Gardener Shares How & Why He Became a Poet & Author, Songwriters Perform Original Works

The author of the book “The Poem of Life” describes himself as Jose Mendoza “The Gardener,” which is true. But Mendoza is also a poet, and will sign his new book and share his poetry and thoughts about gratitude on Thursday, April 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Blackboard Gallery at Studio Channel Islands Art Center. Singer-songwriters DJ Harper and Scott Wojahn will also perform their music during the event. A $5 donation is suggested. Books will be for available for sale and signing.

Mendoza, a Ventura County resident will discuss what he learned by asking himself a simple question: was I born to be just a gardener? Inspired by the many people he says showed him kindness throughout his life, Mendoza began making notes that took the shape of poetry. The recently published “The Poem of Life” contains many of these, which he hopes will inspire others. Call 805-383-1368 or visit for any questions about the event.

At just age 14, Mendoza fled alone from his native Guatemala to the United States, where he was granted political asylum. Throughout his journey to here, Mendoza says he was helped and supported by strangers. Today he owns his own gardening business and continues to write poetry, adding to a collection of more than 150 poems.

Scott Wojahn is a composer, producer, arranger and singer-songwriter. He is one half of Wojahn Bros. Music in Santa Monica, which specializes in commercials and television, and has created award winning original music for branding national and global companies.

DJ Harper is a singer-songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. DJ began singing in the studios as a child on films such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Peter Pan, and has since appeared in television shows such as Glee. He is recent graduate in composition from UCLA.

Studio Channel Islands Art Center is at 2222 Ventura Boulevard in Old Town Camarillo. As many as 40 resident artist studios behind the gallery are open to the public every First Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The gallery and offices are open Tuesday 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. Wednesday through Friday 11:00 - 5:00 and Saturday 10:00 - 3:00.