In Loving Memory of Olinka Broadfoot, Artist and Friend

Olinka Broadfoot’s sculpture portrait of Christopher Luna

I was saddened to learn that my friend Olinka Broadfoot has passed away. Olinka was a brilliant, witty, talented person with many stories to tell about her life as an artist and her home in the Czech Republic. I feel fortunate to have known her.

I first met Olinka through my friend Jason Mashak, one of the first Portland poets I met when I moved to the Pacific Northwest from Queens, NY in 2001. Olinka is a world-class artist who had returned from Prague, where she traveled once a year or so to teach sculpture. While much of the work she did was abstract, Olinka posted on Facebook that she was ready to do some portraits. I had never sat for a sculptor before and thought that it might be fun.

It was fun, and it was also an incredible experience that deepened my respect for Olinka and for all sculptors. I could not always watch her work, but when I could, I was blown away watching the clay transform into a bust of my head ans shoulders. I am a talker, a verbal processor who talks almost constantly. Olinka did chat with me a bit, but there were also times where she made it clear that she needed silence in order to concentrate.

I clearly remember the moment when she took a darker rectangle slab of clay and dropped it on top of the head of the bust to begin forming the hat I found in Berkeley, CA and had worn every day for years, almost until it fell apart. She requested that I leave the hat with her so that she could get it just right. She also asked for an old pair of my glasses which she attached to the face of the portrait.

I was not prepared for what an honor it was to be represented in this way. I remain in awe of how she was abler to capture not only my likeness but my spirit in this work. Later I was honored further when an anonymous donor purchased the work in order to gift it to me.

In April 2013 Toni and I curated a show at Angst Gallery called the Marriage of Poetic Words and Images. It featured art and poetry by many different members of the community including Greg Bee, Da Bat, Eileen Elliott, Jenney Pauer, Jim Martin, Erin Dengerink, Kelly Keigwin, and Michael Smith.

The show also featured two pieces by Olinka: her bust of me and “sometimes the latticework of the veil,” inspired in part by my poem of the same name:

sometimes the latticework of the veil
is so perfectly constructed
that it has the appearance of reality
flesh and blood, rather than
a sorry excuse for truth
pastiche of fortune cookie wisdom
ad copy & lines from old movies
stand in for the darkness
which is not evil after all
but the residue of a broken heart
throbbing, sweating
flooding blood-soaked tears
in a melodramatic gush
not to be contained by the
gauzy barrier of our skin

eventually
all
is revealed
we
are
hopelessly
(beautifully)
human
after all

You can see more images from the show here.

In May 2013 the bust was moved next door to Niche Wine Bar, owned by Angst Gallery director Leah Jackson. Here are a couple of photos from the unveiling of the bust that took place at Niche.

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

https://artatthecave.com

$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 artatthecave.com or contact gallery@artatthecave.com for more information.

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

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

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 https://www.poetraulsanchez.com/

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: https://www.flowersongpress.com/books-1/p/when-there-were-no-borders-poems-by-ral-sncheztlatecatl

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 katecrackernuts@comcast.net 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 (christopherjluna@gmail.com). 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:

EXCHANGING WISDOM

$16.00 $14.00

BY CHRISTOPHER & ANGELO LUNA

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

A GUIDE FOR PARENTS OF THE AUTONOMOUS

BY CHRISTOPHER & ANGELO LUNA

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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.

EARLY PRAISE FOR EXCHANGING WISDOM:

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:

https://thepoetrybox.com/bookstore/tpp-pandemic-protest

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on Zoom Featuring Leah Mueller August 12, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Leah Mueller

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

7 pm

Thursday, August 12

On Zoom

$5 Suggested donation

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,

ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

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

Leah Mueller is an indie writer and spoken word performer from Bisbee, Arizona.  Her most recent books, Misguided Behavior, Tales of Poor Life Choices (Czykmate Press), Death and Heartbreak (Weasel Press), and Cocktails at Denny’s (Alien Buddha) were released in 2019. Her latest chapbook is Land of Eternal Thirst. Leah’s work appears in Rattle, Midway Journal, Citron Review, The Spectacle, Miracle Monocle, Outlook Springs, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, and elsewhere. Check her out online at www.leahmueller.org or www.twitter.com/leahsnapdragon.

NOTE: This month’s reading will take place on Zoom. Email christopherjluna@gmail.com by no later than 3 pm on August 12 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 account (christopherjluna@gmail.com) or contact him to make other arrangements. Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on Zoom Featuring Andrea Hollander July 8, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Andrea Hollander

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

7 pm

Thursday, July 8

On Zoom

$5 Suggested donation

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,

ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

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

Andrea Hollander moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2011, after living for more than three decades in the Arkansas Ozarks, where she was innkeeper of a bed & breakfast for 15 years and the Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College for 22. Hollander’s 5th full-length poetry collection was a finalist for the Best Book Award in Poetry from the American Book Fest; her 4th was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; her 1st won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Her poems and essays appear widely in anthologies, college textbooks, and literary journals, including a recent feature in The New York Times Magazine. Other honors include two Pushcart Prizes (in poetry and literary nonfiction), two fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the 2021 49th Parallel Award in Poetry. In 2017 she initiated the Ambassador Writing Seminars, which she conducts via Zoom. Her website is http://www.andreahollander.net.

