of La Verne. Her other volunteer interests currently include CLASP, Shoes That Fit, and The Claremont Chorale. She and her husband, Joe Erickson, have lived together in the San Gabriel Valley area since the late 60s. They often spend time visiting their combined family of six children and fourteen grandchildren, and most recently seven great-grandchildren.

Jean Barrett Holloway has published Weightlifting Rules, Poems & Photographs, and a chapbook, This World So Frail, Kwajalein Poems. Forthcoming: a new book, Over the Falls (Tebot Bach).  Additional publications in: Spillway, The Comstock Review, Poetry Bay, Tiger’s Eye, the anthology Beyond the Lyric Moment, and the true crime book Black Dahlia Avenger II.  She is a grateful participant in the poetry workshops of David St. John and Gail Wronsky.

Singer/actor/poet Elizabeth Iannaci is a widely published and anthologized Los Angeles-based poet whose work most recently appeared in The Saranac Review, Verse Wisconsin, Crab Creek Review, and Italian Americana to name a few. She has read at venues in the US, Slovenia, Istanbul, and Paris.  Ms. Iannaci earned her MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts and was a finalist for the New Letters Literary Award. A founding member of the award-winning theater company The Wilton Project, her long-running one-woman show “Oh, Beautiful Doll” won her critical raves. She shares birthdays with Red China, Bonnie Parker and Julie Andrews.

Elline Lipkin is currently the Poet Laureate of Altadena. She teaches poetry for Writing Workshops Los Angeles and, last fall, taught at Scripps College. She is the author of The Errant Thread and Girls' Studies.

Janet Nippell recently published poems in Tia Chucha’s Coiled Serpent anthology and Altadena Poetry Review.  Her book Mostly on Foot - a Year in L.A. (with Ben Yandell) describes open-ended discovery walks taken in 1985-86, one at the site of present-day Rosedale, in Azusa.  Nippell lives in Pasadena.

Candace Pearson won the Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry for her full-length collection, Hour of Unfolding. Her book of children's poems, First Bell, Second Bell, is available on Amazon. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has been published in Ploughshares, Crab Orchard Review, Cimarron Review, Diode and Slippery Elm, among other fine journals. Anthologies include Sharing the Seasons: A Book of Poems. She scratches out her work in an old hiker’s cottage in the San Gabriel foothills. 

Cece Peri’s poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. This will be her second participation in “A Garden of Verses.” She is happy to say that the garden poem she wrote especially for last year’s event was published in Spectrum, 2015. She is originally from New York.

Beth Ruscio, a daughter of actors, is an award-winning actress and poet.She was afinalist for 2015 Tupelo Quarterly Prize and the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize and took second in the Beyond Baroque Poetry Contest.  Her work has recently appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Cultural Weekly, Malpais Review, In Posse Review, Spillway, speechless-the-magazine and has been anthologized in Beyond the Lyric Moment  and Conducting a Life: Maria Irene Fornes.  She co-authored (with husband Leon Martell) the play 1961 Eldorado.

Cathie Sandstrom is one of the founders of the Garden of Verses event at RSABG. Her poem “You, Again” is in the artist’s book collection at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Proof, she says, of poetry angels. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Comstock Review, Cider Press Review, Runes, Lyric, Solo, Malpais Review, Ekphrasis, New Plains Review and others. Anthologies include Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Beyond the Lyric Moment, Blue Arc West and others. She was a finalist in Poets & Writers’ California Writers Exchange.

Deborah Stambler is a poet, freelance writer and business consultant living in Pacific Palisades. Aside from writing about parenting and culture, covering stories for the local paper and working to grow small businesses, she occasionally manages to delve into personal essay and poetry. She is currently at work on two firsts - a collection of poetry and a book of essays. Her work has been published in Rattle, The Comstock Review, Mom.me, The Huffington Post and other outlets.

Lynne Thompson is the author of two full-length collections, Beg No Pardon (winner of the Perugia Press Book Award and the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award) and Start with a Small Guitar, as well as three chapbooks. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Ecotone, Ploughshares and the African American Review, as well as the anthology Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond.  A 2015 City of Los Angeles Fellow, Thompson is Reviews and Essays Editor for the literary journal, Spillway. 

Mary Torregrossa, poet, ESL teacher and community activist, has been published in Poetry of the American Southwest Anthology, Bearing the Mask: Persona Poems, and in Pacific Coast Poetry Series, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond. Her motto: “Go where it takes you, take only what you need.”

