Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring Raúl Sánchez at Art at the Cave and on Zoom on October 14, 2021 

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Raúl Sánchez

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

7 pm

Thursday, October 14

Art at the Cave

108 E Evergreen Blvd

Vancouver, WA 98660

$5 Suggested donation

Masks must be worn at all times to participate in this event. Open Mic readers may remove their masks while reading. The microphone will be sanitized after each reader.

Statement on Healthy Spaces from Art at the Cave: We want to provide a healthy space to enjoy art. We are practicing safety precautions such as regular cleaning, social distancing and mask wearing. We kindly request that you wear a mask and practice social distancing while visiting the gallery. If needed, we will limit the number of people in the gallery. Masks and hand sanitizer are available upon entry.

Art At The CAVE was established in 2017. Located at 108 E. Evergreen in downtown Vancouver, the CAVE is free and open to the public Tues-Sat, 10am-4pm, and on First Fridays when it remains open until 8:00pm. The gallery is also available to host events. Visit the website at or contact for more information.


Please support Niche Wine Bar, whose owner, Leah Jackson, provided a home for the reading series from 2015-2020:

Raúl Sánchez is the current City of Redmond Washington’s Poet Laureate. A 2014 Jack Straw Writer. Mentor and judge for the 2014 Poetry on Buses Project and a TEDx participant in Yakima WA. To learn more visit

During the pandemic he put together the manuscript for his 2nd poetry collection “When There Were No Borders” published by Flower Song Press, available now:

Advance Praise for When There Were No Borders

Sánchez writes borderless in borderless times. He breaks through the ancient  Mexica figure of death and transformation, Coatlicue, to poems as pyramids,  to the Sea of the Salish in the Pacific Northwest and on to cool-rebel Pachuco  dialect of the US-Mexico borderlands. He cooks on a rotating rainbow colored pan, he spices, he refuses to present his “papers” at the border stop.  There are nectars, harvests, the always-farmworker fields, a detention center  to tend to with resources and a poet. Open this collection — hold on, there  is a “pirinola,” an ever spinning umbrella-shaped candy with a pointed  tip burning colors, lights and stories that will take you to Latinx multidimensional magic. A precise, moving mural, this text of visitations of “life,  precious life!” Sanchez’s delights as he writes, as he tears across those borderlines,  dancing. Magnificent poetics to take home and to take you out.

– Juan Felipe Herrera

Poet Laureate of the United States Emeritus

Raúl Sánchez is also a translator who currently teaches bilingual poetry at Denny International Middle School through the Jack Straw Cultural Center. He translated Ellen Ziegler’s book for the Museum of Antique Mexican Toys in Mexico City, Mexico. Sánchez is a member of Writers in the Schools through Seattle Arts and Lectures (WITS), teaching bilingual poetry at Evergreen High School. This is his fourth year volunteering for PONGO Teen Writing in the Juvenile Detention Center. In 2019 he was one of the eleven speakers at the Ignite Education Lab storytelling event at Seattle University. He was commissioned by the Ballard Civic Orchestra to write the libretto for the “The Other Conquest” A Opera ensemble in response to Vivaldi’s Motezuma, which included the Score written by Hector Armienta.

NOTE: Art at the Cave co-founder Kathi Rick has graciously offered to help us to continue to include our new friends from around the country in the open mic. Email by no later than midnight on October 13 to indicate your interest in participating. In the subject line, let us know if you are “Reading” or “Just Listening.” You will receive instructions for how to join the meeting.

Zoom open mic readers are invited to share one poem for three minutes or less. 

Donations can be made in person or through Christopher Luna’s PayPal account ( Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.

Exchanging Wisdom: A Guide for Parents of the Autonomous by Christopher Luna & Angelo Luna is now available for preorder from The Poetry Box

Later this year The Poetry Box will publish Exchanging Wisdom: A Guide for Parents of the Autonomous, featuring poems for, by, and about Christopher Luna’s son Angelo.

