Poetry with a (drum) beat

•May 10, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I got to read poetry to the beat of African drums and flute! Here is how this came about:

Pasculine Doucin-Dahlke put out a call: “I am a local artist looking to explore the use of five neighborhood kiosks on Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles as a neighborhood public and art and poetry exhibition and to represent the same artworks at the Little Ethiopia Cultural Resource Center.” Art in the community is important to me. I submitted poems for the theme: Your Blooms, Your Hood for the May Exhibition #4. Four poems were accepted! Two of my poems were presented with Pasculine’s beautiful art work (shown below).


I was excited to explore this part of Los Angeles. First, dinner had to be eaten with your hands at Messob Ethiopian Restaurant. There are several restaurants to choose from! Then it was reception time hosted by Nikki Legesse, Executive Director of the Little Ethiopia Cultural and Resource Center with an Art Walk along Fairfax Ave.

Pascaline (see above) was the emcee and made everyone feel welcome. Photographer Dawit Asfaw shared amazing images from his visit to Ethiopia. Megashia Jackson drummed and taught the audience movements for a traditional welcome. Then Lydia Tilahun danced! (Photo by Tal @taliesinday)


I was told I could have drums while I read my poems. The drummer thought she was finished and left the room. I got up to the microphone and requested Megashia to play. I see music and poetry as a partnership in conversation and didn’t want to miss this opportunity. She was happy to. Her playing three drums took the poems to a new place. Imagine the following poem from “Listen to the Codex” being read to the beat of drums.

Finding True Home      One day we let us in     Oana Stefanita

Every culture had a fertility goddess. Creation.    Life.    Spring.   Seed.

Maia, eldest of the seven Pleides, earth goddess

intense black eyes

Protected the city.    Overripe.    Worshiped.    Honored.

Life source.

Nature rhythms.

Touched earth.    Grew to sky.     New Birth.   (c) Cindy Rinne

Then a young man joined in on a beautifully carved flute as I read more poems. It’s hard to express the joy I felt reading with the music and the pulse of the community. (Photo by Tal @taliesinday)


Other wonderful poets read and fabulous artists shared about their work. (Photos by Tal @taliesinday)

Merone Misikir sang stirring songs to the music of Chris James. (Photo by Tal @taliesinday)

Thank you to all who made this a memorable evening. Thanks to sponsors: The Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles and Little Ethiopia. I close with a photograph I took of (l-r) Nikki Legesse, Megashia Jackson, and Merone Misikir.




Springtime New

•April 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

A Day in My Life


  • Pull up a chair and join me as I see, discuss, and create:
  • An early morning walk in a new neighborhood brings discovery around every corner and the silence to hear the birds as they gather for their nests. Wondrous flowers bloom in early light.


  • My appointment for acupuncture is next. This is new for me. I am finding it helpful as I sleep through the night for the first time in years. More to discover as I learn about my body’s pathways.
  • Sometimes I miss an Art Walk and like to visit the exhibits during the month. Next it is time to view some exhibits in Claremont, CA on a beautiful day with a slight breeze. I park a distance to enjoy a walk through the city.
  • “Women in Print” at the Claremont Community Foundation explores textures, colors, story, symbol, and various ways to work in printmaking.


  • Stephen A. Rybacki mixed-media art at Buddhamouse Emporium captures me in its mystery and mark-making. I also enjoy Sumi Foley’s foxes in textiles at Bunny Gunner Gallery and Elizabeth Carr’s exploration of working larger in abstract collages at Studio C. It is good to observe what other artists are creating to spark new ideas.
  • I have coffee with a new friend to discuss performance art. I want to do this new form for me with my book “Moon of Many Petals.” I just attended a theater workshop through the University of Riverside and have been attending break-out group discussions. The idea is beginning to form. My friend helps to expand and define some possible directions.


  • Last stop is The Grove House at Pitzer College. The craftsman-style house creates a great environment for a reading by Zinzi Clemons. She shares from her first novel “What we Lose.” I am interested in her different approach as she wrote this novel in fragments that can stand alone. Zinzi is the spring visiting writer. I could tell her students enjoy her. They have good questions. She likes to edit and spent a year editing this book. It began as one project and switched to this personal story.
  • From nature to art to performance to words – an enriching day.


