To the scientist the aim of alchemy seems only to be the transmutation of base metals into gold. Though some alchemists were concerned solely with this, many were serious and dedicated thinkers who used alchemical symbols and ideas to probe religious, philosophical and psychological issues.

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Haiku is a form of poetry which is written in seventeen syllables. Each poem contains a word that refers to the season described in the haiku. The following haiku are by the three greatest haiku poets of Japan. (All translations are by R. H. Blyth)

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Are You Circo?

Compilation, editing and publishing of Circo de Poesia’s first internal document

Dec 2004-Jun 11 2005


There are many different ways in which we can define Circo de Poesia in our own head but the truth is that a project attempting the kind of projection that Circo de Poesia intends couldn’t be exactly a vague result of our imagination.

Are you Circo? is a compilation of 4 documents:

a) an original email which could be traced to the start of the first series of workshops in Pasadena,

b) a complete workshop in Appreciative Inquiry Approach and  the replies from those participating,

c) a new series of questions called ‘Written conference’ comprised of many individual questions made by Alicia Villa, Esteban Bergese & Sergio Oscar Martinez and finally,

d) a yearly budget relevant at the time of the workshop meant to show Circo’s on-going financial commitments and needs.

After Appreciative Inquiry Approach workshop ended, Alicia Villa began collecting and compiling all the individual answers from the individual participants and she started assembling them all as part of a master document.

The final goal was for each person to be able to verify important opinions –their own and everyone else’s- about pivotal issues concerning Circo. Issues of commitment and professionalism for example, were made important topics of discussion. Without forcing anyone it was still requested that all people participating stated as clearly as possible what their position was on a given matter.

The intention was that after this document had been finalized and read by all those concerned, Circo could finally move beyond the dynamics of friendship and commit to a more professional handling of all its affairs.

Most of the compiling and editing work was done by Alicia Villa herself with some translation and editing by Sergio Martinez.

At this time also, both Alicia and Sergio, –first privately- begin planning the total transformation of Circo into an educational & cultural enterprise.

An organizational meeting is prepared to inform those involved with Circo about these plans to transform it. A Power Point Presentation along with documents and arrangements for a neutral moderator are made. A first in our trajectory, the moderator will insure that those participating will abide by the simple rules of the meeting: do not interrupt, speak in the first person and only when you’ve been given by the moderator the ‘magic wand’.



Crónicas del Circo de Poesía/Chronicles of the Poetry Circus

Circo’s chronicles are finished before the 5th anniversary production gets underway

March-July 2003


A pivotal document in Circo’s trajectory. Trying to clarify once more the reasons for working as human beings and creating art together, Alicia Villa and Sergio Martinez invite many participants to write their ‘own Circo chronicle’. The original intention is to try and discern –through the lens of the experience of others- if there are common interests and goals.

The document also helps pinpoint the individual member’s differing points of view. It becomes clear that while some prefer a more ‘open format’ others insist on a more consistent and professional approach. The document also serves as an open invitation to those interested in participating in Circo’s upcoming production.

It is decided at this point that all those interested in collaborating in any shape or form should first familiarize themselves with Circo’s trajectory as written down in the chronicles. The reason is simple: to allow others to become more acquainted with Circo’s modus operandi in order for them to decide whether they’d like to participate.

The chronicles were mailed to almost 80 individuals familiar or somehow associated with Circo de Poesia in LA. From those who responded a production team was set up for the 5th anniversary production, then about to get underway…