Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on State of Wonder

Toni and Christopher OPB pic
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic co-hosts Toni Partington and Christopher Luna at Angst Gallery in July 2017. Photo by Aaron Scott. Art by Cynthia Heise.

Printed Matter Vancouver would like to thank producer Aaron Scott, intern Elayna Yussen, and everyone at OPB Radio’s State of Wonder for featuring the Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic community on their program. I founded the reading series in 2004, and Toni Partington, my wife and co-host, came on board in 2007. It was a very moving experience to hear what the series has meant to Toni and series regulars April Bullard, Eileen Elliott, and Erin Iwata. I found myself in tears as my friends spoke about their personal journey, and how Ghost Town Poetry has contributed to both their personal growth and their development as writers. We hope that you will agree that Aaron and his crew perfectly captured what makes the reading series so unique.

Toni and I were also pleased to find that the producers acknowledged Angst Gallery’s role in the community as  “de facto arts center.” Angst Gallery owner Leah Jackson has been one of the driving forces in the Vancouver Arts District for many years. Since 2005, she has provided me with a venue in which to present local and national poets, poetry & music collaborations, coaster poetry, and bilingual poetry readings. I would not have been named the first Poet Laureate of Clark County without her unfailing support. In fact, Leah Jackson was the first to acknowledge my service to the poetry community when she named me the poet laureate of her two businesses, Angst Gallery and Niche Wine Bar. This great honor allowed me to have two years of practice as her laureate (2011-2012) before being called upon by the Clark County Arts Commission to serve the poets of Clark County as their poet laureate.

The program also includes a wonderful interview with Erika Bartlett, a Vancouver artist whose solo show, “The Art of Healthy Spaces”, is on display at the gallery through July 29.

Christopher Luna

To listen to the entire program, visit:

Hurray For The Riff Raff | Ghost Town Poetry | Teva Harrison | Ural Thomas | Bend Art Center

April Bullard by Tiffany
April Bullard reads her work at Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic. Photo by Ghost Town videographer Tiffany Burba 

To listen to the segment on Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, visit:

Vancouver’s Ghost Town Poetry Hasn’t Missed A Beat Since 2004

Erika on OPB
Erika Bartlett and her work at Angst Gallery in Vancouver, WA. Photo by Aaron Scott

To listen to the segment with Erika Bartlett, visit:

Erika Bartlett At Angst Gallery: Mixing Nature And Business

 

The Marriage of Poetic Words and Images at Angst Gallery April 2013

Toni Partington and I would like to thank everyone who participated in or supported The Marriage of Poetic Words and Images, our first art show as curators. We are especially grateful to Angst Gallery Director Leah Jackson for entrusting the space to us for National Poetry Month. We encourage the community to send any photos they may have taken of the event so that we can add them to this page or the Facebook photo album:https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4790349569206.1073741826.1609878790&type=3 . In addition, if any of the writers whose work is featured in the show would like for us to post their pieces here, please send them to christopherjluna@gmail.com.

Marriage 38 gallery

 The Marriage of Poetic Words and Images at Angst Gallery

Marriage 2Work by Olinka Broadfoot, Jolyn Wolfe, Toni Partington, Jim Martin, and DaBat

Marriage 1Work by Olinka Broadfoot, Jolyn Wolfe, Toni Partington, Jim Martin, and DaBat

Marriage 6Work by Olinka Broadfoot, Jolyn Wolfe, Toni Partington, and Jim Martin

Marriage 7 Work by Jolyn Wolfe, Toni Partington, and Jim Martin

Here is the announcement for the show:

The Marriage of Poetic Words and Images

April 5-30 2013

Angst Gallery, Vancouver, WA

1015 Main Street

Curated by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington

Sponsored by Leah Jackson and Printed Matter Vancouver

Opening Reception: 5-9 pm April 5, Angst Gallery

Poetry Reading: 6pm April 27, Niche Wine and Art Bar

Many creative people work in more than one medium. The Marriage of Poetic Words and Images aims to present the unique impact of language and image when melded together in visual art. This will take the form of photographs, painting, sculpture, and mixed media. Some of the work will be inspired by poetry, while other pieces will be visual art that includes text. The show will also include poetry that is presented in a particularly visual way, or is inspired by art. While many of the pieces in the show are the result of collaborations between artists and writers, many of our contributors will be utilizing both language and visual art. The majority of the artists live in Vancouver; however, we will also feature work from artists and writers from Yakima, WA and Portland, OR.  

