Had a great time at the Gallery 360 Book Fair. I used my New York voice to coax people onto the porch. So fun to be shouting in Vancouver, WA. You should try it some time, it’s good for the soul. Thank you to Peggy Bird for organizing this event and inviting me to participate. I really enjoyed hanging out on the porch of the Slocum House with authors Victoria Lindstrom and Kriston Johnson and gabbing with the people of Ghost Town about poetry and literature. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello and/or buy a few books: Lori Loranger, Bruce Hall, Karen Goysich Read, Rainy Knight, Christi Krug, Maureen Andrade, Jim Martin, Shawn Morrill, Erica Marchbank, Erin Dengerink, Angie Lindquist, and Ian Caton. We had perfect weather and an enormous crowd at the park. I hope that Gallery 360 decides to host more events like this in the future.

Peggy and Christopher at Gallery 360 Book Fair by Maureen Andrade

Gallery 360 Book Fair organizer and author Peggy Bird with Christopher Luna. Photo by Maureen Andrade for the Columbian

Many thanks to Maureen Andrade of North Bank Artists Gallery and the Columbian for this account of the event:

Clark County’s Growing Literary Community

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic at Angst Gallery Featuring Alex Dang July 9, 2015

Ghost Town Flyer July 9 2015GHOST TOWN POETRY OPEN MIC
Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington

Thursday, July 9
Angst Gallery
1015 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660

Food and libation provided by Niche Wine and Art Bar, 1013 Main Street


With our featured reader, Alex Dang:

Alex Dang Bio Pic

Alex Dang is a member of the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Portland Poetry Slam Team competing at the National Poetry Slam and the youngest representative from Portland in the slam’s history. Alex is the Eugene Grand Slam Champion of 2014 and 2015. Videos of his performances have amassed over 1.5 million views on YouTube. He has been a speaker at two TEDx events: TEDxReno and TEDxUOregon. A nationally touring poet, Alex has performed in over 35 cities, 20 states, and is a world renowned burger expert. His chapbook You Can Do Better will be available for purchase at the reading.

Ghost Town Flyer June 11 2015

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington

Thursday, June 11
Angst Gallery
1015 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660

Food and libation provided by Niche Wine and Art Bar, 1013 Main Street


With our featured reader, poet and songwriter Dusty Santamaria

Dusty Santamaria is a songwriter, performer, poet, and painter currently living in Portland, OR. He is the author of the poetry collection Time and Other Thieves as well as the composer of the albums Getting Back to God Knows Where, Existential Detective Rock and Roll and Now That I’ve Stopped Killing. His writing features a “distinctly American surrealism;” his visual art has been described by the Portland Rearguard as “authentic and raw! Basic and romantic! Primitivism at its finest.” Santamaria has toured nationally and internationally with the bands Deadhorse Hwy and the Singing Knives, a garage, soul, rhythm and blues outfit that often serves as Santamaria’s backing band. The group’s live shows are defined by a caustic energy and the signature, unorthodox playing of guitarist Galen Ballinger. For more info, visit https://dustysantamaria.bandcamp.com/

dusty on the fairmount catwalk

Dusty Santamaria on the Fairmount Catwalk

Ghost Town Flyer May 14 2015

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington

Thursday, May 14
Angst Gallery
1015 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660


Herb at GT December 11 2014 by Tiffany

Herb Stokes at Cover to Cover Books in December 2014 Photograph by Tiffany Burba-Schramm

Featuring Herb Stokes: Upon retirement from Swissair New York, Herb Stokes and his artist wife, Marianne, moved to the Intracoastal Waterway in North Carolina. They did the boat and beach scene for several years but after a wonderful summer trip to Portland decided the Northwest would be their home. He took an ongoing creative writing course at Clark College and hasn’t stopped writing since.

By Herb Stokes

We sat at a too small table
on a sun washed terrace
overlooking the Mediterranean
drinking wine from pewter goblets.

A blue haze was in the air
and in your eyes.

Ghost Town Flyer April 9 2015

Printed Matter Vancouver and Leah Jackson Present
Downtown in the Vancouver Arts District
Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington

April 9, 2015
Angst Gallery
1015 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660

With our Featured Reader Cindy Williams Gutierrez:

Cindy WIlliams Gutierrez poet

Cindy Williams Gutierrez

Photo by Russell J. Young

Selected by Poets and Writers Magazine as one of the top ten 2014 Debut Poets, poet-dramatist Cindy Williams Gutiérrez draws inspiration from the silent and silenced voices of history and herstory. Her poetry collection, the small claim of bones, was published by Arizona State University’s Bilingual Press. Poems and reviews have appeared in Borderlands, Calyx, Harvard’s Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México’s Periódico de poesía, Portland Review, Quiddity, Rain Taxi, Rattle, and ZYZZYVA. Plays include Words That Burn, which premiered in Milagro’s 2014 La Luna Nueva festival to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month and the William Stafford Centennial, and A Dialogue of Flower & Song featured in the 2012 GEMELA (Spanish and Latin American Women’s Studies) Conference co-sponsored by the University of Portland and Portland State University.

Cindy earned an MFA from the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast Program with concentrations in Mesoamerican poetics and creative collaboration. Cindy is a founding member of Los Porteños, Portland’s Latino writers’ collective, and the founder of Grupo de ’08, a Northwest collaborative-artists’ salon inspired by Lorca’s Generación de ’27.

Los Porteños is committed to making Latino and Latin American literature an integral part of the Portland community. We are dedicated to raising our voices and raising awareness of our diverse languages, canons, stories and cultures. We develop and nurture each unique voice into a collective of writers honoring this diverse heritage. Founded in 2006 with the steadfast support of Milagro Theatre, we have presented annual literary readings for Day of the Dead as well as participated in Milagro’s La Luna Nueva festival. In 2011, we began hosting a William Stafford Birthday Reading featuring original, multilingual poetry and prose written in response to Stafford poems.

