Antelope Valley Poet on the Loose: Video – Becoming Judas

Antelope Valley Poet Nicelle Davis is on the loose, once again.

Check out Davis’ new collaborative video on her blog, made using poems and/or excerpts from her new book of  poetry, Becoming Judas.

The Bees Knees Blog

Thank you everyone who submited work to The Living Poetry Project–Bee-Winged Poems. The work of Dane Cardiel, Kit Kennedy, Lisken Van Pelt Dusand, and (my lovely English 101 student) Anna Marie Castillo created a buzz at Her Majesty’s Secret Beekeeper. One of the greatest gifts of this Living Poetry Project was a hug from Kit Kennedy!

The poems flew and continue to fly in Northern California. Word honey!

Great thanks to readers Tess Taylor, Brendan Constantine, Caleb Barber, who gave their word honey at Litquake; it is good to bring art to life with such amazing poets.

In addition to the amazing Litquake, my Trip to Oakland was a little like waking up from a cultural comma; I have the vivaciousness of the city and my brilliant friend Johnny Hernandez to thank for that. Johnny works for SPD and is my blood line to books. He shows me…

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AntelopeValleyArts magazine, SATURATION, announces the release of its second issue.


Saturday June 11, 2011 the magazine will be available at Sagebrush Café in Quartz Hill, at Antelope Valley Thespians events, and in some new surprising places. Copies of this issue are $4.

This issue is bigger, stronger and faster than the first, featuring the work of poets, artists, fiction writers, non-fiction writers, photographers and designers. Movement & Motion were the twin themes of the newest AV Arts installment, and the issue takes up the idea through explorations of flight, travel, dance, nature and transformation.

Contributors of material and talent for SATURATION: Issue 2 are Steven Fiche, Curt Hanson, Sarah Allen, Nicelle Davis, Anna Delrosario, Rheagan E. Martin, Edwin Vasquez, Hannah Wilson, Michael Jones, Glenn Horst, Oleg Kagan, Cass Douglas, Benjamin Andrews, Kevin Hogan, AJ Currado, Nalin Ratnayake, and Eric M. Martin.  


SATURATION is a venue for the arts in theAntelopeValleypublishing essays, fiction, poetry and fine art. Find submission information here at the AV Arts Blog.

Antelope Valley Writing Opporunities

There are several publishing outlets for creative writing in the Antelope Valley.

Here are links to articles on each with information on how to submit.

If you’ve got written work and you’d like to find an audience for it, these are a few good places to start. Rumor has it that another arts publication for the Antelope Valley is on the way too.

These venues thrive on submissions and get better with increased participiation. You can participate. If you don’t write you can submit art work. If you don’t make art, you can buy a copy to read.

It’s all good.

SATURATION – AV Arts Publication: Call for Submissions

SATURATION is an arts publication dedicated to bringing attention and opportunities to artists of the Antelope Valley, creating a venue for connection, community, and expression through the arts. 

We’re looking for pictures/images, poetry, essays, reviews and fiction.

Send work to:


SATURATION is currently available at Sagebrush Cafe in Quartz Hill. The first issue featured original works of art, artist interviews, essays, fiction, and show reviews. A dozen artists and writers contributed including Sarah Allen, Larissa Nickel, Jason Hughes, Nalin Ratnayake, AJ Currado and Rheagan E. Martin. 

SATURATION hopes to expand in breadth, depth, variety and population for the next issue. If you’d like to see your name in print, get some ideas out into the AV, give your work some feet and reach an audience, please submit. (All quality submissions are likely to be used. We’d like to go BIG this time.) 

All contributors receive a free copy of SATURATION.

Submit. Be heard.

Art lives in the Antelope Valley.

AV Anthology Announces Public Release of Volume 7: Hard Times

MousePrints Publishing would like to invite anyone interested in local authors to the launch party of our new Antelope Valley anthology.

MousePrints has been publishing the AV Anthologies for seven years. The books are made up of Short Stories, Poetry, Essays and Reportage by authors living here in the Antelope Valley.

The Gala Launch party we do every year is to welcome to book and to honor the authors who have been included in the new volume. We have authors as young as 15 and as old as in their 80’s. The party is always fun and surprising since many of the authors gather up their courage and read their stories to the attending audience.

The Antelope Valley has been home and launch point for many truly fine writers to include Kay Ryan, current poet laureate of the United States.

Come help us celebrate literature.

The Launch Gala will be held at 506 W. Jackman St. Lancaster. That is the MHA Building at the corner of Sierra Highway and Jackman St.  The party starts at 6:00 PM. 26 October, 2010.

