Photo by Brock Scott
Jennifer Tara Takahashi grew up near the ocean, camping across California and dreaming under chirimoya trees in her grandmother’s wild back yard. This connection with nature is an important part of who she is as a teacher, artist and woman. She is an artist without the ability to commit to one material, since she enjoys the thrill of learning new techniques. Jennifer explores mixed media, watercolor, fiber arts, silk painting as well as creating crochet ocean meditation stones, fine silver jewelry and once-was-a-sweater plush animals. She creates art to convey serenity, love and to remind others of the joy and healing that connecting with nature can bring. With this in mind, Jennifer opened The Grateful Dandelion Atelier, a children’s studio in Pacific Beach, California, which offers classes in yoga, mindfulness, storytelling and the arts. She looks forward to sharing the hand work, creativity and relaxation that her aunts, mother and grandmother passed on to her when they taught her the many crafts she enjoys. When she is not creating, you might find Jennifer dancing, reading, drinking tea, traveling or relaxing in the beach in Baja.
Jennifer has been published in Incandescent Mind: Selfish Work and as the cover and featured artist in Conversations with Gravel.
Full-length poetry collection, Conversations with Gravel by Sarah Thursday. 110-pages, perfect bound, with cover and interior art by Jennifer Takahashi. Available soon through Sadie Girl Press Bookstore and MADE by Millworks in Long Beach.
“In Conversations with Gravel, Sarah Thursday dissects love affairs gone wrong with surgical precision. These remarkable poems spare no one. Thursday and her lovers each bear the responsibility and the sorrow. How to win while losing at love? With exquisite imagery and unflinching honesty, these poems show us how.” —Alexis Rhone Fancher, poetry editor, Cultural Weekly
“Sarah Thursday’s Conversations with Gravel are also conversations with conflict (‘you want me bath-soaked, / I need you tree-hollow’), grief, eroticism, self-discovery and courage (‘Keep kicking through splintered wood and twisted metal’). Her voice is fluid, honest, not afraid of vulnerability, not afraid of showing her strength: ‘my name is not prey'”. — Mariano Zaro, Author of Tres Letras and The House at Mae Rim
“The poems in Sarah Thursday’s Conversations with Gravel do not spare our feelings or soften the hammer-blows to the heart of love gone wrong. Sit back, take a deep breath, read. Such poetry allows us to grieve and rejoice together, making the world a more hospitable, less fearsome place.” —Donna Hilbert, Author of Gravity: New and Selected Poems
Seventeen Poems Not About a Lover, by founder of Sadie Girl Press, Sarah Thursday, published by Arroyo Seco Press is a 38 page, perfect-bound chapbook. It includes paper-cut illustrations for each poem by Alyssandra Nighswonger. Available through Sadie Girl Press Bookstore and MADE by Millworks in Long Beach.
Seventeen Poems Not About a Lover is a collaboration between poet, Sarah Thursday, and artist, Alyssandra Nighswonger. After six years of friendship and artistic crushing, this dream project came to life. Though the poems intentionally avoid the topic of romantic love, they deal with love and loss from family and inner personal struggle. Each of the seventeen poems has a custom papercut illustration, hand-cut and photographed for a 3-D effect.
Alyssandra Nighswonger is a multi-media artist and adventure-lover from Long Beach, CA. This project was a swan dive into the heart and a journey in itself. The thing that Alyssandra admires the most about her friend Sarah is the way she takes her own personal challenges and creates an alchemy of the heart with her raw and fearlessly beautiful poetry. For Alyssandra, who can be a lot more timid with exposing the darker side of her emotions in her music and art and tends to hide meaning behind whimsy on the regular, this collaboration was a thematic challenge. It led to creating deeper layers in the illustrations, opening them up to being cut apart, and exposing that even the cutest wolf has a shadow, which developed this work into a papercut escapade. You can explore several of her musical projects and adventures at talesofalyssandra.com or follow her instagram @alyssssandra.
body of water by Chestina Craig. 36-page, perfect bound chapbook of poetry and photography. Available through Sadie Girl Press Bookstore and MADE by Millworks in Long Beach.
