Annie Bloom’s Books Presents Joann Boswell, Christopher Luna & Rebecca Smolen August 20, 2020

Annie Bloom’s welcomes local poets Joann Boswell, Christopher Luna and Rebecca Smolen for a livestream reading from their latest collections. Register here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/joann-boswell/register

Boswell Luna Smolen

What if Mary wasn’t really a virgin? Could Jesus be an alien from another planet? How do we know we’re not all living inside of God? Poet and photographer Joann Renee Boswell invites us to travel with her into an encounter with the inconvenient complexities of earth-life and outer space, politics and religion, Bigfoot, feminism, Santa Claus, and spirituality––all tucked inside the Cosmic Pockets of life. Simultaneously whimsical and serious, Cosmic Pockets traces Joann’s personal journey out of evangelical Christianity and into an evolving understanding of faith––what if the universe is out to help us? Into motherhood––do my children exist when I’m not there? And into love––do I have a superpower? Unflinchingly honest and delightfully conflicted, the dense narrative of Cosmic Pockets will complicate your understanding of what the world is and gift you with narrow glimpses of what might be.

“How many Christopher Lunas are there? The bard, the community dynamo, the scholar, the compassionate one, the jazz quartet, the father & lover, the world of a man: all and more are speaking in this book. So many perspectives to experience here, so much to learn about literature, attitude, action and beauty. The maestro of Ghost Town has created a bustling, radiant and necessary environment.” – Dan Raphael

Local poet Rebecca Smolen’s latest collection, Excoriation, is due from Poetry Box on October 15.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on Zoom Featuring Maw Shein Win August 13, 2020

NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond everyone’s control, this month’s reading will take place over Zoom. Email christopherjluna@gmail.com by no later than 3 pm on August 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. Open mic readers are invited to share one poem for three minutes or less.

If you are willing to donate to support the series, please use Christopher Luna’s PayPal (christopherjluna@gmail.com). Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Hosted by Christopher Luna, Toni Lumbrazo Luna, & Morgan Paige
Featuring Maw Shein Win

7 pm
Thursday, August 13
On Zoom

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

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,
ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

Please support Niche Wine Bar, whose owner, Leah Jackson, has provided a home for us since 2015: https://nichewinebar.com

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Maw Shein Win is a poet, editor, and educator who lives and teaches in the Bay Area. Her poetry chapbooks are Ruins of a glittering palace (SPA/Commonwealth Projects) and Score and Bone (Nomadic Press). Invisible Gifts: Poems was published by Manic D Press in 2018. She was a 2019 Visiting Scholar in the Department of English at UC Berkeley. Win is the first poet laureate of El Cerrito, California (2016 – 2018), and her poetry collection Storage Unit for the Spirit House will be published by Omnidawn in October 2020. Learn more at https://mawsheinwin.com

Omnidawn Front Cover

Preorder Storage Unit for the Spirit House here:
https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/S/bo68377474.html

Power (for Elijah McClain) by Joann Renee Boswell

On July 9 we celebrated the publication of Cosmic Pockets, the debut book of poetry from Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic regular Joann Renee Boswell. Joann was our featured reader, and she did not disappoint.

Along with a selection of poems from her new book, Joann shared this new piece dedicated to Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Colorado man murdered by police while walking home from the store on August 24, 2019. Elijah was a massage therapist who enjoyed playing guitar and violin.

His mother has set up a GoFundMe account.

Sign the petition calling for justice for Elijah McClain.

Printed Matter Vancouver is proud to present Joann’s poem because we believe the harassment, torture, and murder of Blacks by police must stop. Black Lives Matter.

Power

By Joann Renee Boswell

— for Elijah McClain

 

The Man sprays pepper

calls down twitter gods

becomes loudest voice

strangles sound from little birds

 

white hot rage froths

each bully feels bullied

by being called bully

retaliate with billy clubs

 

Oh country, my country

Peace is a power

Generosity is a power

Love is a power too

 

each a gift of glass

delicate sheets

transparent, deadly

when twisted to exclude

 

you are giddy

overconfident

numb to reason

silent to emotion

 

power is privilege and music

violin strings massaging biceps

sing sweet security by candlelight

—but you contort them, suffocate the gentle

 

walk back to work

every day. untouchable.

bear the weight of conscience.

bare the fragility of skin tone.

I just care that you stay woke July 11 2020
I just care that you stay woke by Christopher Luna

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on Zoom Featuring Joann Renee Boswell July 9, 2020

NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond everyone’s control, this month’s reading will take place over Zoom. Email christopherjluna@gmail.com by no later than 3 pm on July 9 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. Open mic readers are invited to share one poem for three minutes or less.

If you are willing to donate to support the series, please use Christopher Luna’s PayPal (christopherjluna@gmail.com) and include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Hosted by Christopher Luna, Toni Lumbrazo Luna, & Morgan Paige
Featuring Joann Boswell

7 pm
Thursday, July 9
On Zoom

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

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,
ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

Please support Niche Wine Bar, whose owner, Leah Jackson, has provided a home for us since 2015, by ordering food to go: nichewinebar.com

frontcover

About Cosmic Pockets: What if Mary wasn’t really a virgin? Could Jesus be an alien from another planet? How do we know we’re not all living inside of God? Poet and photographer Joann Renee Boswell invites us to travel with her into an encounter with the inconvenient complexities of earth-life and outer space, politics and religion, Bigfoot, feminism, Santa Claus, and spirituality – all tucked inside the Cosmic Pockets of life. Simultaneously whimsical and serious, Cosmic Pockets traces Joann’s personal journey out of evangelical Christianity and into an evolving understanding of faith – what if the universe is out to help us? Into motherhood – do my children exist when I’m not there? And into love – do I have a superpower? Unflinchingly honest and delightfully conflicted, the dense narrative of Cosmic Pockets will complicate your understanding of what the world is and gift you with narrow glimpses of what might be.

Cosmic Pockets is the thrilling manifesto of a goddess aflame with righteous fury at the misogyny and hypocrisy of Christianity’s Madonna-Whore double standard. Her radical feminist vision exposes the unrealistic expectations imposed upon women which results in an internalization of unwarranted shame. Joann Boswell’s heroic verse, sharp wit, and exquisite photos of everyday life become “sacraments of action” illuminating the actual romance to be found in marriage as well as the joys and challenges of motherhood. Marvel as I did at this candid and fearless poet determined “to say all the words, each holy.” Christopher Luna, inaugural Poet Laureate of Clark County, WA and founder of Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

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Joann Renee Boswell is a teacher, theater director, mother, photographer, and poet. She lives in Camas, Washington, with her partner and three children. Joann graduated with a Choose Your Own Adventure B.A., featuring music, theater, and writing/literature. Later she became a master at teaching (ask her former students!). Joann loves rainy days filled with coffee, books, handholding, moody music, and sci-fi shows. While her poetry has appeared in over a dozen journals, this is her first book.

Find out more at https://joannrenee.com/cosmic-pockets/

 

Order the book here: https://www.barclaypressbookstore.com/Cosmic-Pockets.html

 

The Work Poetry Workshop with Christopher Luna Continues on Zoom This Summer

NOTE: Due to the restrictions to keep us safe from the Coronavirus, The Work will continue as a remote workshop via Zoom. Please email Christopher Luna at christopherjluna@gmail.com by midnight the night before each workshop to RSVP if you would like to participate. Also, please share this event with others who might be interested.

The cost for the workshop is a suggested donation of $20 to Christopher Luna’s PayPal account. Suggested means that we would like for you to join us regardless of whether or not you can afford it right now.

The Work alleviate suffering March 28 2020

SATURDAY AFTERNOON EDITION

Join us on Saturday, July 11 for The Work, a poetry writing workshop led by Christopher Luna. 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 can lead to healing, personal growth, and an interest in fighting for progressive social change. We will read and discuss poetry, write several new poems, and give each writer feedback on at least one of the drafts composed during the workshop.

Allen with quotation by Jim Johnson 1965

“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)

$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.

The Saturday Afternoon Edition of The Work takes place at Niche Wine Bar (1013 Main Street, Vancouver) from 11:30am – 2:00pm on the second Saturday of every month, unless otherwise noted. Upcoming Saturday afternoon workshops will take place on August 8. These workshops will take place on Zoom until it is safe to do so in person.

MONDAY NIGHT EDITION

The Work also takes place on Monday nights. The Monday Night Edition of The Work takes place at Angst Gallery (1015 Main Street, Vancouver) from 6-8:30 pm on the second and fourth Monday of each month, unless otherwise noted. These workshops will take place on Zoom until it is safe to do so in person.

Upcoming Monday night workshops will take place on July 13 & 27 and August 10 & 24.

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

IMAGE: The Work: Alleviate Suffering by Christopher Luna.

You can see more of Christopher’s collages on his blog.

A Fearful Time, A Hopeful Time: Collage Art by Christopher Luna at The Loo-vre, Niche Wine Bar June/July 2020

A Fearful Time A Hopeful Time

In June & July 2020, Niche Wine Bar’s Loo-vre presents A Fearful Time, A Hopeful Time: The Collage Art of Christopher Luna. These collages were created since we began staying home to stay safe from COVID-19. Many of them were created while listening to DJ Questlove’s livestreamed DJ sets.

Christopher’s debut full-length book of poetry, Message from the Vessel in a Dream, which also features some of his collage art, is available for sale as well.

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Message from the Vessel in a Dream (Flowstone Press, 2018) featuring poetry and collage art by Christopher Luna

Beginning June 9, Niche is open for dine-in as well as take out service. More information is available on our website and our Facebook page.

We are taking reservations Tuesday through Saturday from 4-8PM and will close at 9PM. We will continue taking reservations after the inaugural two weeks and will offer walk-ins after we get up to speed with our new social distancing rules.

Please reach out if you have any questions. Reservations can be made by e-mailing nichewine@gmail.com or calling (360) 980-8352. We are still offering to-go orders for those not comfortable dining in.

Please follow us on Instagram (@nichewinebar) for daily updates and thank you again for your support!

Christopher Luna is a collage artist, poet, editor, and teacher, whose visual art has been featured at Angst Gallery, North Bank Artists Gallery, and Multnomah Arts Center. His collage work can be seen on book covers for several poetry books and anthologies. Luna 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 and Toni co-host the LGBTQ+ friendly, all ages and uncensored Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic in Vancouver, WA, founded by Christopher 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.

uninhibited unlimited May 12 2020Reorientation May 3 2020PEOPLE TRUTH GIVES YOU AN EXTRA MARGIN OF SAFETY May 14 2020Maya Deren Seeing Into One's True NatureLIVING LUMINOUS PERPETUAL CHANGEI never gave up on loveI have worried that my yearning is a bit unhealthy May 4 2020Crowning Mystery of intertwined lives in transition May 12 2020

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Zoom Edition Featuring Carey Taylor June 11, 2020

NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond everyone’s control, this month’s reading will take place over Zoom. Email christopherjluna@gmail.com by no later than 3 pm on June 11 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. Open mic readers are invited to share one poem for three minutes or less.

If you are willing to donate to support the series, please use Christopher Luna’s PayPal (christopherjluna@gmail.com) and include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Hosted by Christopher Luna, Toni Lumbrazo Luna, & Morgan Paige
Featuring Carey Taylor

7 pm
Thursday, June 11
On Zoom

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

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,
ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

Niche logo

Please support Niche Wine Bar, whose owner, Leah Jackson, has provided a home for us since 2015, by ordering food to go: nichewinebar.com

DSC_0218_Taylor_Lake Quinault

Carey Taylor is the author of The Lure of Impermanence (Cirque Press 2018). Her poetry has appeared in regional, national, and international publications and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Born in Bandon, Oregon she currently lives and writes in Portland. Her website is https://careyleetaylor.com.