Talk About Art

-by eric martin 

How can you help bring more cultural life to your community? This is a question I have asked myself and discussed with my friends.

As a coffee shop owner with a gallery space in my business, I am especially interested in the arts and in a lively interest in culture in my community, but I am not alone.

For every one person who wishes out loud that there were more opportunities to show art and more places to see art there are ten people who would take advantages of these opportunities – if they existed. Small scale art events are just as good as large scale art events in my opinion.

Often a good little gallery show can be more stimulating than a vast museum collection. The focus of a smaller show can be more easily concentrated and cohesive than larger shows and can make for an intimate experience. In a gallery setting we can feel often that we are in the presence of the mind of the artist.

Small scale art shows, in a gallery, are as valid and relevant to our sense of cultural experience as larger shows. This is worth keeping in mind when contemplating how to best support, promote and participate in your local arts scene.

Recently in the Antelope Valley of California a community of artists have undertaken some very interesting arts projects. These projects, presented in unique contexts, have successfully created “traditional” cultural experiences in non-traditional contexts.

A group of artists consisting of painters, ceramic artists, and photographers put on a show and workshop based in one of the painter’s houses. The event was open to the public and served to draw in the community at large and to display the fact that people are doing the work of creativity in the Antelope Valley – in their homes and private lives, and they are willing to share that work.

Another project takes theatre into an unlikely space – a private garage. The Antelope Valley Thespians consist of a group of people dedicated to the idea of theatre as an essentially socially engaged medium which can happen anywhere there is a will.

 These are just two examples of small scale culture, where the arts are brought to life in a community of people who desire opportunities to engage in the arts.

Success, for these cultural events, is measured in the same general way that success is measured for any audience-based event. Did anyone come? Of course, the expectations and the specific threshold numbers are adjusted to the scale of the event and the size of the venue. But the challenge for a garage theatre or an art gallery is identical to that of a large playhouse or museum.

In a word, the challenge is communication.

People won’t attend events they don’t know about.

People won’t buy tickets to a show if they have not heard that there is a show going on.

Somehow the fact that these events exist must be communicated to those folks who might be interested in attending.

For a museum like the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art: Los Angeles) or the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art: New York City), the public already knows that the institutions exist. The challenge then becomes one of keeping people interested in what is happening now. In the case of smaller groups or galleries or smaller museums, the challenge is larger because there is less awareness that they exist at all.

These cultural purveyors are asking themselves the same question that opened this discussion: How can we help to support and promote the cultural life of our community?

In a way, we have already answered this question. As artists, we can just do things.

Put on a show. Gather a group and host a performance. Open our houses. Invite painters to show work at our businesses. Bring friends to our favorite galleries in our communities.




As we said, the small scale cultural events are as valid and relevant as large scale events. This is also true of how we can spread the word about cultural events in our communities.

Two, three or five more people at a gallery opening can make a real difference as to whether or not that show meets its goals for success.

In the end, culture is about the picture we keep in our heads that describes what kind of creatures we humans are, what kind of minds. So the ultimate cultural success lies in the act of communication, in sharing an idea.

For all of us who want to live in a culturally rich and culturally alive community, we can help to make that wish come true by making a simple effort to pass on the idea, pass on the word that an idea is on display at the gallery down the street, or blog about where to find this idea or that idea in a garage or coffee shop near you.

eric martin is a local writer of the antelope valley, slinging coffee at Sagebrush Cafe in the daylight hours.

Antelope Valley Thespians Competitive Call-For-Scripts


Quartz Hill’s own theater company, Antelope Valley Thespians, has announced a call for scripts from local writers.

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The group is offering a $300 “bounty” to the writer of the script selected, which is to be based on a theme relating to THE WEST.

A forum has been opened to field questions  from playwrights and interested parties to provide help in crafting a play that will meet the guidelines and be produceable in the AVT black-box theater space.

For more information on the guidelines and selected themes for the competitive call for scripts, visit the AVT website listed on our sidebar.


ArtsRoundUp – Arts in the Community Antelope Valley Anthology (volume 7)

The Antelope Valley Anthology is a literary anthology collecting and presenting works by writers of the Antelope Valley. A mixture of prose fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, the anthology seeks to provide a platform for the voices of writers here in the high desert.

Last year’s anthology was titled The Raven & the Writing Desk and featured the talents of 23 local literary artists.

A particular stand-out in the book is non-fiction article on ravens by Monique S. Stevens, thoughtfully considering the night-shade figure of the raven in various contexts – from its intelligence and problem solving skills to the traits it shares with humans.