The poems in the book range from the time period when he was a toddler to pieces written in 2021. I couldn’t be prouder to co-author this book with my son, who has been such an inspiration to me. If you pre-order your copy now you will save two dollars off the cover price:


$16.00 $14.00


Pre-Order discount thru Oct 30, 2021
Scheduled for Release on Dec 1, 2021

Available on backorderExchanging Wisdom quantityADD TO CARTSKU: 978-1-948461-96-2 Categories: New Releases & Pre-OrdersPreOrders




Exchanging Wisdom features poems for and about Christopher’s son Angelo Luna, as well as a few pieces Angelo wrote for Christopher. The earliest poem was written when Angelo was three, and the most recent at age 21. Christopher endeavored to encourage his son to be an autonomous, freethinking individual. Angelo grew to become that and so much more. Taken as a whole, the poems in this collection track the development of Angelo’s personality and the strong bond between father and son.


Christopher Luna is a poet, editor, teacher, writing coach and collage artist. He served as the inaugural Poet Laureate of Clark County 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, an editing service and small press for Northwest writers. He founded the popular LGBTQ+ friendly, all ages and uncensored Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic in Vancouver, WA, in 2004. Christopher Luna’s books include Message from the Vessel in a Dream (Flowstone Press, 2018), Brutal Glints of Moonlight, and The Flame Is Ours: The Letters of Stan Brakhage and Michael McClure 1961-1978.

Christopher believes that the parent-child power dynamic is inherently fascist, so he endeavored to raise his son to think for himself, question authority, and make his own decisions. He respected his son’s humanity enough to trust him to be responsible, to “allow” him his autonomy. Despite what some saw as tragic indulgence, Angelo grew up to be a sweet, kind, polite, philosophical, compassionate young man who will surely accomplish things his father could not. Christopher could not imagine being more proud of the person Angelo became.

Angelo Luna is a poet, son, and LEGO connoisseur. Originally from New York, with a migration to Washington as a young child, he grew up with a fiery bloodline and cold weather. Currently employed as a teller for Wells Fargo, he loves writing, working, and finance and is interested in what every human has to offer.


Christopher Luna is a true heir to the Beat and New York School traditions of candor and grandeur. This collaboration and celebration of life runs on impeccable timing and deep love. As Luna and his son Angelo exchange wisdom they also re-invent the meaning of open verse: these poems crack open the heart and spill the joy of parenthood into the world.

—Lisa Jarnot, author
Robert Duncan, the Ambassador from Venus

One day you’re gonna have to…remind me how to believe in the basic goodness of all beings, Christopher Luna tells his son, Angelo, in his latest book, Exchanging Wisdom. More than a collection of father-son poems, Exchanging Wisdom is a record of gratitude. Luna knows that to be a parent is to be both teacher and pupil, vulnerable and responsible. In every poem Luna’s love beams: Like Lone Wolf and Cub we traversed…and you reminded me that magic is real….  These poems contemplate our never-ending wars, sickness, apathy, and art-making through the lens of a deeply reverent father. For some, being a parent, being the adult, is synonymous with having the answers. Luna, a Buddhist poet, community-organizer, and activist, reminds us that questioning is the only way to truth. What are you afraid to find? he wonders. Are these the right questions to ask? In these mind- and heart-opening poems Luna invites us to experience pure joy and wonder again through memory and thankfulness. Once you’ve opened those doors/ you need never do so again, asserts Luna. Once father you cannot go back to your former life. Thankfully for us, Luna never did.

—Claudia F. Savage, author of Bruising Continents

In this triumphant call-and-response love letter between father and son, the epic journey of the heart is explored in wisdom, witness, wonder, actualization, and kindness. We accompany two speakers in a multi-generational reckoning of what it means to be human, to be family, to embody and take forward a love which will outlive us all. I wept at the depth of connection I traveled in this lifesaving, life-affirming journey. As father and son are eternally swapping roles as student or teacher, together they inherit themselves. Angelo (the son) reflects in a poem to Christopher (his father) on his birthday, …focus on the love. That’s the real stuff the pure stuffThe world needs more of this…This collection gives it to us real and pure. Our world is so much better for it.

—Sage Cohen, author of Fierce on the Page

Christopher Luna always writes with his heart on a swivel, keeping watch for moments of significance, either now or some distance from now. But Exchanging Wisdom is more than just a love letter to parenthood or salvation or even to his son. In the right light, this book is a star map to guide the traveler. Drink it all in. Use both hands if you have to.

—Tommy Gaffney, author
Three Beers from Oblivion and Whiskey Days

I will also have a poem in the next issue of The Poeming Pigeon’s From Pandemic to Protest issue, which is available for pre-order at a special price through September 15: