Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring VoiceCatcher poets Claudia F. Savage and Deborah Brink Wöhrmann at Angst Gallery on January 10, 2019

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Flyer January 10 2019 edit

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Lumbrazo Luna of Printed Matter Vancouver
Featuring VoiceCatcher poets Claudia F. Savage and Deborah Brink Wöhrmann

7 pm
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Open mic sign up begins at 6:30 and closes at 7
FREE

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
LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

Savage headshot August

Claudia F. Saleeby Savage is part of the performance duo Thick in the Throat, Honey and co-runs a parent-artist podcast of the same name. Her most recent book of poetry is Bruising Continents. Other recent work appears in BOMB, Denver Quarterly, Columbia, Nimrod, Water-Stone Review, and Anomaly (the interview series “Witness the Hour: Arab American Poets Across the Diaspora”). She is a 2018-2021 Black Earth Institute Fellow, a progressive think tank. Her collaboration, reductions, about motherhood and ephemerality with visual artist Jacklyn Brickman, is forthcoming in 2020. She teaches privately and as a Writer in the Schools and lives with her husband and daughter in Portland.

My Daughter Discovers Synchronicity
Claudia F. Saleeby Savage

If you cannot keep that smell of rosemary on your palms, tea warm in your

morning mug, or stop your daughter’s howl when the soup bowl tips, swallow

this sorrow and spit out birds. My daughter gulps air to better voice her throat’s

vibration. Her belly’s taut drum. The contours of my face mountain under

her gaze. Outside a woodpecker searches for rot in a telephone pole. Her

fingers enter the belly button. A world tucked in worlds tucked in worlds.

In mine there are borders of guns. Refusals. A veil could mean your children

starve…

Deborah headshot

Deborah Brink Wöhrmann marvels at the body’s way of responding to thought and word and the mind’s way of speaking what the body feels and says. After years of teaching writing and such, she now weaves bodywork, nutritional studies and small-group creative workshops into her North Portland life. She loves to wander in the woods and along beaches, to garden, cook and to explore.

Excerpt from “Sunset”
for M.E.W.

You taught me the art
of opening windows
at just the right hour
closing them again
before heat
swept in.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring a Book Launch for Series Founder Christopher Luna at Angst Gallery on December 13, 2018

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Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Featuring A Book Launch for
Christopher Luna’s first full-length volume of poetry
Message from the Vessel in a Dream (Flowstone Press)

Note: Due to the venue’s concerns about limited seating, the evening will be split into two sessions. