Christopher Luna’s Winter 2020 Creative Writing Workshops [UPDATED December 19, 2019]

Follow your bliss in 2020. Take a creative writing workshop with Christopher Luna.

Christopher will lead a series of classes and workshops beginning in January. Most occur year-round. The best way to stay up-to-date on his activities is to sign up for The Work, a monthly newsletter for poets in Portland, Oregon and Southwest Washington:

christopher by alisha jucevic
Christopher Luna in his office/studio, photographed by Alisha Jucevic for the Columbian

Christopher Luna served as the first Poet Laureate of Clark County, WA from 2013-2017. His first full-length collection of poetry, Message from the Vessel in a Dream, was published by Flowstone Press in 2018. Luna has an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and is the co-founder, with Toni Lumbrazo Luna, of Printed Matter Vancouver, a small press for Northwest writers which also provides writing coaching, editing, and manuscript review. He has hosted the popular Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic in Vancouver, WA since 2004. Luna’s books include Brutal Glints of Moonlight, GHOST TOWN, USA and The Flame Is Ours: The Letters of Stan Brakhage and Michael McClure 1961-1978.

According to Rae Latham, a writer in Christopher’s Monday morning poetry writing class at Multnomah Arts Center, “Christopher is the poetry alchemist who helps us discover gold.”


Poetry Writing at Multnomah Arts Center



Poetry as a means of expression, exploration, and experience is available to everyone. Write poetry in response to prompts and read a variety of published poems that you can use as inspiration. Read and respond to one another’s work in this supportive setting, paying close attention to revision.

Mondays from 10 am – 12:30 pm: This class is full. 

January 6, 2020 to March 9, 2020

Monday, January 20
Monday, February 17


Mondays from 1:00 – 3:30 pm

January 6, 2020 to March 9, 2020

Monday, January 20
Monday, February 17

Multnomah Arts Center Room 8
Price: $200
Ages: 16 and up

Poetry: Revising and Publishing

What should you do after writing a first draft of a poem? How do you shape and develop a poem into a publishable piece of work? How do you decide if and when to publish your work? Discuss strategies for revising and editing your poetry, followed by an overview of how to find outlets that might publish your words. Explore the importance of chapbooks and whether or not entering poetry contests is a good idea. Please bring 3-5 typed, unfinished poems to class and a lunch.

Saturday, February 22
10 am to 4 pm
Multnomah Arts Center Room 08

Price: $62.00
Ages: 18 and up


Clark College
1933 Fort Vancouver Way
Vancouver, WA 98663
Anna Pechanec Hall
Room 114

Memoir Writing at Clark College, Tuesdays from 1:00 – 3:20 pm January 7  through February 25, 2020: 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. See yourself as a part of history, documenting the story of your life.

For more information or to register, visit:


January 9 – February 27

Niche Wine Bar
1013 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660

Christopher is also facilitating an eight-week workshop/writers group called Writing Your Life Story at Niche Wine Bar on Thursdays from 10:15 am – 1:15 pm, January 9 through February 27, 2020.

Document your memories for your family or for possible future publication. Complete short timed writings as well as weekly take-home assignments. Give and receive feedback in a safe, informal environment. Christopher will introduce the techniques of creative nonfiction storytelling which uses one’s life experiences as the foundation for narrative. Participants will be encouraged to share their writing in a safe environment (no one will be required to share their stories) and receive feedback from the facilitator and other writers. We will work to achieve the following goals:

1) learn the key elements of successful storytelling in written form,
2) create a living document for yourself, your family, or others,
3) delve into or build upon your written skills.

Bring your ideas, notes, paper, and pen/pencil (no books required).

Open to all skill levels. The class will be limited to ten (10) participants.

Cost: $225 (cash, check, card)

REGISTER AT NICHE during business hours, on the first day of class, OR email to set up a time to register.


The Work Nina Simone

Christopher also facilitates a poetry writing workshop known as The Work, from 11:30-2:00 on the second Saturday of the month (unless otherwise noted) at Niche Wine Bar (1013 Main Street, next door to Angst Gallery and the Kiggins Theatre). Doors open at 11:15 so that you can purchase coffee, tea, and other non-alcoholic beverages from Niche and grab a snack. The workshop begins at 11:30.

“Well, while I’m here I’ll do the work — and what’s the work?
To ease the pain of living. Everything else, drunken dumbshow.”
― Allen Ginsberg, “Memory Gardens” (Fall of America, City Lights)

The Work is a drop-in poetry writing workshop for beginners as well as more experienced writers. Poetry encourages empathy and compassion, and sparks the shifts in consciousness which lead to healing, personal growth, and an interest in fighting for progressive social change.

We will read and discuss poetry, and write several new poems together. Each workshop will feature at least three timed writing exercises.

$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.

Upcoming 2020 Saturday afternoon workshops will take place on January 18, February 8, March 14, April 11, and May 9.

