Sharon Wood Wortman, who appeared as our featured reader in November 2007, shared the following observations about what she witnessed at Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on April 12, 2018:
“The Oregonian published a story yesterday about a new 100-bed shelter proposed for under the west end of the Broadway Bridge. Housing is at a crisis, don’t we know? Wouldn’t it be something if the sponsors knew that in addition to the foundation-building of keeping people out of the elements, equally humane would be to help them express themselves, also in a safe and warm a place?
“What if when everyone is thinking of ways to help others redirect, they would consider poetry an essential—as surely as access to a bed, soap, and a toothbrush to call one’s own? Cuisine for the heart made right there at the shelter and then read before a microphone as part of the redistribution of the self? In a better manufactured world, someone would hire you two to implement such mending/remaking of humanity.
“From where I sat in the audience last night, it looked to me that you two offer, among all the things you offer, your talent for luxurious attention and high-end listening. I once thought of you as ministers of poetry, but you are something better, more practical. More tangible than any church, you run the HUD of poetry—providing a welcoming and unfettered place for people of all shapes, sizes, hues, abilities, genders, and clothing preferences, and you do all this on a cotton-thin budget. Amazing.”
Thank you, Sharon!
Christopher Luna is featured in Sharon Wood Wortman’s book The Big & Awesome Bridges of Portland & Vancouver.
Sharon Wood Wortman’s poems “Underpinnings” and “Slippage” appear in Printed Matter Vancouver’s Ghost Town Poetry Volume One (Cover to Cover Books 2004-2010), available at Angst Gallery and Another Read Through.
You can learn more about Sharon at Bridge Stories.