Please visit www.upli-wcp.org to see more photos and find info on the World Congresses of Poets.
Judy Cheung and Natica Angilly checked out various hotels and decided on Rohner Park's DoubleTree Hotel in Rohnert Park, CA.
International poetic enjoyment was the main theme of this interactive Congress which offered both formal and informal times to read our own poetry to each other.
The Congress was welcomed by the Redwood Empire Chinese Association Lion Team with Judy Cheung on drums. Sonoma County has been awarded by the federal govermnent as being one of the most diverse counties in America.
Natica Angilly's Poetic Dance Theater Company finished our opening performance with various pieces including this dance rendition of WCP President Judy Cheung's "Balancing on the Brink of the Present."
All registered poets had a chance to formally read in front of the general assembly. Le Pham Le from Viet Nam, Shinko Fushimi from Japan and Nancy Artbuthnot from Australia read together, each reading their own poem in thier own language, then the other two read that poem in their own language. This was acclaimed the most exciting reading of the Congress.
UPLI President Gil Yuzon, UPLI VP Judy Hardin Cheung, and Rohnert Park Mayor Gina Belforte pose for a photo op. Santa Rosa's Vice Mayor Tom Schedhelm was our guest speaker later that evening.
We spent an afternoon visiting Snoopy. His creator, Charles Schulz, lived for many years in Santa Rosa, near Rohnert Park. There were so many things to see, we never got the entire group all together for a group photo.
Aleta George was our keynote speaker, talking about the life and influence of Ina Coolbrith, California's first poet laureate.
Cathy Dana, Alameda, CA, leads a workshop on Poetry and Health. Pilar Yuzon tells of some of her experiences.
Constantina Clark, IN, gave a workshop on Mentoring Through Poetry.
Le Pham Le gave a workshop on Luk-Bat, a Vietnamese form. This group enjoyed it so much they created a Luk-Bak club to stay in contact with each other after the Congress.
There was lots of time to get to know and work with other poets. Here, Ajayakumar Kuttikut from India works on a poem with Cathy Dana from California.
One night, we had a California BBQ with fried chicken, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and all the other fixing of a backyard BBQ in California.
On our California BBQ night, our entertainment included a mother-daughter dance troup from the local Philippine association. They included a recitation of a famous Philippine poem, much to the delight of our Philippine poets.
We also had guest poet Chum Nam Renz read an original poem in Cambodian, with English translation read by her friend. Chum Nam is the sister-in-law of Poet Kay Renz.
Natica Angilly taught how to create a dance from your poem. Other workshop leaders were Cathy Dana, CA, Poetry and Your Health; WeiLin Fang, China, Chinese Poetry Forms; Nancy Arbuthnot, Australia, Tanka in English; Wanda Rider, Tennessee, Sonnets. We also had a panel discussion on publishing your poetry with Elizabeth Hack, CA, talking about publishing on the web, Elma Photikarm, Illinois, publishing a world-wide poetry magazine, Judy Hardin Cheung on publishing a small newsletter.
AEI's Arthur Levinson video taped the proceedings for AEI's archives
Yuzon Family Reunion at breakfast. UPLI Pres. Gil Yuzon, with daughter Bianca Yuzon, both from Manila, Philippines, eat a formal WCP breakfast with Pilar Yuzon, Hercules, CA. She is the wife of UPLI's past president, Ben Yuzon, older brother of Pres. Gil.
Our Awards Banquet honored all participating poets with certificates and awards. Pres. Gil Yuzon and VP Natica Angilly present a certificate to Peter Allen, Santa Rosa, CA.
Our Awards Banquet ended with entertainment from the Redwood Empire Chinese Association's Adult Chorus, RECA's Adult Cultural Dancers Natica and Richard Angilly's Poetic Dance Theater Company finished off the evening with a few numbers, finishing with their signature piece, "Circus," with everyone not taking pictures joining in for a final group portrait.
Our last day was a bus tour of the sites of Sonoma County. Busses were provided through the generosity of Poet Kay Renz, Santa Rosa, CA
Our first stop was Ektimo Winery, a very small, individually owned winery. We toured the fragrant barrel room. We had missed the crush excitement by a couple of weeks.
We then stopped at the large and opulent Korbel Winery.
We had a box lunch of sandwiches and cookies from Subway with extra fruit and drinks at Armstrong Grove of giant redwood trees.
For those who ventured beyond the picnic tables was a cathedral-like sanctuary of silence and grandure among some of the tallest trees in the world.
We then went to the rugged shore of the Pacific Ocean. Rhodora Maganito joyfully soared with the seagulls as Shinko Fushimi snapped her photo.
Our last stop, and the last place many of the poets were together, was The Tides at Bodega Bay. Here, Haru Oba, Japan, communed with a local resident with a thoughtful "Hi" and "Good-bye."
With only about 20 of our exhausted group able to get together for dinner that night. We had our final scheduled get-together at nearby Mary's Pizza. By the end of the Congress, Mary's servers knew many of our poets by name. It was sad to say good-bye.