There is also a Monday evening version of the workshop that takes place on the second and fourth Monday of the month (unless otherwise noted) at Angst Gallery (1015 Main Street).

Upcoming 2020 Monday evening workshops will take place on January 13 & 27, February 10 & 24, March 9 & 23, April 6 & 20, and May 11.

If you are looking for writing coaching, editing/manuscript review, or information about poetry and memoir classes, send Christopher an email via

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring Darryl Foto at Angst Gallery on December 12, 2019

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Flyer December 12 2019

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Lumbrazo Luna of Printed Matter Vancouver
Featuring Darryl Foto

7 pm
Thursday, December 12
Open mic sign up begins at 6:30 and closes at 7

$5 Suggested donation
No one turned away for lack of funds

Angst Gallery
1015 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660

Food and libation provided by Niche Wine Bar, 1013 Main Street
Sound provided by Briz Loan & Guitar:


Darryl Foto

Darryl Foto is a spoken word artist residing in Ellensburg, WA and the author of Of the Things I’ve Learned. He is a three-time winner of Central Washington University’s Inklings Poetry Slam and a two-time winner of the Rain City Poetry Collective Individual World Poetry Slam representative qualifier. Darryl also represented Rain City Poetry Collective for the 2017 and 2018 Individual World Poetry Slam in Spokane, WA and San Diego, CA, respectively, where he was ranked 26th in the nation. He is the current Rain City Grand Slam Champion. Darryl’s work has been heard everywhere from Spokane to Bellingham as well as parts of California and Oregon. He is currently pursuing a degree in biomedical science at Central Washington University.

A broken heart’s love poem
By Darryl Foto

Love taught me to take risks,
to always forget my umbrella,
that you can’t catch a cold if you’re dancing in the rain
Because the rain,
is a kind of spiritual cleansing,
it reminds us of who we are,

For what are we if not reckless raindrops
bleeding from the eyes of heaven,
getting drunk off sunlight
struggling to puke out rainbows
before we choked on happiness
we aren’t ready to hold on to yet?
And isn’t that the most fitting description of what we had?
A kind of happiness that we never learned to hold onto?

Photos from Dan Raphael and Christopher Luna in conversation at Powell’s Books October 27, 2019

On October 27, Powell’s Books presented dan raphael in conversation with Christopher Luna. The event commemorated the publication of Manything, dan’s 21st book of poetry.

dan raphael’s new book got it’s title from the wide variety of visions, voices and vocabularies among the 65 poems For 4 decades dan’s been active in the northwest as poet, performer, editor and reading host. Most Wednesdays dan writes and records a political poem for the KBOO Evening News.

Larry Smith, editor of Caliban, wrote: “It is appropriate that Dan Raphael’s Manything has come out in the year of Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday. Raphael is one of the few poets since Whitman to have such a complete delight in the multiplicity of the world. His integration of the objects of man’s making with the wildness of nature is liberating. The poet’s body parts can function independently and often co-mingle freely with dirty streets, rain, bottles, squirrels, and the sun. Manything is a vision, one that moves us beyond our complacency, making us less sure that the world we navigate daily is what we think it is. Like Louis Aragon in Paysan de Paris, Raphael awakens us to the ecstatic possibility that we might fall right through the sidewalk.”

Christopher Luna served as the first Poet Laureate of Clark County, WA from 2013-2017. Luna has an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and is the co-founder, with Toni Lumbrazo Luna, of Printed Matter Vancouver, a small press which also provides writing coaching, editing, and manuscript review for Northwest writers. He and Toni co-host the LGBTQ+ friendly, all ages and uncensored Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, founded by Christopher in 2004. Luna’s books include Brutal Glints of Moonlight and The Flame Is Ours: The Letters of Stan Brakhage and Michael McClure 1961-1978. His first full-length collection of poetry, Message from the Vessel in a Dream, was published by Flowstone Press in 2018. A revised and expanded version of Ghost Town, USA, which features poems and observations of Vancouver, WA from a New Yorker’s perspective, is forthcoming from Uttered Chaos Press.

At the event, Christopher read the following tribute to dan, inspired by their friendship and by dan’s latest book:

For Dan Raphael

walking around the neighborhood
like Frank O’Hara on shrooms
“cosmologies between [his] fingers”
full breakfast in his belly
dan becomes the street

impervious to rain
or despair over
encroaching fascism

only a guy who spent
three decades at the DMV
can truly grok the spiritual fortitude
it takes to resist
the soul-killing serpents
of end days-capitalism

& the paranoia of
the dispirited proletariat
to soar past all prohibition
levitate beyond pessimism

he who sees
what we do not
“rooted like a tree”
limbs swaying like
antenna jostled by the wind

picking up
electromagnetic waves
as he swings to & fro

by vision
potent enough
to crack a heart open
blow yr mind

or part the fog
we muddle through
to avoid the pain
of living