Not all the anthology writing in The Raven & The Writing Desk is about ravens, however. The book’s opening story, a piece of fiction by Margaret L. Priddy, concerns an African girl forever “missing” from her parents home after a lion attack outside her village. Told with an interweaving of the details of village life and the fantastic elements of an oral-tale and ghost story, Priddy renders an experience of a world far outside the Antelope Valley.

These two pieces of writing demonstrate the wide range of topics covered in the Antelope Valley Anthology. As a local publication, one might reasonably expect the focus to be primarily local, but the content of the anthology instead presents a picture of diversity– diversity of interest, diversity of style, and a diverse collection of voices.

The Antelope Valley Anthology has recently announced the opening of the reading period for a seventh edition of the anthology. Readers and writers should keep an eye out for the anthology’s release date in these pages and/or online ( ).

Criteria for 2010 Antelope Valley Anthology Submission Included here is an abridged listing of submission information. For full criteria & formatting requirements go to MousePrints Publishing, The Unknown Writers of the Antelope Valley, and WORD AV, the Antelope Valley Literacy Coalition, now officially opens the submission process for the 2010 Antelope Valley Anthology. Submissions may be prose or poetry. Poetry may be no more than 100 lines per poem. No more than five poems may be entered. The poems may be any form. Prose submissions may be in the form of short fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, or reportage. Submissions will be accepted from 1 January, 2010 through 31 May, 2010. Please send all entries to For further information regarding the 7th Antelope Valley Anthology please e mail the above address. Criteria provided by: THE EDITORIAL COMMITTEE FOR THE 7TH ANTELOPE VALLEY ANTHOLOGY More

Opportunities for Antelope Valley Writers: ORIGINAL PLAY “BOUNTY” OFFERED BY LOCAL THEATER GROUP

The Antelope Valley Thespians (AVT) are currently seeking submissions of an original work related to a selected set of western themes. They are offering a $300 bounty for the play chosen to be performed in 2011.

For details see their website ( or stop in to Sagebrush Café to view a paper copy of the offered bounty.

Around and About: Lancaster Museum & Art Gallery opened its 25th Annual Juried Show in downtown Lancaster, curated by D. Michael Zakian of Pepperdine University. The show runs through March 7, 2010…. A theater group local to Quartz Hill, the Antelope Valley Thespians, opened their 2010 calendar of programs with “Crime & Punishment” with six shows on the weekends of January 16 and 23….Writers and editors of the locally produced children’s book It’s Tough Growing Up: Children’s Stories of Courage continue to promote their work with readings and book signings….Sagebrush Café held a photo scavenger hunt over the month of January, challenging participants to photograph concepts like conservation and community.

Museum or Gallery?

Gallery vs. Museum Some people seem to know everything about the “art world”. You meet them at a friend’s house or at a coffee shop. They joke about Duchamp and his pipe that isn’t a pipe or his fountain that’s really just a urinal. Their offhand familiarity with the world of high art makes you worry there’s a gap in your education.

Don’t worry. It’s not you. It’s them.

Some people just get really into art. It’s their thing. The art world is their world.

For most of us however this is not the case.

In the interest of beginning at the beginning with some information about the arts, here’s a little crash course on a basic but important facet of the art world – the difference between an art gallery and an art museum. If you already know the difference, skip down to the bottom of this article for the big, hilarious, better-than-you-can-even-imagine conclusion.

Ok. Nine out of ten people just skipped to the last sentence and they’re irked and/or sadly disappointed that there is no punch-line. Sorry. But, in your face you know-it-alls.

To get down to business…the distinction between a gallery and a museum comes down to one thing. Galleries sell art work. Museums do not. A gallery will offer their space to an artist so that the painter or photographer can reach an audience. That audience will have a chance to view the work while it hangs in the gallery. Every piece of art on the walls of a gallery is for sale.

Museums, on the other hand, buy works from galleries or directly from artists. Generally speaking, artists begin by showing their work in galleries and, if they successfully make a name for themselves, move up into the museum realm. Most artists don’t get that far, so galleries remain the most important art spaces for a majority of painters, photographers, sculptors, and collage artists. The life of an artist is famously difficult, sometimes tragic. Galleries help make this suffering possible. Ahem, I mean, galleries really make the art world possible.

If there were no place to sell paintings, there would be no professional painters. Plain and simple.  

So, next time you visit a museum, remember that the works there are created by people who have already “made it”. And next time you stop into a gallery, remember that the artist showing there is still on her way, or on his way. If you like what you see, find a way to let the artist know – or, go ahead, buy a painting.

In the end, art is about participation. Don’t be afraid to get into it, even if you don’t technically know the difference between Duchamp’s fountain and a urinal.