Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Featuring Leah Stenson
Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington of Printed Matter Vancouver
Thursday, May 10
Open mic sign up begins at 6:30 and closes at 7 sharp
1015 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
Food and libation provided by Niche Wine Bar, 1013 Main Street
Sound provided by Briz Loan & Guitar
LGBTQIA+ FRIENDLY, ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004
Leah Stenson is the author of two chapbooks, Heavenly Body and The Turquoise Bee and Other Love Poems, published by Finishing Line Press in 2011 and 2014, respectively; a regional editor of Alive at the Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwest (Ooligan Press, 2013) and co-editor of Reverberations from Fukushima (Inkwater Press, 2014). Her full-length poetry book, Everywhere I Find Myself, was published by WordTech Communications’ Turning Point imprint in December of 2017. She serves on the board of Tavern Books.
Drawing from a deep well of autobiographical and cross-cultural experience, Everywhere I Find Myself is a wide-ranging narrative journey of the heart.
“Leah Stenson’s Everywhere I Find Myself traverses the full range of human experience–what she calls the ‘terrible exquisiteness of being’–from the nuclear disaster at Fukushima to a friendly encounter with a cow; from the distractions of our devices to moments of deep tranquility; from a grandfather’s suicide to a daughter’s gift of a pair of pillowcases made from fine Egyptian cotton. By turns witty, playful, and deadly serious, these poems give readers one woman’s unflinchingly honest take on life’s beautiful, painful vicissitudes.”—John Brehm, author of Help Is on the Way and Sea of Faith
“In this engaging and satisfying first full-length collection of poems, Leah Stenson explores the tensions between mystery and understanding, and between estrangement and belonging. The world of these poems–our world–is simultaneously expansive and confining, and Stenson travels through it seeking connection. ‘Home / wasn’t far away,’ she tells us, ‘but the road never ended’.”—Andrea Hollander, author of Landscape with Female Figure, Woman in the Painting, The Other Life, and House Without a Dreamer
“’Eternity can be heard in the stir of the breeze, in the vineyards, the whisper of prayer,’ the poet writes in Everywhere I Find Myself. The poems explore love, memory and deep loss with equal verve. With an artist’s sharp eye for detail and a philosophical world view Leah Stenson is a savvy traveler. Her wry wit, compassionate heart and spirit infuse this vivid, engaging collection.”—Marilyn Stablein, author of Climate of Extremes, Splitting Hard Ground, and Sleeping in Caves
Flying to Ohio
by Leah Stenson
After a soporific of red wine and potato chips,
I drifted off over the Great Plains at midnight,
the cabin darkened, my heart and the heartland lit.
Now the sky is reddening in the east, and
in the west lights are clumped like islands
glimmering through velum.
On that solo adventure four decades ago, knapsack
on my back, I wandered from the foot of the Acropolis
to Delphi and Santorini, channeling light.
Returning home a prodigal wanderer, I never stopped.
Sometimes at high altitudes, I still find shards
of former selves, a polished stone, a sun-bleached shell.
Listen to a feature on Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on OPB Radio’s State of Wonder