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24th World Congress of Poets, Day 1, November 27, 2016

Presented by United Poets Laureate International
DoubleTree Hilton Sonoma Wine Country, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, CA, USA President Judy Hardin Cheung, Santa Rosa, CA, USA
UPLI President Virgilio A. Yuzon, Ayala Alabang Village, Manila, Philippines Photos selected and edited by Judy Hardin Cheung
Please feel free to copy these photos for promoting the World Congress of Poets, UPLI, and poetry in general.
For higher resolution photos, please contact Judy Cheung at

Photos taken by George Hollie, Dory Maganito, Loreen Abbott, Judy Cheung, Lê Phạm Lê. Videography by Arthur Levinson

imgGeorge Hollie The photographer
imgDory Maganito
imgLorrie Abbott
imgJudy Cheung
imgLê Phạm Lê
imgArthur Levinson, Videographer

Welcome to the 24th World Congress of Poets presented by United Poets Laureate International. If you were unable to join us November 27 through December 1, 2016, perhaps you can share in our enjoyment of poets and poetry through these words and images.


The United Poets Laureate Board of Directors gives you greetings from the 24th World Congress of Poets, November 27-December 1, 2016, DoubleTree Hilton Sonoma Wine Country, Rohnert Park, CA, USA.

L-R: Front: Executive Vice President Wanda Rider, TN, USA; President Virgilio (Gil) A. Yuzon, Manila, Philippines; Vice President Japan Noriko Mizusaki, Chiba, Japan; Vice President Western USA, Natica Angilly, CA, USA; Back, L-R: UPLI Secretary and President of the 24th World Congress of Poets Judy Hardin Cheung, CA, USA; Vice President Northwestern USA, Rex Valentine, WA, USA; Board member Marie Palazzolo, TN, USA; Board member Rhodora (Dory) Maganito, Philippines/CA, USA; Board member Weilin Fang, Nanjing, China. Board members who could not be with us include Treasurer Valerie Pennington, TN, USA; Regional Director Australia Puntalee (Noi) Jerathun, Bangkok, Thailand; Regional Director Australia Alexander Chang, Australia, and Vice President Asia Dr. Kenneth Kuanling Fan, China.

Early arrivals had a pre-Congress dinner at Kyoto, a local Japanese restaurant owned by Judy’s friend. Much to our enjoyment, we found Nancy Wang’s family at the table behind us. Nancy would be presenting our entertainment the next night for our opening ceremonies. Enjoying an excellent meal together, L-R around the table: Noriko Mizusaki, Japan; Judy Cheung, USA; Natica Angilly, USA; Richard Angilly, USA; Gil Yuzon, Philippines; Bianca Yuzon, Philippines; Amelia Fielden, Australia; Ajayakumar Kutticutt, India.

Our Program

Sunday, Day 1, November 27, 2016
Welcome to Sonoma County by the Redwood Empire Chinese Association

Lion Team: Cloe Howard, Joseph Hickman, Sophia Bertolini, Lucy Zhu, Daphne DeLaMontanya, Dax DeLaMontanya, Nancy Wang, Joe Wang, Ruth Hickman, Bob Hickman, Judy Cheung.
Instructors: Judy Cheung and Nancy Wang.
Intermediate Cultural Dancers: Umbrella Dance, Feline Howard, Meliah Townsend, Lily Harris- Wray, Emily Martinez, Daisy Martinez, Daniella Ruiz Alcazar, Instructor: Judy Elliott
Teen Cultural Dancers: Fan Dance, Ellen Hickman, Maya Ibitz; Instructor: Judy Elliott Welcome by Nancy Wang, president of Redwood Empire Chinese Association
Welcome to the WCP by Natica & Richard Angilly’s Poetic Dance Theater Company

Balancing on the Brink of the Present, poem by Judy Hardin Cheung,
Soleil, poem by Ronda Hollie, choreographed Loyawanner Haddadou
Lady White Snake by Alisha Rodrigues. Performers: Natica and Richard Angilly,
Wanda Ingmire, Loywanner Haddadou, Ronda Hollie, Cindy Levinson, Arthur Levinson, Lee Salomon, Nancy Merritt, Joseph Hickman, Tanya Joyce; Art by Tanya Joyce.


Our Congress opened with a bang! President Judy Hardin Cheung gave a lion drum solo. Dax Delamontagna, center, drummed for the lion dance performance. Nancy Wang, right, gave a welcoming talk after the performance. RECA is an active community non-profit organization.

The RECA lion team frolicked among the audience. We have never had a Congress open like this before. The traditional purpose for the lion dance is to chase away evil spirits. It must have worked, because we had no major problems during the entire Congress, and everyone was in good spirits.

The RECA Teen Cultural Dancers, Maya Ibitz and Ellen Hickman, performed to a poem written by Ellen.

The RECA Intermediate Cultural Dancers gave us a happy umbrella dance.

Natica and Richard Angilly’s Poetic Dance Theater Company continued the welcome with a series of poems that were danced. The first was Judy Cheung’s poem, Balancing on the Brink of the Present. The Poetic Dance Theater Company is a non-profit organization,

Soleil, poem by Ronda Hollie (back), choreographed by Loyawanner Haddadou (center) with Wanda Ingmire (front), was spectacular with their shimmering Isis wings.

UPLI Secretary General Alisha Rodrigues wrote an epic poem based on the Chinese legend, Lady White Snake, in honor of UPLI VP Asia Dr. Kenneth Kuanling Fan, China. Dr. Fan could not be with us at this World Congress of Poets.

Night Owl Readings were held nightly from 10:00 p.m. until the last poet gave out. Led by Rex Valentine, WA, USA, people could come and go as they liked. Many could not attend because it was late. Some attended every night.

L-R around circle, (facing camera): Weilin Fang, China; Katherine Wilson, USA; Constantina Clark, USA; Rex Valentine, USA; Judy Cheung, USA; Nanette Deetz, USA; (continuing around circle); Amelia Fielden, Australia; Cathy Dana, USA, Nanette Deetz, USA; Ajayakumar Kutticutt, India; Tanya Joyce, USA; Gil Yuzon, Philippines.

Ajayakumar Kutticutt, India, receives applause after reading his poetry in English. He was concerned because he reads much better in his first language, Malayalam, from his home state of Kerala, India. English is our universal language at Congresses. Other languages are welcome with translations or explanations.

L-R: Nanette Deetz, USA; Ajayakumar Kutticutt, India; Tanya Joyce, USA; Gil Yuzon, Philippines; Katherine Wilson, USA.

Formal Poetry Presentations moderated by Judy Hardin Cheung