2014 marked Los Porteños’ foray into community-building projects, including a Noche de Neruda reading at Literary Arts, a staged reading of Marrano Justice in collaboration with Congregation Ahavath Achim, and the production of Words That Burn in commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the William Stafford Centennial, and the rescindment of Executive Order 9066. A dramatization of the World War II experiences of conscientious objector William Stafford, Japanese-American internee Lawson Inada, and Chicano Marine Guy Gabaldón, Words That Burn was supported by 20 community sponsors, including arts and humanities funders; Asian-American, Latino, and peace organizations; as well as universities and libraries. Recent collaborations featured Echoes Cabaret—in memory of “the disappeared”—with the Jewish Theatre Collaborative and Mujeres—in celebration of International Women’s Day—with Milagro.

Upcoming readings include Letters in Exile: William Stafford and Miguel Hernández at Literary Arts on Wednesday, May 13 at 7 pm.

If I Were a Nahua Poet

Make my body a cuicoyan, this house of song.
Garland my bones with those who have gone before, colli,
And the ones who have gone before them, colli. Return,
Return. Let the sweet wind be their breath on my shoulder,
Their tug on my tunic. Let my voice join the ancients
To swell the sky with a thousand plumes of light. Ehua!

And when the moon moves between sun and earth,
Let us remember to beat our deerskin drums and dance.
To pound our bare feet and chests until this holy earth
Splits in two, and volcanoes rise up in song. Only then
Will this life be worthy: to make the dark earth rumble,
And the heart fiercely tremble. Yolhuihuiyocaz, tremble.

By Cindy Williams Gutiérrez
From the small claim of bones, Bilingual Press, 2014.

​Dear Ghost Town Poetry Community:

Doug Westberg has requested that I inform you that his wife, Carol Holden, died on Saturday as a result of complications from colon surgery. Toni and I were very saddened to receive this news. If you would like to share your condolences or receive information regarding Carol’s memorial, Doug asks that you friend him on Facebook or contact him via Douglas.Westberg@gmail.com.

Christopher Luna
Poet Laureate of Clark County, WA
Publisher and Editor, Printed Matter Vancouver

Christopher Luna’s Creative Writing Classes for Spring 2015
Multnomah Arts Center, Clark College and Niche Wine and Art Bar

Christopher_Luna_Free_Poetry_Workshop_WSUV_Writing_Center by Louise WynnChristopher Luna at Washington State University Vancouver’s Writing Center

Photo by Louise Wynn

Multnomah Arts Center, Portland

Poetry Collage

Spring 2015 Catalog, page 23

Poets and artists have always used allusion and reference to create something new. Explore strategies for assembling borrowed words and images into art and poetry. Create visual collages that incorporate text or poems that include visual aids. The first class we will discuss materials—newspapers, photos, found text, natural items—that you can bring in as well as some materials that you didn’t even know you could collage with. Scissors, glue, and collage paper will be provided.


Mondays 1-2:30
April 13 to Monday May 18 (six weeks)


Clark College
Community Education Classes

Poetry Matters

This poetry workshop is for beginners and experienced writers who would like to generate new work and engage in discussions about the poet’s role in the community. You will read, listen to, and write poetry together in a safe environment focused on providing constructive feedback based on the poet’s needs rather than the listener’s personal taste. Class will also discuss how to construct a manuscript and get it ready for publication. Writers of all experience levels are welcome. Bring paper & pen or laptop. Age 16+.

Class Information
Item Number: R038
Date: 04/06 – 06/15 Mondays
No class 5/25.
Location: Scarpelli Hall SHL 103
Time: 06:00pm – 08:30pm
Fee: $139.00

The Art of Memoir

Everyone has a story to tell. Each person’s life is filled with adventure, mystery, trouble, and triumph. Documenting this process can be a wonderful gift for your family and friends. Memoir is also a powerful way to demonstrate the interconnectedness of all human beings. Clark County’s Poet Laureate will encourage you to begin to see yourself as a part of history. Whether you are interested in publishing a book or simply leaving a legacy for your family, this course is an opportunity to explore the creative process of this genre while learning the craft of storytelling. Includes writing exercises, examples of published memoirs, and class discussion. Designed for writers both beginner and those who possess more experience. Includes exercises and class discussion.

Class Information
Item Number: R043
Date: Wednesdays 04/08 – 06/10
Location: Joan Stout Hall JSH 115
Time: 06:30pm – 08:30pm
Fee: $149.00

Mature Learning

Memoir Writing

Everyone has a story to tell. Each person’s life is filled with adventure, mystery, trouble, and triumph. Memoir is a powerful way to demonstrate the interconnectedness of all human beings. This course, facilitated by the Poet Laureate of Clark County, will encourage you to begin to see yourself as a part of history. There is a value to documenting the story of your life.

Class Information
Item Number: 9408
Date: Thursdays 04/09 – 06/11
Location: CCE 208
Time: 01:00pm – 03:20pm
Fee: $101.00

Niche Wine and Art Bar

Join Clark County Poet Laureate Christopher Luna for The Work, a monthly poetry workshop at Niche Wine & Art Bar. From noon until 3:00 on the second Saturday of every month, we will listen to spoken word recordings, read and discuss poetry, and write four or five new poems together. Niche is located at 1013 Main Street, right next door to the historic Kiggins Theatre, in downtown Vancouver’s Arts District. Cost: $20 suggested donation; no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Bring a poem to share as a way of saying hello. Shareable snacks are also welcome and very much appreciated.