Clark County Poet Laureate Christopher Luna
at the reception for Poetry in the Shops
at Angst Gallery, June 27, 2014
Photo by Tiffany Burba-Schramm
Earlier this year, the following Clark County poets were chosen to have their work in one or more shops in Clark County this summer:
Tiffany Burba-Schramm, “Everything Settles”; Diane Cammer, “This Smaller World”; Scott Carstensen, “LOVE”; Chris Chaffin, “Columbia”; Bruce Hall, “A VERBAL ANTI-DEPRESSANT”; Morgan Hutchinson, “The City (Or Buenos Aires, Argentina)”; Christi Krug, “Preparations”; R. Valentine Moore, “BLUE YONDER”; Jennifer Pratt-Walter, “Teacher of the Trek”; Michael Williams, “Summer Camp”; Jane Elder Wulff, “early music”; and Louise Wynn, “On This Mountain.”
Please join us in congratulating the winners. Dene Grigar and I would also like to invite all residents of Clark County to visit the businesses listed below to show their support for poetry. I am very grateful to the businesses listed for their participation in the program.
for a list of the shops and the full text of the poems. We will update both sites as we add locations to the list.
Clark County Poet Laureate
Poetry in the Shops Locations
Tiffany Burba-Schramm, “Everything Settles”
Shops: Pacific Paradise Cuisine (516 SE Chkalov Drive, #33, Vancouver); Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters (703 Grand Blvd., Vancouver); The Kiggins Theatre (1011 Main Street, Vancouver)
Diane Cammer, “This Smaller World”
Scott Carstensen, “LOVE”
Shops: LUXE (700 Washington St., Ste 103, Vancouver); Bella Violetta Massage by Tiffany (3303 NE 44th St., Suite A, Vancouver)
Christopher Chaffin, “Columbia”
Shops: Cream & Sugar (309 E 15th St., Suite B, Vancouver); Vancouver Food Co-Op (1002 Main St., Vancouver); Aly’s Coffee Coop (3303 NE 44th St., Vancouver)
Bruce Hall, “A VERBAL ANTI-DEPRESSANT”
Shops: Vancouver Food Co-Op (1002 Main St., Vancouver); La Center Library (1411 NE Lockwood Creek Road, La Center); Alexandra Demetro, ND (408 E. Main St., Battle Ground)
Morgan Hutchinson: “The City (Or Buenos Aires, Argentina)”; Bella Violetta Massage by Tiffany (3303 NE 44th St., Suite A, Vancouver)
Shops: Niche Wine & Art Bar (1013 Main St., Vancouver)
Christi Krug, “Preparations”
Shops: Sadie and Josie’s Bakery (582 NW Pacific Hwy, La Center); Aly’s Coffee Coop (3303 NE 44th St., Vancouver)
R. Valentine Moore, “Blue Yonder”
Shops: Cover to Cover Books (6300 NE St. James Rd., Suite 104B, Vancouver); Gallery 360 (111 W. 9th St., Vancouver)
Jennifer Pratt-Walter, “Teacher of the Trek”
Shops: The Catalyst (1902 Main St., Vancouver); La Center Tavern (107 E. Fourth St., La Center)
Michael Williams, “Summer Camp”
Shops: Di Tazza Gourmet Coffee & Café (2011 SE 192nd Ave. #101, Vancouver); Old Town Battle Grounds Coffee House (316 E. Main St., Battle Ground); Healing Arts Apothecary (408 E. Main Street, Battle Ground)
Jane Elder Wulff, “early music”
Shops: Brewed Awakenings (6500 NE 117th Ave., Vancouver); Jackson, Jackson & Kurtz, PS (704 E. Main #102, Battle Ground); Starbucks (12101 SE Mill Plain, Vancouver); Beaux Vous Day Spa (410 E Main St., Battle Ground)
Louise Wynn, “On This Mountain”
Shops: Beacock Music (1420 SE 163rd Ave., Vancouver); Brewed (603 Main St., Vancouver); The Camas Gallery (408 NE 4th Ave., Camas); Cascade Federal Credit Union (1706 D St., Ste. C, Vancouver); Urban Eccentric (2311 Main St., Vancouver)
Many thanks to Dene Grigar, Associate Professor and Director of the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver, for organizing and managing the Poetry in the Shops Program. She was also instrumental in securing the Spark Grant from Humanities Washington that made the contest possible.
Clark County Poet Laureate Christopher Luna recently received a Spark Grant from Humanities Washington which allowed him to fund various activities including open mic poetry readings, workshops, and lectures. It also helped him to launch a poets in the schools program in Clark County, an ambition of Luna’s that predates the poet laureate position by several years.
Christopher Luna is the co-founder, with Toni Partington, of Printed Matter Vancouver, whose books include Ghost Town Poetry volumes one and two, which feature poems from the popular Vancouver, WA open mic reading he founded in 2004, and Serenity in the Brutal Garden, the
debut collection by Vancouver poet Jenney Pauer. His books include Brutal Glints of Moonlight, GHOST TOWN, USA and The Flame Is Ours: The Letters of Stan Brakhage and Michael McClure 1961-1978, an important piece of film and literary history that Luna edited at Brakhage’s request, available on Michael Rothenberg’s Big Bridge.org. Recent publications include Bombay Gin, The Understanding Between Foxes and Light, Unshod Quills, Chiron Review, and Soundings Review.