Dreams do Come True

•April 4, 2018 • 1 Comment

I have created art and written poetry almost my entire life. As I have pursued poetry more deeply, the words and art have become a conversation. A long time dream has been to have a book published in full color of my art and poetry. In the past, this was cost prohibitive. Times have changed and color printing is affordable.


A friend told me about a publisher that had moved to Joshua Tree, CA. He published a beautiful book for her. I attended her book launch and met Rich Soos, the publisher of Cholla Needles press. I submitted “Moon of Many Petals” to him and he accepted the book for publication. I had a few color pictures inside. After discussion, we decided to add several images to go with this novel in verse about the Manzanar internment camp.


Rich selected images to go with the poems. At first I was surprised by some of his choices. Then I began to see the connections between my fiber art and my poems. I changed some of the images as I had stitched certain ones to go with specific poems. Another surprise was that the table of contents and page numbers were removed. He also had more than one poem per page. I told myself, you have wanted an art book for a long time. This is beautiful. Let go of the table of contents and page numbers. I did and people don’t notice.


On March 11, 2018 Cholla Needles hosted the book launch with Space Cowboy Books. The weather was threatening to rain. I wanted an outdoor reading in such a wonderful place. Partly cloudy and 72 degrees made for a great day. Several people drove a distance and local writers were there. As the feature, I also brought some of my original art quilts. This story began with the art. I enjoyed introducing my story family to others. A story of displacement, loss, and beauty. It was great to hear others read for the open mic. (Photograph by Wendy Hunt)


“Natsumi-Moon” is one of my art quilts in the book. A combination of vintage kimono silks, hand beading, and free-form quilting.

As I share this book at poetry readings, it has been a joy to hear people’s stories connected to their experiences of the internment camps. Even if they weren’t there, it shows how this tragic time in history touched many lives. “Never Forget” is the cry after 76 years.


A Sense of Place

•March 28, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Much can happen close to home. I found myself spending time in Riverside, CA as part of Between the Tables,  at the Riverside Art Museum, and March for Our Lives.

The 5th year iteration of Between the Tables produced by Sue Roginski comprised of local poets and dance artists including: Cindy Rinne, Cynthia Young, Micah Tasaka, Stephen Tanner, Tracy Tom-Hoon, Ariel Green-Hill, Aisha Shauntel and Sue Rogenski. A wonderful event hosted by Back to the Grind.

This was my second time to participate. Dance, music, art, and poetry can happen between the tables of the coffee shop. The focus this time was poetry, dance, and performance art. I enjoyed the wonderful audience and the variety of voices and movement. I read poems about dance and tea to fit the day. The end was a wonderful performance called, “Marielle Present.” (Image of Tracy Tom-Hoon below)


I wanted to hold the precious relics from “Uncovering Ancient Mexico: The Mystery of Tlatilco” at the Riverside Art Museum (RAM). These artifacts are from an ancient civilization which is now Mexico City. Jaime Guerrero exhibited the stunning “Contemporary Relics: A Tribute to the Makers.” Both exhibits are up through Dec. 30, 2018. Guerrero states: “I believe that these objects can transmit valuable knowledge about the first cultures of this continent. They offer insights to the world view and belief system of our Mesoamerican ancestors.” His work is made of molten glass to look like stone (see below).

RAM_James_Guerrero .jpg

My newest novel in verse “Moon of Many Petals” is a story based in Manzanar and Sendai. It was fascinating to see “Wendy Maruyama: E.O. 9066” where she had an installation called The Tag Project of all incarcerated and stunning wall-mounted cabinets and sculptures capturing the living conditions in the camps.


Upstairs contained “The 52/52+ Project” with my friends Mary Melcher and Gwen Melby and others and “Una Noche Chicana: Novelas, Peliculas, Chocolate, y Avena” featuring lithographic prints, video installation, and stitched goods.

The High School Students from Riverside County organized MARCH FOR OUR LIVES, RIVERSIDE. I loved hearing the speeches of the young adults, marching with my church, Redlands United Church of Christ, meeting strangers who quickly felt like friends, and supporting the next generation. Chants, tears, hugs, posters, and song filled the streets.

