Kimberly Cobian

Kimberly Cobian is a multi-faceted literary & performance artist & an arts and cultural community organizer from North Whittier, CA. She is an active educator, writer, and belly dancer. Fascinated by the Gypsy proverb: “How can you walk straight, when the road bends”. She believes artists do the same in their life whether its making it or creating it, the soul knows which is the “tacho drom”, or the truest path.

 

She has been in love with the written word since childhood, when she first began to express herself creatively, making use of her imagination. It was Christopher Trevilla, President of Nuvein who saw this very same passion in her at a poetry reading at Half Off Books in Whittier, and introduced himself and Nuvein to Kim over the course of a year, before formally inviting her to join the board as its current resident gitana poeta organizer. She has been a proud Director at Nuvein since January 2012.

 

Kimberly is also the President of the ZZyZx WriterZ, a dynamic group of poets, writers, musicians, artists, and performers from across Los Angeles. Based out of El Sereno/Alhambra, the ZZyZx WriterZ are one of the organizing influences behind the arts and culture renaissance of El Sereno, as they organize a monthly poetry and performance open mic at the thriving Holy Grounds Coffee and Tea.

 

Yet the grandest undertaking that the ZZyZx WriterZ take on under Kimberly’s leadership is the annual organization of PoetryPalooza, a yearly arts, poetry, and performance tour and showcase of community creativity that spans Los Angeles County. Poetrypalooza takes place annually each summer in August. The event tour is a huge passion project for Kimberly, who oversees multiple partnerships that ensure each event highlights the local culture, creativity, and artistry of each respective community. Kimberly is very proud and passionate about what she and the WriterZ have helped create and sustain with PoetryPalooza. Kimberly has seen how this passion project has served to unite and nurture all who share their gifts and attend this celebration unique to Los Angeles.

 

Poetry is important to Kimberly as it is a muse to the other art forms and vice versa, as well as being vital to younger generations who need a means to express their ideals, dreams, frustrations, and ideas. A successful published poet and acclaimed performer herself, Kimberly understands the importance of crafting personal yet universal statements through spoken word and movement. Her poetry has been featured in publications such as the ZZyZx WriterZ anthologies, the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, and other publications. Her performances, often combine her poetry with belly dance have been enjoyed as part of PoetryPalooza across LA, as well as the Green Salon in Downey, the San Gabriel Valley Literature Festival, the La Puente Artwalk, and many other venues, festivals, and events.

 

Kimberly is very motivated to share her poetry and help others while doing it. Aside from curating at Holy Grounds and directing PoetryPalooza, she has overseen and developed poetry workshops and organized the SGV Poetry in Motion teen and youth event at the Arcadia Library with Nuvein as part of the SGV Poetry Festival. Additionally, Kimberly has been the organizer of the Poet’s Corner at the La Puente Artwalk, a growing spoken word, music, and performance art destination during the quarterly event. In fact, she was one of the featured poets at the inaugural edition of the La Puente Artwalk, then organized solely by the Nuvein Foundation.

 

As a poet, Kimberly draws inspiration for her works from her personal experience and the shared experience of some of her favorite poets and authors. Among her favorite poems are “The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes, “Romancero Gitano” by Federico Garcia Lorca, & “Full Moon and You’re Not Here” by Sandra Cisneros. As an organizer, she admittedly sees inspiration in the personal journeys and labors of her parents, who continue to inspire her to this day.

 

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Michael Churchman

Michael Churchman says that he is just like everybody else  —  he wakes up each morning and has to learn how to think, how to feel, how to exist, how to love, and how to be human all over again.  Sometimes he writes about these things, and sometimes he writes about things that don’t make sense at all, not to himself or to anyone else.

“Whatever roles we are supposed to be playing in this world,” he says, “we can at least play them with full and open hearts, and with style; if it’s a show, we can put on a good one.”


He works as a technical writer, and writes short stories and poetry to keep himself sane.  He has been involved in the arts and allied activities at the community level since his teens, and has served as both a volunteer and board member for a variety of community organizations, including the Shantih Youth Coffee House, the I Care Counseling Center, and the Santa Maria Valley Arts Council.  He has also been involved in several poetry and writing groups, including the Tuesday Poets of San Luis Obispo and Echo Poetry in Claremont.  He is currently an active member of ZZyZx Writerz and the Coffee House Writers Group. Michael, as part of the ZZyZx Writerz along with fellow Nuvein director Kimberly Cobian, helps organize the annual art and literature festival known as Poetrypalooza.

Learn more about the Nuvein team