The show will also feature two poetry readings: throughout the evening of First Friday’s opening reception on April 5, and at Niche Wine and Art Bar (1013 Main Street) on Saturday, April 27. The reading on April 27 will also feature live music and a Q&A with the artists and writers.

The artists and writers who are featured in this show include: Anni Becker, Greg Bee, Olinka Broadfoot, April Bullard, DaBat, Erin Dengerink, Eileen Davis Elliott, John Furniss, Jeremy Gaulke, Leah Jackson, Kelly Keigwin, Christopher Luna, Jim Martin, Toni Partington, Jenney Pauer, Michael Smith, Michele Venclik, and Jolyn Wolfe.

Poets Christopher Luna and Toni Partington are the co-hosts of the popular Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic and co-founders of Printed Matter Vancouver, a local small press and editing service. Their visual art has appeared in Angst Gallery, North Bank Artists Gallery, Gallery 360, Art in the Heart, Multnomah Arts Center, and the Vancouver Community Library.

Visual artist Leah Jackson is the owner of Angst Gallery and Niche Wine and Art Bar.

Marriage 8 Jim MartinWork by Jim Martin

Marriage 5 DaBatWork by DaBat

Marriage 4 Kelly and JenneyArt by Kelly Keigwin, text by Jenney Pauer

Marriage 37 DaBat and KellyWork by DaBat, Kelly Keigwin and Jenney Pauer

Here is our curator’s statement, which was posted in the gallery:

We are very fortunate to be a part of Vancouver’s growing, vibrant arts community. One of the qualities we have noticed about this particular community is that many people work in more than one medium. The Marriage of Poetic Words and Images aims to convey the unique impact that language and image have when presented together in visual art.

The show includes photographs, painting, sculpture, and mixed media. Some of the work is inspired by poetry, while other pieces are visual art that incorporates text in some way. Some pieces feature poetry that is presented in a particularly visual way, or is inspired by art. While many of the pieces in the show are the result of collaborations between artists and writers, many of our contributors utilize both text and visual art.

The essence of combining poetic language with visual image is meant to challenge the brain of the viewer/reader. The brain processes language and visual images differently. The work in this show asks you to integrate the two and by doing so, make them come alive. It is our intentional to provide you with an opportunity that allows you to experience the work emotionally and cognitively at nearly the same time.

The majority of the artists who have contributed to this show live in Vancouver, WA; however, the show also features work from artists and writers from Yakima, WA and Portland, OR. Angst Gallery owner Leah Jackson has been a great supporter of art, poetry, and music in downtown Vancouver for many years, and has supported us as we have evolved as poets, visual artists, and community organizers. Therefore, her gallery is the perfect location for such a show.

Christopher Luna and Toni Partington
Writers/Artists
Editors and Publishers, Printed Matter Vancouver

Marriage 23 Erin and ChristopherArt by Erin Dengerink and Christopher Luna, poem by Christopher Luna

Marriage 24 Erin and ChristopherArt by Erin Dengerink and Christopher Luna, poem by Christopher Luna

Marriage 34 Christopher with Erin triptychChristopher Luna poses in front of his collaboration with Erin Dengerink

Here is the text of the poem that formed the basis of the work seen above:

The Tarot Facilitates a Long-Overdue Goodbye

by Christopher Luna, March 2008

I.

three become one

envision bounty

loose robes fall

among grapes, squash, tomato

there are oranges behind you

and a volcano

connects your genitalia

dig in

and don’t tell me

who my elders ought to be

outdated though my ways may be

they still have potential to bring peace to the valley

rove naked

bang on the wall

between you

and the other half

you are already there

upside down, The Butterfly Queen

disappears into the clouds

you will remember neither

the pattern of her garment

nor the curl of her hair

II.

Bend eternally. Raise a sword. Accept the tongue of the lion you once were. It’s alright to dream of the butterfly you may become. Heart open. Head aflame. The avenging angel spreads its hands, sending six rays of light which pierce the soldiers’ armor. And the hills run red with blood. Raise the glasses you were given. Celebrate the bounty assembled before your feet. Tired—nay, exhausted.

After completion

begin again.