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 8 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 account (christopherjluna@gmail.com) or contact him to make other arrangements. Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on Zoom Featuring Shawn Aveningo-Sanders June 10, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Featuring Shawn Aveningo-Sanders

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

7 pm
Thursday, June
On Zoom

$5 Suggested donation

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

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

Shawn Aveningo-Sanders grew up in Missouri and after a bit of globetrotting finally landed in Portland, Oregon. Her recent chapbook, What She Was Wearing, tells her #metoo story that took 30 years to reveal. Shawn’s work has appeared worldwide in over 150 literary journals and anthologies, including Calyx, Amsterdam Quarterly, American Journal of Poetry, Timberline Review and Poets Reading the News. She is a Pushcart nominee, Best of the Net nominee, and co-founder of The Poetry Box press, as well as managing editor for The Poeming Pigeon. Shawn is a proud mother of three and shares the creative life with her husband, Robert.

What She Was Wearing is available from The Poetry Box:
https://thepoetrybox.com/bookstore/what-she-was-wearing

Ghost Town Poetry fans can save 25% on Shawn’s book by using this special coupon code:
GHOST-TOWN-WSWW-25

More information about Shawn’s poetry:
http://redshoepoet.com

More info about The Poetry Box (publishing/books/readings, etc.):
https://thepoetrybox.com

More info about our annual journal, The Poeming Pigeon:
https://thepoetrybox.com/the-poeming-pigeon

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 10 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 account (christopherjluna@gmail.com) or contact him to make other arrangements. Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring Micah Fletcher AKA Kool Chief Rocker May 13, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Featuring Micah Fletcher

AKA Kool Chief Rocker

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

7 pm
Thursday, May 13
On Zoom

$5 Suggested donation

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 the reading series since 2015: https://nichewinebar.com

Micah Fletcher, also known as Kool Chief Rocker, or Rocker for short, is a nationally-recognized poet and spoken word artist who took first place in Portland Oregon’s citywide youth poetry competition Verselandia in 2013.

Micah’s style is hard hitting, vulnerable and razor sharp often moving listeners to tears with his deep self-reflection and critical social commentary

His latest project, released alongside his mentor Mic Crenshaw, Brink Of Distinction, is available on iTunes and all streaming platforms for your viewing and purchasing pleasure.

Links:

@thekoolchiefrocks on instagram

Album links:

https://music.apple.com/us/album/brink-of-distinction/1453889416

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 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.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on Zoom Featuring Eileen Davis Elliott April 8, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Eileen Davis Elliott

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

7 pm

Thursday, April 8

On Zoom

$5 Suggested donation

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 the reading series since 2015: https://nichewinebar.com

Eileen Davis Elliott

Eileen Davis Elliott is a poet and visual artist from Vancouver, WA where she retired from a career in mental health. She has just released Pobrecitos, a collaborative work written by Eileen Davis Elliott and illustrated by Lily Engblom-Stryker and Ava Town, students from Vancouver School of Arts and Academics who shared and expanded the messages of the written work focusing on the marginalized from all over the world. Travelogue, poetry, documentation of the world we live in and the people we do not always notice. Pobrecitos (Spanish for “the poor ones”) is a love story to all we meet on our path. This is Elliott’s third book, available through Amazon, Bookbaby store, and her website, Eileendaviselliott.com. Earlier books include Prodigal Cowgirl, and Miles of Pies, part family narrative and part history of a way of Midwestern life. Both of these books are available through the author’s website.

She is working on two novels and another collection of poems, as well as an invitational anthology tentatively titled Unfinished Business. Elliott has also recently completed a series of “transformative collages,” wherein she uses earlier “failed” artwork to “paint through to resolution” self- questions which came up during the time of enforced isolation. She keeps a close eye on the hummingbird feeders as well.

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 April 8 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 account (christopherjluna@gmail.com) or contact him to make other arrangements. Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.

The Work Poetry Workshop Continues on Zoom Spring/Summer 2021

Collage by Christopher Luna

Join us on the second and fourth Monday of every month for The Work.

MONDAY NIGHT EDITION

The Monday Night Edition of The Work takes place 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 again in person.


Upcoming Monday night workshops will take place on April 12 & 26, May 10 & 24, June 14 & 28, July 12, August 9 & 23. There will be no workshop on July 26.

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.

The cost for the workshop is a suggested donation of $20 to Christopher Luna’s PayPal account: christopherjluna@gmail.com“

Suggested” means that we would like for you to join us regardless of whether or not you can afford it right now. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Bring a poem to share as a way of saying hello.

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.

Collage by Christopher Luna

SATURDAY NIGHT EDITION

The Work also takes place from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm on the second Saturday of every month, unless otherwise noted. Upcoming Saturday afternoon workshops will take place on April 10, May 8, June 12, July 10, and August 14.

These workshops will take place on Zoom until it is safe to do so again in person.


Christopher Luna encourages you to support Niche Wine Bar, which has provided a home for his poetry and memoir workshops, Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, and other events for many years. Niche is currently open for both dine-in and takeout service: https://nichewinebar.com

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.