Folk Art & Musings by Toni Lumbrazo Luna at Niche Wine Bar’s Gallery The Loo-vre and online May 1-30, 2020

Toni Lumbrazo Luna 2

Niche Wine Bar’s Gallery The Loo-vre presents Folk Art & Musings, a multimedia exhibit of art and poetry by Toni Lumbrazo Luna. A colorful mix of folk art and lyric poetry, Toni uses found items, paint, and imagination to bring her thoughts to life. Folk Art & Musings will be available to view at Niche Wine Bar or online through May 30.

Stop by Niche Wine Bar for a free copy of one of Toni Lumbrazo Luna’s poems, or to purchase a copy of her book, Driven By Hope. You may enter the bar to see her art work and poetry if you are wearing a mask.

Folk Art & Musings will also be featured in Vancouver Downtown Association’s Virtual First Friday.

Cover-Driven By Hope 2019-05-30-promo

Toni’s latest book, Driven By Hope is also available for purchase at Niche. If you stop by Niche, there are also free copies of some of Toni’s poems available in The Loo-vre.

Toni Lumbrazo Luna is a poet, editor, visual artist and the author of three poetry books: Driven By Hope (Printed Matter Vancouver, 2019) Jesus Is A Gas, and Wind Wing. She is the co-founder of Printed Matter Vancouver, a small press which provides editing and writing coaching. Although originally from central New York, she’s made the Pacific Northwest her home for 30 years. She co-hosts the Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic in Vancouver, WA and serves on the Clark County Arts Commission.

Order food and wine by calling or emailing Niche Tuesday through Saturday. Our Shelter in Place Meal Package menu and wine specials change every week. Please follow Niche on Instagram (@nichewinebar) for daily updates and thank you again for your support!

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Zoom Edition Featuring Linda Strever May 14, 2020

NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond everyone’s control, this month’s reading will take place over Zoom. Email christopherjluna@gmail.com by no later than 3 pm on May 14 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.

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

If you are willing to donate to support the series, please use Christopher Luna’s PayPal (christopherjluna@gmail.com) and include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Hosted by Christopher Luna, Toni Lumbrazo Luna, & Morgan Paige
Featuring Linda Strever

7 pm
Thursday, May 14
On Zoom

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

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, ANTI-FASCIST,
ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

Please support Niche Wine Bar, whose owner, Leah Jackson has provided a home for us since 2015, by ordering food to go: nichewinebar.com

StreverPhoto

Linda Strever is the author of My Life in Cars (poetry), Against My Dreams (poetry) and Don’t Look Away (fiction). Winner of the Lois Cranston Memorial Poetry Prize, her work has been a finalist for the New Issues Poetry Prize, the Levis Poetry Prize, the Ohio State University Press Award in Poetry and the Eludia Award in fiction. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has an MFA from Brooklyn College. For more info visit: http://www.lindastrever.com/

CoverFront-MyLifeInCars-Web550

To order My Life in Cars: https://thepoetrybox.com/bookstore/my-life-in-cars

The Work: Zoom Edition Begins March 23, 2020

NOTE: Due to the restrictions to keep us safe from the Coronavirus, The Work will continue as a remote workshop via Zoom. Please email Christopher Luna at christopherjluna@gmail.com by 4 pm on Monday, March 23 if you would like to participate. Also, please share this event with others who might be interested.

The face-to-face version of this workshop takes place at Niche Wine Bar and Angst Gallery, both of which are owned and operated by Leah Jackson. Please support Niche Wine Bar by taking advantage of their take-out services during this difficult time.

The Work 2017 Make Poetry Your Life

“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 payable to Christopher Luna via PayPal (christopherjluna@gmail.com); however, 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. 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 printedmattervancouver@gmail.com.