Marriage 25 Michael and EileenMichael Smith’s drawing based on Christopher Luna’s “pavement pastoral”

Art and poetry by Eileen Elliott

Marriage 26 EileenArt and poetry by Eileen Elliott

Marriage 27 AprilArt and poetry by April Bullard

Marriage 28 April“River God” by April Bullard

Marriage 29Work by Jolyn Wolfe, Greg Bee, Olinka Broadfoot, Michele Venclik, Kelly Keigwin,

Christopher Luna, Toni Partington, and Eileen Elliott

Marriage 30 GregWork by Greg Bee

Marriage 31 JolynArt by Jolyn Wolfe, poetry by Percy Bysshe Shelly

Marriage 32Bust of Christopher Luna by Olinka Broadfoot, bird sculpture by Toni Partington

Marriage 33Bust of Christopher Luna by Olinka Broadfoot, bird sculpture by Toni Partington

Marriage 36

Marriage 9Work by Michele Venclik, Kelly Keigwin, Eileen Elliott, Toni Partington, Christopher Luna and Jeremy Gaulke,

Leah Jackson, Anni Becker and John Furniss, and Toni Partington

Marriage 18 Michele and KellyWork by Michele Venclik and Kelly Keigwin

Marriage 19 Michele heartArt and text by Michele Venclik

Marriage 20 Michele and KellyWork by Michele Venclik, Kelly Keigwin, and Eileen Elliott

Marriage 21 Michele and Kelly

Work by Michele Venclik and Kelly Keigwin

Marriage 22

Marriage 13

Marriage 12 EileenPoetry and fabric art by Eileen Elliott

Marriage 11 Anni and JohnArt by Anni Becker and John Furniss

Marriage 14 Leah“What I Tried to Say” by Leah Jackson

Marriage 15 JeremyJeremy Gaulke’s illustration of Christopher Luna’s poem “full text hallucination 102”

fulltexthulJeremy Gaulke’s illustration of Christopher Luna’s poem “full text hallucination 102”

Marriage 16 Toni“Into the Muir Woods” by Toni Partington

Marriage 17 Chris and ToniChristopher Luna’s sketch of poet Dan Raphael in action

and “Into the Muir Woods” by Toni Partington

Marriage 10 BirdSculpture by Toni Partington, based on and featuring text from her poem “Implication”

Marriage 3 Bird ReflectionSculpture by Toni Partington, based on and featuring text from her poem “Implication”

Marriage 39Work by Olinka Broadfoot, Christopher Luna, Toni Partington, Jolyn Wolfe, Jim Martin, and DaBat

I was very moved by the enormous work that Olinka Broadfoot created that was inspired by my poem “sometimes the latticework of the veil”:

Marriage 35 Christopher with Olinka paintingChristopher Luna poses next to Olinka Broadfoot’s work based on “sometimes the latticework of the veil”

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

On April 27, some of the artists and writers who participated in the show held a poetry reading at Niche Wine and Art Bar. Here is the announcement for that event, followed by some photos from that night:

6pm

Saturday, April 27

Niche Wine and Art Bar

1013 Main Street

Vancouver, WA

 

A Poetry Reading and Q&A

With artists and writers from

The Marriage of Poetic Words and Images

An art exhibit at Angst Gallery (1015 Main)

Curated by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington

Music by Five Guys Playing Jazz

Exhibit closes Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sponsored by Leah Jackson and Printed Matter Vancouver

Join us for a reading and Q&A at Niche Wine and Art Bar featuring some of the writers and artists featured in The Marriage of Poetic Words and Images, an exhibit curated by Printed Matter Vancouver founders Toni Partington and Christopher Luna to commemorate National Poetry Month. Confirmed to be in attendance as of this writing: Christopher Luna, Jim Martin, Jenney Pauer, Toni Partington, and Michele Venclik.

Saturday night’s event will be dedicated to our friend Greg Bee, who assists Leah Jackson in numerous ways, has work in the show, and is currently in the ICU. Because flowers are not allowed in the ICU, Leah has set up a station where people can create flowers to be taken to Greg. This will be available until closing time on Saturday. Here is more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/182822975204920/

Many creative people work in more than one medium. The Marriage of Poetic Words and Images aims to present the unique impact of language and image when melded together in visual art. This will take the form of photographs, painting, sculpture, and mixed media. Some of the work will be inspired by poetry, while other pieces will be visual art that includes text. The show will also include poetry that is presented in a particularly visual way, or is inspired by art. While many of the pieces in the show are the result of collaborations between artists and writers, many of our contributors will be utilizing both language and visual art. The majority of the artists live in Vancouver; however, we will also feature work from artists and writers from Yakima, WA and Portland, OR. 

