Summer Jubilations: Poets from different cultures came together to celebrate similar family traditions

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(From left) Dr. Jose Ortega, Eileen Fiori, Anita McLaughlin, and Malibu Poet Laureate Ann Buxie are shown after the Summer Jubilations event last Thursday at Malibu Bluffs Park. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

Picnics on Sundays, going to the beach, or having supper at home, they all had something in common, spending time with family 

To welcome the summer season in Malibu, The City of Malibu Community Service Department held its summer Jubilations at Malibu Bluffs Park with a scenic view of the Pacific Ocean. 

Hosted by the Malibu Poet Laureate Ann Buxie, the event featured Dr. Jose Ortega, Anita McLaughlin, and Eileen Fiori. 

This year’s Poetry Summit embraces the joys of life. The poets shared a time when they celebrated love; whether that were having picnics on Sundays, going to the beach, or having supper at home, they all had something in common, family. 

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 Malibu Poet Laureate Ann Buxie welcomes the audience to the Summer Jubilations at Malibu Bluffs Park on Thursday, June. 22. Photos by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

Poet Anita McLaughlin shared poetry about her family and about what gave her joy.

“The kind of poetry I write is very personal, and writing about family for this, was kind of different, but I enjoyed it, and I learned something,” McLaughlin said. “We were working together but I didn’t get to hear them until today, but I really enjoyed it, it was rich.”

Eileen Fiori shared poetry and memories of cooking with her family on Sundays. 

“My grandparents were immigrants and I always thought it was important to share some of those stories of those wonderful people because they were hard workers,” Fiori said. “I’m a second-generation Italian, and I do have some wonderful memories. So much of it [poetry spoken] was the same, it’s all about family, it’s all about how we got together and the food was the central focal point, but we all had different things but the same in a lot of ways.”

Dr. Jose Ortega was invited by Buxie to attend the workshops and write for their Jubilations poetry event. 

“I was very glad she invited me because it was the first time for me to come to the microphone and do this, we have been in front of microphones many times, but not in this way, and I enjoyed it very much,” Ortega said. “I wrote about my younger days, maybe when I was about 10 or 12, and It felt right in place because the memories are still there, and they fit the theme of the event today, the picnics, the food, the jubilations.”

Buxie thanked the featured poets for participating and welcomed anyone in the audience to share a personal poet or letter with the crowd.

“I love any event that brings together and keeps them talking afterward and discovering things and remembering things about their own lives, so to me, it couldn’t get better,” Buxie said. 

The next Summer Jubilations is scheduled for Aug. 17 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The event features four readers, followed by an open call.  

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Recreation Coordinator Amanda Rigali, Malibu Poet Laureate Ann Buxie and Andrea Laffitte are shown after the Summer Jubilations event last Thursday at Malibu Bluffs Park. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT.