“A Welcoming and Unfettered Place for All:” Sharon Wood Wortman on Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Sharon Wood Wortman, who appeared as our featured reader in November 2007, shared the following observations about what she witnessed at Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on April 12, 2018:

“The Oregonian published a story yesterday about a new 100-bed shelter proposed for under the west end of the Broadway Bridge. Housing is at a crisis, don’t we know? Wouldn’t it be something if the sponsors knew that in addition to the foundation-building of keeping people out of the elements, equally humane would be to help them express themselves, also in a safe and warm a place?

“What if when everyone is thinking of ways to help others redirect, they would consider poetry an essential—as surely as access to a bed, soap, and a toothbrush to call one’s own? Cuisine for the heart made right there at the shelter and then read before a microphone as part of the redistribution of the self? In a better manufactured world, someone would hire you two to implement such mending/remaking of humanity.

“From where I sat in the audience last night, it looked to me that you two offer, among all the things you offer, your talent for luxurious attention and high-end listening. I once thought of you as ministers of poetry, but you are something better, more practical. More tangible than any church, you run the HUD of poetry—providing a welcoming and unfettered place for people of all shapes, sizes, hues, abilities, genders, and clothing preferences, and you do all this on a cotton-thin budget. Amazing.”

Thank you, Sharon!

big and awesome cover

Christopher Luna is featured in Sharon Wood Wortman’s book The Big & Awesome Bridges of Portland & Vancouver.

Ghsot Town CroppedCover-200DPI

Sharon Wood Wortman’s poems “Underpinnings” and “Slippage” appear in Printed Matter Vancouver’s Ghost Town Poetry Volume One (Cover to Cover Books 2004-2010), available at Angst Gallery and Another Read Through.

Wortman 2010headshot

You can learn more about Sharon at Bridge Stories.



Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring Judith Arcana April 12, 2018

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Flyer April 12 2018 cropped

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Judith Arcana

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington of Printed Matter Vancouver

7 pm

Thursday, April 12

Open mic sign up begins at 6:30 and closes at 7

Angst Gallery

1015 Main Street

Vancouver, WA 98660

Food and libation provided by Niche Wine Bar, 1013 Main Street

Sound provided by Briz Loan & Guitar:


ja laughing
Photo by Friderike Heuer

Judith Arcana writes poems, stories, essays and books, publishing online and on paper. Her work has, naturally, been influenced by the times and places of her life: A high school English teacher in the 1960’s, Judith was fired, as many were in those years, considered dangerously radical by the school board. She’s written poems and stories rooted in her commitment to reproductive justice, which began with her work in the pre-Roe abortion underground in Chicago.

AFTP final cover copy

Judith’s new poetry collection, Announcements from the Planetarium, was published by Flowstone Press in 2017; its poems examine memory, consider the nature of wisdom, and reflect on the experience of aging into new consciousness. Judith hosts a poetry show on KBOO community radio in Oregon and online.

The Woman Who Hands You A Gun

Don’t think because I’m old

I’m not learning anymore. No.

That’s not how it goes. Right

now I’m on my way, leaving

town to be a carny, a barker

at the tattooed lady’s tent flap

or the woman who hands you a gun

at the shooting gallery or hoops

to toss over baby dolls. It’s got

to be something I don’t have

to study or practice, something

I can slip right into, on-the-job

training. Because I don’t have

that kind of time anymore.

I’m saying I’ll be an intern

an apprentice – not a student.

I don’t have time for that.

…….. Judith Arcana  (First published in CIRQUE – Winter Solstice issue, 2012)

Listen to a feature on Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on OPB Radio’s State of Wonder

Toni Partington & Christopher Luna on KBOO Radio’s Poetry and Everything, hosted by Judith Arcana April 24, 2017

Chris and Toni at KBOO with Judith
Christopher Luna and Toni Partington in the KBOO studios in Portland, OR

Poet and activist Judith Arcana recently interviewed Printed Matter Vancouver founders Christopher Luna and Toni Partington for her radio program, Poetry and Everything


We’d like to thank Judith for her hospitality and her thoughtful questions. We are also grateful to our friend and fellow poet, Patrick Bocarde, for engineering the program.

KBOO logo

Poetry And Everything
Air date:  Mon, 04/24/2017 -10:00pm to 11:00pm

Interview with Toni Partington and Christopher Luna

Chris and Toni co-host Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, the series he established in 2004. Together they founded Printed Matter Vancouver, a small press and editing service.  Not only are there two of them, working together on those projects, but each of them does (notably) more than two things.