The artists and writers who are featured in this show include: Anni Becker, Greg Bee, Olinka Broadfoot, April Bullard, DaBat, Erin Dengerink, Eileen Davis Elliott, Jeremy Gaulke, Leah Jackson, Kelly Keigwin, Christopher Luna, Jim Martin, Toni Partington, Jenney Pauer, Michael Smith, Michele Venclik, and Jolyn Wolfe.

Christopher at Niche April 27 2013Christopher Luna reads at Niche Wine and Art Bar on April 27, 2013

 DaBat at Niche April 27 2013 1  DaBat reads his poetry at Niche Wine and Art Bar on April 27, 2013

DaBat at Niche April 27 2013 2DaBat reads his poetry at Niche Wine and Art Bar on April 27, 2013

Jim Martin at Niche April 27 2013 1Jim Martin reads his poetry at Niche on April 27, 2013

Jim Martin at Niche April 27 2013 2Jim Martin reads his poetry at Niche on April 27, 2013

Jim Martin at Niche April 27 2013 3Jim Martin reads his poetry at Niche on April 27, 2013

Toni at Niche April 27 2013 1Toni Partington reads her poetry at Niche on April 27, 2013

Toni aty Niche April 27 2013 2Toni Partington reads her poetry at Niche on April 27, 2013

We are also very grateful to Jenney Pauer for reading from her work that evening, and to Leah Jackson, Erin Dengerink, and Michele Venclik for attending the reading. Finally, Toni and Christopher would like to say a big thank you to Leah Jackson for her leadership, and for all that she does for the arts in Vancouver. Thank you for trusting us to curate a show at your gallery, and for supporting our work.

Leah Heidi and Erin at Niche April 27 2013Artist, Angst Gallery Director, and Niche Proprietor Leah Jackson with artists Heidi Morkert and Erin Dengerink

at Niche April 27, 2013

CELEBRATE SIX YEARS OF GHOST TOWN POETRY OPEN MIC AT COVER TO COVER BOOKS with Miles of Pies author Eileen Elliott and songwriter Matt Meighan

Cover to cover flyer January 2013

Printed Matter Vancouver would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for making 2012 another great year for poetry in the ‘Couve: The Catalyst, Everybody’s Music, Leah Jackson (Angst Gallery and Niche Wine and Art Bar), Mint Tea, Moe’s, One World Merchants, Pop Culture, and Urban Eccentric.

We would also like to thank the featured readers and musicians who shared their work with our community in 2012: Jennifer Pratt-Walter, Bret Jorgensen, Lincoln’s Beard, John Sibley Williams, John Burgess, Raul Sanchez, Jenney Pauer, David Matthews, Leah Stenson, Patrick Bocarde, Melissa Sillitoe, A. Molotkov, Ragon Linde, Julene Tripp Weaver, Kristin Roedell, Traci Schatz, Ric Vrana, Jane Ormerod of great weather for MEDIA, Gina Williams, Dan Raphael, Richard Loranger, and Mary Slocum.

In addition, we owe a debt of gratitude to the many poets who have moved and entertained us at the open mic—without your continued participation and support, we would have nothing to celebrate.

Finally, our thanks to Mel Sanders for staying open late once a month and for her undying commitment to local writers.

Bios:

Eileen Elliott head shot 2012

Eileen Davis Elliott works as a poet and visual artist after retiring from a career in mental health and education. She has consistently focused on themes of struggle and redemption of the human spirit in whatever state it finds itself; trying to find personal meaning or while interacting with other souls. She has two books of poetry: Prodigal Cowgirl and the newly released Miles of Pies. Her most current writings have focused on how autism affects families. She is also doing a series of prose poems about life in Mexico, for a chapbook with the draft title Pobrecitos. Her art quilts tell stories about the people who receive them and she hopes they give warmth and comfort. She also likes to feed people and have long, lingering conversations while the dirty dishes wait for later.

Matt Meighan bw with guitar

“Though the way ahead never did get clear, I guess we made it after all” sings Portland songwriter Matt Meighan, and the experience of miles traveled is easy to hear in his music. Drawing on his years as an activist, journalist, parent and poet, Matt writes tradition-steeped, thought-provoking songs that are at turns personal, political, poignant and funny, infused with a philosophical bent and an audible love of language.