Listen to the Codex

•June 22, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Calling upon the energy of origins, Cindy Rinne’s sensuous Listen to the Codex parallels a woman’s journey with the cycles of the earth. These imaginative poems of opening, embodiment, and surprise bring the sacred to the everyday: lighting candles and sage, invoking meditation, chanting, dirt rituals, and the guidance of a self-healing robot. A book of flight and remembrance, Rinne shows how the act of losing and finding calls us to listen, root ourselves in the natural world, and “breathe a circular breath.” – Jennifer K. Sweeney, author of Little Spells and How to Live on Bread and Music

Listen to the Codex is my second chapbook. I am thrilled to be in the Yak Press family. This new book is part of the Native Blossoms Chapbook Series Three, Number 1. Each book in the series has a native blossom on the cover and a poem with the title of the blossom. Mine is black sage (Salvia mellifera), a native blossom in southern California.

The poem BLACK SAGE begins with:
I am a seed. Breathe
a circular breath.
Pulse. My heart becomes
an eye. I see through
a web of cut patterns.
(First published by “Sea Foam Magazine.”)

Being published by a local publisher allows me to do readings with other wonderful poets in the Native Blossoms Series. Anne Yale, Editor, sets up readings and my book launch.

Cindy Rinne Reads from Listen to the Codex, with Special Guests
Hosted by Yak Press
Sunday, July 23, 5:00-7:00 PM
Skylight Books
1818 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

As a fiber artist, I like to include excerpts from my poems. I recently finished a series of small art works. Each one has an excerpt from Listen to the Codex.This one has lines from QUESTIONS.

PRE-ORDER Listen to the Codex for $10 now through July 16, 2017. I will send you an autographed copy with free postage (in the United States). Details and another poem at http://www.fiberverse.com.


•May 9, 2017 • Leave a Comment

“Take Flight” at Studio C, 260 W. Bonita Ave., Claremont, CA 91711 is a two-person collage exhibit featuring Elizabeth Carr and Cindy Rinne. Curated by Denise Kraemer! The exhibit is full of life in layers, textures, and colors for spring. Opening reception was Sat., May 6, as part of the Claremont Art Walk. Appreciated friends attending the opening on a cool, possibly rainy night. (Elizabeth is at the left and I am second from the right.)

Elizabeth and I met a few times to discuss this exhibit. The title for the exhibit came as I saw butterflies, dragonflies, birds, and moths in my art. Elizabeth was reading a story about birds and discovered she had similar motifs in her art. She came up with this great title.

Studio C is an art gallery and studio space run by Elizabeth. She has created a welcoming gallery containing eclectic art and gifts. We both have wall art and jewelry. And I have Poetry Scarves in this exhibit.

During the month I gave “The Alphabet of Gifts-Creativity Workshop.” It was great fun to see how people gave their own interpretation to the exercises. Participants created gifts for themselves and a gift to give another which included a fiber art collage + jewelry by Elizabeth Carr.

On May 20 at 6:30-8:30 pm join Yak Press Presents at Studio C Poetry Reading. Enjoy the “Native Plant” series and have a poem typed just for you. Featuring: Nancy Carroll, Brian Sonia-Wallace, Cindy Rinne, Melisa Malvin-Middleton, Cody Deitz (by virtue of technology), and Anne Yale!

“Take Flight” is on view through June 1, 2017. Gallery Hours: 10am-6pm, call first to stop by on Sundays (909) 289-9401.

<a href="https://fiberverse.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/img_8456-

An Idea is Born

•January 13, 2017 • 2 Comments

I was a visitor to the University of California Riverside Campus to read my poetry as part of a national movement called, “Writers Resist Reading.” I had to park across campus to find a numbered spot. The walk to the event was beautiful between rain storms.


This reading of fiction, historical documents, and poetry was dynamic and sad. Many stories by many cultures and all ages. A few days later and I am still holding what was shared. I was surprised at how choked up I became as I read my poetry about Manzanar.


I tried to retrace my steps back to my car as it was getting dark. At some point, I realized I was lost. I saw a young woman doing yoga in front of a building. I asked her for help to get back to parking lot 6. I was not where I needed to be! She had extra time before class and said she would show me a short cut to my car. We had a great conversation about how to find your passion/destiny. This was a special time and I found my car.