The Spark Grant activities are sponsored by Humanities Washington, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, Camas Library, The Arts of Clark County, Clark County Arts Commission, and Washington State University Vancouver, in particular faculty Dene Grigar, Leonard Orr,
and Kandy Robertson.
Here are the winning poems:
by Tiffany Burba-Schramm
The frost settles upon the ground.
Snows settles upon the limbs of trees.
The ceiling in my house settles; creates small cracks.
The floor creeks and settles the weight of dogs approaching.
We settle, let the weight of the world crack our ambitions.
We let others harsh words and criticisms drape us like settled winter fog.
This smaller world
by Diane Cammer
Maybe it’s the place
where soft green moss
grows over rocks
encircled by cedars
that windy spot
high in the spruce
where few can see
between thinning branches
or an unfamiliar waterfall
where summer’s icy runoff
reminds bare feet
there are still secrets to be kept.
by Scott Carstensen
by Chris Chaffin
Daydreams drift into vivid memories,
shadowed thoughts of remember when
grow bright with a gasp
as I dip my feet into the icy river.
The new road used to be old riverfront
and the only travelers were ducks and geese.
We skipped school and skipped rocks,
chased each other with lightsabers
made of twigs and fishing twine.
I flex wrinkled toes and dig further
into the cold sand, feel the pulse
of the river mingle with my own.
A toy boat flounders on the shore,
its torn sail flapping in the breeze.
I rescue it from the rocks,
patch it up with twig and twine
and set it free.
A VERBAL ANTI-DEPRESSANT
by Bruce D. Hall
The plump rabbit hops, hops, and
Flops down, on the bright green grass,
Soaking up the sun.
The orange and black butterfly, flits and floats
In , BIG arching circles, just drifting, drifting,
On the light, warm breeze.
The squirrels talk with inside voices
Telling stories of hibernation dreams,
And nut stashes, found.
The sun climbs past morning,
Moving slow, slower,
Meandering towards noon
Relax, breathe in; DEEP,
No need to hurry
Take it easy Enjoy the day
The City (Or, Buenos Aires, Argentina)
by Morgan Hutchinson
Still frame nerves of the city.
Brightly lit windows in the
starkly colored architecture.
Sidewalks made for people
made for sitting
made for eating
and the swift locals here
they just keep on working.
Nerve still frames of the city.
Ornamental signs on the
Dark blocks of shadowed high rise.
Streets made for protest
made for chanting
made for singing
and the crazed inflation here
It just keeps on soaring.
by Christi Krug
1 To start with, take your shoes off.
How do you expect to make poems with clothed toes?
2 Step into the ferocious hot pepper wind,
A wild, roiling chili-bang slam
Churning your world.
3 Moisten with torrents.
4 Sear with cosmic gasses.
5 Test for doneness with left heel.
If center remains firm,
by R. Valentine Moore
We have all we need, some kind of sky and
We stumble numb through days
Determined to rob us
Of speech and thought
Seeing sky, seeing stars
Some small spark of light
Of our need,
And we reach
Teacher of the Trek
by Jennifer Pratt-Walter
If you are the road and
too many footsteps come,
don’t give in too easily.
Be a true journey, Girl,
not simply a surface to tread upon.
Be rocks, fords and brambles sometimes,
and not just pliable friendly soil.
Tell the right walkers, the true seekers
your wisdom, dreams and aspirations.
Be the Teacher of the Trek
to those willing to listen deeply
with their shoes.
by Michael Williams
The roof is warm.
The rough shingles jab
my ribs through my shirt.
The heat of the day
speeds its way to space.
and paper-mill pulp
sticks thick in my nose.
Her hand is damp in mine.
Her fingertip spans my palm.
My heart jumps jacks and
skips rope inside its cage.
by Jane Elder Wulff
the pearled clarity of a woman’s voice
on a summer morning near the water,
lake or stream, it matters not:
water in the air, sweet air saturated
with freshness and the sound so pure,
unceasing, the woman talking and
talking in mindless modulated flow
in some tiny place tucked into the floor
of all that sweet delicious air, small
and perfect at the steady ground of all
that space: I could not find that voice
if I tried, it is hidden like a spider
in the wilderness of green, nourished
by air and water, held eternally: and
what does she find to talk about, on and on?
On This Mountain
by Louise Wynn
When the pain broke me but I kept on,
When keeping on crushed me but I climbed on,
When climbing on burned my lungs but I breathed on:
Then the light seeped through the cracks of my blindness
And changed what I thought I knew.
Only on this burning mountain could I see,
And say, what I saw without even trying,
Which changed everything around me—even me,
And the empty spaces,
And the seeping light,
And that smallest thing I’d seen and said.
Only looking down from this burning mountain
Could I see, and say: Peace really is like a river
And love is the answer to something
And my theory of everything is correct. And that theory is this:
Tears may hurt, or not, but they always dry up.