“When you are a girl, you are born with a heavy that manifests in your arms and legs, in the hole in your stomach, and in the swells of your tongue. Craig gives a name to these manifestations. All these poems were born in the ocean or were born in her heart; sometimes I think both of these are the same. She counts the heavy, knows it, faces it, loves it in all the forms in comes into a woman’s body and somehow gives them words.” ~Farah Billah, author of Wrong Turns Lead Here
“In her poems, Chestina guides the reader through personal narrative with a sharp imagination that both shocks & surprises at every turn. I find myself discovering something new on every page—about the natural world, about love on one’s own terms, & about the celebration of self. Her poems are vulnerable & massive at the same time as she unpacks what it means to live & stay alive. She is unafraid to affirm her own right to take up space & she does so with a “knife-in-boot confidence” that is entirely her own.” ~Brandon Melendez, Berkeley Grand Slam Champion
“Chestina is a nuanced voice in the burgeoning poetry renaissance in Long Beach, California. Her work serves as a backdrop of landscapes natural and cerebral with the most intrinsic f-words laced intentionally throughout. She’s dope, read her words.” ~Antonio Cortez Appling, founder of The Long Beach Poetry Slam
Chestina Craig lives in Long Beach, CA with her cat. Her work has been published in Black Napkin Press, The Rising Phoenix Review, KINGS ZINE, L’EPHEMERE Review, Femme Fotale (photography), Button Poetry and others. She has presented her work at The President’s Commission on The Status of Women, The Young Women’s Empowerment Conference, The CSUF Social Justice Summit, Glassless Minds Open Mic, The Santa Cruz Word Church, and more. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology, and on occasion pets sharks and hangs out with octopuses. Other talents include winning over the love of cats, eating whole pizzas, and falling in love with the glow of the sunset. She hopes that one day she will only be required to wear gauzy clothing, swim in the ocean’s swell, and get paid to have too many feelings. Chestina has work included in Incandescent Mind: Issue Two and a chapbook, body of water, published by Sadie Girl Press. Order here!
Find out more on chestinacraig.com.
On Saturday, August 26th, 2017, we will be joining in a celebration of women in poetry hosted by Nicelle Davis! Back-to-back featured female poets and over 15 literary organizations will be gathering in Griffith Park. Check out the Facebook event page or the website for more details.
Debut chapbook, Doe Eyed Venus, by Elmast Kozloyan. 18 pages, perfect bound with cover “Rorschach Test” art. 2nd edition printing in collaboration with Inside Lantern Press. Available through Sadie Girl Press Bookstore and MADE by Millworks in Long Beach.
“Elmast Kozloyan’s poetry is a feast of enchantment—her grasp for language, evidence she is not from this world entirely, but from a place of pure magic where words crowned her their queen. Thankfully she has stepped away from that realm and into this one to share with us, Doe Eyed Venus. This fine collection of poems explores the alchemy of a hungry youth into an empowered adult, one who is unafraid to find strength in her desires and learns to rule over them with grace. And while I may be under her spell, I am of right mind when I say: Elmast is a poet to keep an eye on.” ~Eric Morago, Author of What We Ache For and Here For The Friction
Elmast Kozloyan is a poet trapped in limbo between magic and reality (though seldom chooses the latter). At the age of fifteen won the silver medal for poetry in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and since then has released her debut chapbook, Doe Eyed Venus (available through Sadie Girl Press), co-hosts Moon Pixel Open Mic, and has been published in places such as Cadence Collective, Poetry in Motion, Pacific Review, the East Jasmine Review and Los Angeles Times. Her work has also appeared in Cadence Collective: Year One and Year Two, Like A Girl: The Pre-Show!, and Like a Girl: Perspectives on Feminine Identity.
On December 4th & 5th, Sadie Girl Press will be joining Lucid Moose Lit for the bi-annual Uptown Village Market at the Expo Center in Bixby Knolls. Beginning with the monthly First Fridays event from 6-9 pm, and continuing on Saturday, December 5th from 11-5, we will have a table set up in the Expo Center with our books to sell, information about our projects, and clothing collection drive for a local women’s shelter.
On Saturday, from 2-4, we will join liz gonzález of the Uptown Word Reading & Art Series for a special event called “Women Word Workers”, featuring local Long Beach women making an impact in the literacy scene. Nancy Lynée Woo, liz gonzález, and myself, Sarah Thursday, will read our work and share what we are doing for our community. There will also be an open mic for anyone to share a poem, song, story, or other form of expression.
Join us at the Expo Center at 4321 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, CA 90807, on December 4th & 5th! Follow our Facebook event for more details.
From our sister press, Lucid Moose Lit, Like a Girl: Perspectives on Feminine Identity is a 184-page anthology of poetry, prose, and art with over 90 contributors that honor a multiplicity of feminine identities and spark conversation about women’s issues. Edited by Nancy Lynée Woo, Sarah Thursday, and Terry Ann Wright. Available through Sadie Girl Press Bookstore and MADE by Millworks in Long Beach.