Carry the Light Anthology

Speaking of Carry the Light, we can’t help but brag about publishing our first anthology of short stories, essays, and poems that were submitted to the 2012 San Mateo County Fair.

We received almost 200 entries and the publisher, Tory Hartmann of the Sand Hill Review Press was so committed to this project that she expanded the book to 312 pages to include more pieces than we’d originally planned because they were all so good. This book was produced in just four weeks! To learn more about this project go to

You can see the finished product at

We ran a contest in the Fine Arts Galleria for artists and photographers to submit their work for the book cover  and we received a great variety of interpretations of what Carry the Light meant to them.

Pacifica poet and photographer Thomas A. Ekkens of won the prize for his closeup photo of leaves growing along a waterfall. It is absolutely gorgeous!


Tom’s wife Joanne Shwed of Backspace Ink Editing and Book Design volunteered her considerable talents to make the anthology a reality.  Her two essays are featured in the anthology, as is Tom’s poetry.

Check out to read excerpts of their work along with almost forty other contributors’ short stories, essays, and poems.

As far as we know, this is the first time all of the submissions entered into a county fair has been published professionally. We do know this is a first for the Western Region, an accomplishment of which we are all immensely proud.

This creative collaboration is exactly what Carry the Light is all about: stepping up and helping others to make their dream a reality and in turn, sharing the joy of one’s own passion!

Welcome to Carry the Light 2013, a Creative Collaboration

“Carry the Light is all about following your smallest
inclination to its greatest conclusion.”

Carry the Light is a philosophy originated by Boris Koodrin, director of the Fine Arts Galleria at the San Mateo County Fair. His inspiration took form in collaboration with blues guitarist Kelly Richey when he illustrated her 2008 album “Carry the Light.”


Within the Fine Arts Galleria, Boris and his wife, Bardi Rosman Koodrin, the department’s literary director, provide opportunities each year at the fair for artists, writers, and performers to express themselves in their chosen medium.

Boris and Bardi believe that everyone has an important story to tell, and they provide the space with which to create. Their intent is to uplift and challenge people to reflect on how much we have to be grateful for, and to help instill the thought that there is unlimited potential in what we can do to uplift one another.


Carry the Light is not just a slogan: it is an ideal that also challenges all of us to dream a better dream for ourselves. The assumption that some of us are highly creative, while others are not, is one that Boris and Bardi continuously challenge.

“We are all called to paint a masterpiece with our lives.”