Later I felt like I had met someone magical. I am curating an art exhibit in fall 2017 about this sort of thing. I researched the character she reminded me of, I ordered a book, and some fabric to create a folktale. It will be a while, but art and a story came from getting lost and listening.


•November 7, 2016 • Leave a Comment

How exciting to have a solo show as the Featured Artist at The Threshold Art Gallery in Redlands, CA. This is a new gallery owned by Aeron and Michelle Brown. Several artists exhibit all the time and one is featured in the front window and walls.


I created several new art works for this show. It was fun to order new fabrics, update my thread colors, and discover treasures I already had to use in the works. As several pieces were completed, I noticed two things: Color themes of light and autumn colors and a shift in style to more graphic arts/ narrative. This shift began a few years ago, but now seems to define my style. The following is a new piece called, “Illusions.” From vintage Chinese stitchery, Japanese Yukata to 1950’s fabric shapes, and Nigerian lace there’s quite a variety in the combinations.


Besides wall pieces there are shelves in two windows available. This was the opportunity to try something new: tapestry sculptures. They are size of small Japanese screens. I like the transparency so light can show through. I play with the back and front of the tapestry. There is space to write my poetry on the back of the wood. These can be placed on the floor, on a desk, or a table. This is “Floating Lily Pads.”



The Opening Reception was a lot of fun. Guest musicians Wendy Hunt and Jennifer Vallely were amazing as were guest poets Michael Cooper and Evelyn Johnson. I got to read too. I appreciate all who came. Canda Lodge even did a painting of me reading poetry. All gifts! Thank you to the community vision of Aeron and Michelle and to all who came and joined in. The show runs through Nov. 29.



In conjunction with the show I will hold a writing workshop on Sunday, November 13 from 2-4. Using prompts students will be inspired by the art on the walls for their writing.

Winter Tea Ceremony

•September 17, 2016 • Leave a Comment

For my next novel in verse I am writing about a winter Japanese Tea Ceremony – the lanterns in the garden, the waiting place, and a place to wash your hands. Inside find a scroll for the winter season and a vase of plum blossom branches.


Right after researching the tea house, I jumped at the opportunity to visit the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden in Pasadena, CA. This garden was conceived in the 1930’s as a private garden including a tea house, which is now open to the public on Thursdays and the last Sundays. It is like a secret treasure hidden in the city.


I come to write poetry with a group lead by Kathabela Wilson. Her husband, Rick, plays various flutes in the background as we write and share poems. I love the time spent exploring the garden and writing. I find a bench behind a Buddha statue and under a maple tree as the sun shines through.


burnished orange dragonfly / kissed yellow water plant / many voices

pine cones reached / three directions / branches curl / vein the sky / unseen lizard scampered to hide

above a rug of pads / purple lily strained to sun / bronze crane squawked


Becoming Sculptural

•June 20, 2016 • 3 Comments

Normally my fiber art is hung on the wall. As I was about to create a sculpture of my own, I sought inspiration from an amazing exhibit. I explored Beverly’s Garden at the Sam And Alfreda Malloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts in Alta Loma, CA. My quest was to see “Sculpture in the Garden 2016” curated by Juan and Susie Thorp of the Bunny Gunner Gallery. The sculptures were humorous, magical, geometrical, etc. Light shimmered. Mobiles rang.

I thought of bones while viewing T. Robert-Pacini’s work and sat on a bench enjoying Brenda Hurst’s sculpture made of rusted cans. I experienced the African symbols of Charles Dickson’s sculpture. The art became part of the landscape of native plants and of the sky.



(from top to bottom: T. Robert-Pacini, Brenda Hurst, and Charles Dickenson.)

Suzanne Fontaine’s mobile of recycled materials rang gently in the breeze, William Catling’s piece soared, and Pat Warner’s sculpture drew me close.



(Suzanne Fontaine, William Catling, and Pat Warner.)


My sculpture will go indoors. I have been working on the tapestry for months, creating a base and collaging ethnic and vintage fabrics. Here’s the frame my husband and I built of Redwood. I’m still deciding if I want to write text on the frame.


The tapestry now stands on its own. Light passes through. I think of placing objects on top or at the base. Sculpture creates it’s own room to explore. These are details of the yet unnamed art. I still have a month to pull it together. In the meantime I observe it in my living room. I like the idea of creating a piece I can walk around.



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