Reading With Gratitude
Joe DeCenzo grew up in Los Angeles and cultivated his passion for literature while attending the Los Angeles City College Theater Academy. His love of rhyme and meter led to his composition of The Ballad of Alley and Hawk which celebrates the playfulness of words. It is a long form narrative poem he describes as Dr. Suess grows up and moves to prohibition era Chicago. After moving to Tujunga in 1998, he learned of the rich historic legacy of John McGroarty and the California State poet laureate program. As a Cultural Affairs Department grant recipient, he produced the Shouting Coyote Performing Arts Festivals from 2002-2006 which focused on drawing poets to larger and more public venues as well as introducing the widening diversity of Sunland-Tujunga to the wealth of artistry in the surrounding neighborhood. He currently works to maintain and promote the local poet laureate program. He also serves on the coordinating committee for Village Poets, a monthly public reading now in its 12th year.