After teaching many years, Kathleen Tyler works occasionally now as a stable hand and essay scorer. Her publications include The Secret Box from Mayapple Press, and My Florida from Backwaters Press. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Quiddity, Women Write Resistance Anthology, The Rattling Wall (Pen/USA), Visions International, Runes, Solo, Poetry Motel, Margie, Seems, Cider Press Review, and others. Her manuscript, Open the Window and Drown, was a finalist in the BrightHorse Books Contest. It is forthcoming from Kelsay Books.

Nancy Wing, a well known Claremont resident since 1963, started the Laguna Poets in Laguna, California.  She has been writing poems for over 70 years and is widely published.  She was a Marriage and Family Counselor for over 30 years.  She will be reading her work from 2 pm to 3 pm this Saturday, April 1st.

Brenda Yates is a Pushcart nominee and author of Bodily Knowledge (2015) whose journal credits include The American Journal of Poetry; Askew; Beyond the Lyric Moment; Blueline; Brain of Forgetting; Chaparral; Cider Press Review; Coe Review; DASH; Eclipse; great weather for MEDIA; Ilanot Review; Illuminations; Mason's Road; Mississippi Review; Naugatuck River Review; Rat's Ass Review; Sliver of Stone; Spillway; StepAway Magazine; Surreal Poetics; as well as Blue Arc West (Tebot Bach), Angle of Reflection (Arctos Press); City of the Big Shoulders: Anthology of Chicago Poetry (University of Iowa Press), Manifest West (Western Press Books) and Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VI: Tennessee (Texas Review Press). She's a Patricia Bibby and Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Poetry Prize winner and a Robinson Jeffers Tor House finalist.

Please note this list is growing - check back for updates!

Teacher Open House - August 12

Our annual Teacher Open House will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2017 from  9 a.m.-12 p.m.


Please RSVP online here

  • Free Garden admission for school teachers and administrators and their immediate family.
  • Explore school tour and program displays; complete your passport to be eligible for great prizes!
  • Reserve field trips. Spring reservations fill up quick. Bring your calendar to schedule a fun and educational trip for your students.
  • Stay an hour or stay all day
  • Great prizes and giveaways

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden offers walking tours and programs that include activity stations to help educate students about the Golden State. Tours and programs convey the importance of native plants, cultures of indigenous people and natural history of California. RSABG tours and programs correlate with K - 8 Cross Curricular Common Core Standards for California public schools.

Read more about RSABG School Tours and Programs


California Wildflower Show: Your Super Bloom HQ

California Wildlfower Show - Photo by Nick Jensen

 Photo by Nick Jensen
Saturday - Monday
April 22 - 24
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(RSABG Member preview at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 22)
Free with Garden admission or membership.

Visit your backyard Super Bloom at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, with a stunning exhibition of native wildflowers collected from sites throughout Southern California and experience the Garden in full bloom. Family activities, including a wildflower scavenger hunt and "Field of Flowers" community mural, will also be offered. A tradition since the early 1930s, the California Wildflower Show is Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden's longest-running seasonal event and coincides with our state-recognized California Native Plant Week, (the third week of April each year).

Come see rare and beautiful species you have never encountered, and ID species you may spot on your favorite California hikes and in our National Parks. Be prepared for this season's dazzling diversity of wildflowers by visiting the California Wildflower Show and learning all about the beautiful blossoms that make our state special. 

The week preceding the show, teams of RSABG staff, volunteers and research associates undertake spring collecting trips to sites where studies to document the flora are underway, adding to scientific knowledge of these poorly known places and sharing the beauty of California wildflowers with Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden visitors. The geographically-diverse approach offers a diverse variety of species gathered and creates a beautiful and educational display.

As a reminder, we hope you are able to take the time to visit local wildflower habitats, but please do not collect plants from the wild.


April 24 Wildflower Show Senior Day
Free Garden admission, complimentary walking and tram tours for guests over the age of 65.



Wildflower Walks

Eschscholzia cal. BHK web


Free Wildflower Walks

Weekends, March 25 through April 30.

Saturdays, 10 a.m. and Sundays, 1 p.m.

Guided walking tours with Garden nature interpreters featuring beautiful California wildflowers and seasonal highlights. Tours are approximately 60-90 minutes. Free with standard Garden admission. Tours depart from the admissions kiosk.