A song collector as well as writer, Matt mixes his originals with songs by fellow songwriters as well as older songs from the folk and blues traditions. His commitments to good writing and “truth-telling” are clear in the songs he chooses and the songs he writes, many of which are performed by other songwriters. He is currently recording his second CD, Long Way ‘Round.

Matt’s engaging, relaxed performance style and fingerstyle acoustic guitar make him an ideal performer for house concerts and similar listening venues. He also performs as a duo, with Sherry Pendarvis on upright bass, and adds a fiddle or mandolin player to perform as a trio.

After earning an MFA in poetry at the Jack Keruoac school of Disembodied Poetics (Naropa University) in Boulder, Colorado, Matt turned his hand to songwriting and became a signifcant part of the Boulder acoustic music scene, organizing monthly songwriter gatherings and hosting numerous songwriter showcases. In 2003 moved to Portland, where he performs regularly, teaches a popular “Songwriting as Truth Telling” class, and hosts the weekly Songwriter Roundup show at Artichoke Music.

Matt began playing songs while still in high school in Chicago in the 1960s. His musical education began at the Old Town School of Folk Music and haunting the blues and jazz clubs of 1960s Chicago. He has since traveled the world with his music, performing in venues and on street corners across the U.S., Australia and Italy, and has regularly brought his songs to the pubs of Ireland over the last 20 years. He and his wife Nancy met at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville Texas, which they attend every year. Since moving to Portland Matt has become both a popular performer and an ardent supporter of the Portland-area acoustic music community.

Toni Partington’s Wind Wing is now available as an eBook

Printed Matter Vancouver co-founder Toni Partington’s Wind Wing, which is one of the bestselling books by a Vancouver, WA poet,  is now available as an eBook on Lulu (http://www.lulu.com/shop/toni-partington/wind-wing/paperback/product-6186780.html) and Barnes and Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wind-wing-toni-partington/1105805665?ean=9781257542642). You can also order a copy of the book from Cover to Cover Books (http://covertocoverbooks.net) or St. Johns Booksellers (http://www.stjohnsbooks.com/).

Here is what some of Toni’s fellow poets had to say about the book:

Poetry Lovers Rejoice! Lyricism is reborn in Wind Wing. A true daughter of Sappho rises in our midst, and her name is Toni Partington. Whether in deeply confessional poems, such as the title poem, written for her mother, or sororal anthems such as “Mermaids,” or pungent observations on the general culture such as “Fat Straws,” Partington has created a women’s poetry for all people. I can think of no more apt acclaim than that which Edmund Wilson once rendered onto Edna St. Vincent Millay: “In giving supreme expression to profoundly felt personal experience, she was able to identify herself with more general experience and stand forth as a spokesman for the human spirit.” David Madgalene, Windsor, CA

“Have you ever considered trading your life for that of a crow’s? Toni Partington has in her poem, “It Matters To Notice These Things,”just one of many highly imaginative and often brutally honest looks into the lives of women who have stared into the face of mental illness and other traumas. Ms. Partington will take you on a ride in an Impala, telling you what it’s really like ricocheting between two worlds with the wind-wing open. Her poems refuse to hide behind shame, embarrassment, or judgments. You will know by the end of this book that “silence is the great intoxicant / seduces you while it burns / a gaping hole in your throat.” Her book is a lesson about “boxes within boxes,” and will leave you with the knowledge that “cardboard castles / can’t survive in the rain.” In valiantly opening the Wind Wing, she gives us all the courage to conquer our greatest fears.” M, Portland, Oregon

“Toni Partington’s Wind Wing is a deeply moving & compassionately observed collection of poems. Its lucid voice is deeply resonant & ultimately heartwarming.” David Meltzer, San Francisco, CA

“Toni Partington shows us the underbelly of women in the midst of challenges incomprehensible to some: mental illness, domestic violence, mothering broken children. Dignity, understanding and courage abound in this volume of tough yet lyrical poems.” Eileen Elliott, Vancouver, WA

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

At Frenchman’s Bar

by Toni Partington

 Egrets assemble

levitate in slow motion

perfectly

above the Columbia’s glass top

framed by fifty-foot twigs

upright to the sky

 

in silhouette

 

parked barges resemble a life

stopped abruptly 

await permission to dock

unload the steerage of this long journey

 

when will it be time for you

to sail toward unknown ports

where women gather in flocks

lean into each other and

beckon you to land