Maria wrote her memoir in Christopher Luna’s Memoir Writing Class at Clark College. Christopher also later served as an editor on her book.
Here is what Maria had to say about her experience working with Printed Matter Vancouver co-founder Christopher Luna: “I have wanted to write my memoir since 1984 but never felt I had the skills to tackle such an important task. I signed up for Chris’ memoir class and ended up staying for eight semesters. I didn’t know much about writing, but I do know good teaching, and Chris is the best. He was patient, kind, and encouraging to students of all skill levels. I felt safe and valued in his classes. His skillful teaching helped me overcome my fear of what seemed to be a daunting task. I finished my memoir, Beyond the Third Door, in two years time and then hired Printed Matter Vancouver to edit my manuscript. Both Chris and Toni are extremely knowledgeable and proved to be a valuable resource.”
Follow your bliss this Spring. Take a creative writing workshop with Christopher Luna.
Christopher will lead a series of classes and workshops beginning in March. 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: email@example.com
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.”
Another poet, Lucinda Sisson, recently commented: “Christopher Luna has an extraordinary gift of validating others. In teaching, this is invaluable. In Life, a precious force.”
Poetry Writing at Multnomah Arts Center
7688 SW CAPITOL HWY PORTLAND, OR 97219
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.
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. Bring newspapers, magazines, photos, found text, and natural items to class. These items will be shared or swapped during class. Scissors, glue, and paper to collage on will be provided. All levels.
Saturday, May 2
10 am to 2 pm
Multnomah Arts Center Room 08
Ages: 16 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 April 21 through June 9: 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to register.
Upcoming sessions of Writing Your Life Story will take place on the following dates:
May 7 through June 25 July 9 through August 27 October 1 through November 19
The workshop will not meet during the following months: September and December.
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 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 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 email@example.com.
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Lumbrazo Luna of Printed Matter Vancouver Featuring Mindy Nettifee
7 pm Thursday, March 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 angstgallery.com
Food and libation provided by Niche Wine Bar, 1013 Main Street Sound provided by Briz Loan & Guitar: http://briz.us/
LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, ANTI-FASCIST, ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004
MINDY NETTIFEE is a poet, storyteller, trauma researcher, and psychonaut. She is the director of the creative and story services agency Free Delivery LLC; teaches writing and performance workshops for Literary Arts; and produces stories for radio and stage with Back Fence PDX and The Moth. She is also an MA and doctoral candidate in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she is currently completing her doctoral research into the role of voice and language in trauma healing. She has published three full-length collections of poetry and a how-to book on writing, Glitter in The Blood (Write Bloody Press), a Powell’s Indie Press Best Seller. She also co-edited Courage, an anthology of poems for teenage girls. Nettifee’s latest collection, Open Your Mouth Like a Bell, was hailed by BUST Magazine as “one of the best poetry books of 2018.” Find out more at thecultofmindy.com.
OH, GINKGO By Mindy Nettifee
A 49-million-year-old fossil was found / with leaves of Gingko biloba pressed into it / like small perfect fans or bells, finely veined / so that they photograph like the undersides of mushrooms, / like the ancestors of lungs and accordions. / Why we aren’t building temples to Gingko trees /in every place, everywhere, I’m not clear on. / The genome of the Ginkgo tree is three times / as complex as the human genome. / I am mostly a stranger to genomes, but no more than / I can be to anything that is at my center. / Ginkgo has defense mechanisms for its defense mechanisms: / while synthesizing chemicals to fight off insects / it is also synthesizing chemicals to attract that insect’s enemies / and also probably adding especially spiritual chapters / to The Art of War. It withstands pollution, disease, salt, drought; / can spontaneously change sex; all while announcing autumn / with this elegant golding, this egg yolk butter sun golding, / so bright and gentle you might think you are hallucinating spring. When the atom bomb detonated, / annihilating and incinerating, charring even the air, / the roots of the Gingkos of Hiroshima remained unscathed. / In only a few days, they sprouted new growth above ground. / Let us pray. Oh, Gingko. Teach us, great tree, / how to be complex enough to be this complex. / How to be vast enough to grow beyond our history / while not denying our history. Teach us how / to survive ourselves.