Moonday has had a home on the Westside since 2002, when Pero and Jones decided to create a forum for artists and fans to come together and celebrate the poetic process. Though it’s been held in coffee shops and other spots, Moonday West is now located at the independently owned Village Books in Pacific Palisades. The meetings were originally held on Monday nights, which is how the title got its name, though the La Cañada poetry readings will take place at Flintridge Bookstore on either the third or fourth Sunday of each month at 2 p.m.
“Both of us invest time to select the readers who will be featured each month,” said Jones, who is also the host of the show “Poet's Café” on KPFK's Pacifica Radio. “We enjoy a variety of styles and welcome people of all ages — one of our most faithful members of Moonday's audience at Village Books is over 90 years old (and) we have had readers as young as 9. “
Several people who turned out for Sunday’s reading brought material to share during the open mike portion. Their words took listeners on a creative journey through time and space. One woman shared a correspondence between an art lover and the subject of a painting. “Do you dream?” she asked. “Are you waiting for the circumstances to change?” Another poet discussed the sensual experience of speaking with a New Jersey accent.
La Crescenta resident Bob Lignon came with wife Kathryn and brought work to share, though he’s not a poet. “I’m a retired banker,” he clarified, explaining how he began to write after a stroke robbed him of his mathematical prowess. “Part of my recovery was going to writing classes. Poetry is very easy for me; there are rhymes in my head.”
Gail Mishkin, who works part time at Flintridge Bookstore coordinating events and readings, is happy her store can help encourage writers and retired bankers alike.
“Artists don’t have a lot of venues to present their work,” Mishkin said. “That really is one of the quintessential roles of a community, independently owned bookstore — to invite people to come in and share their poetry.”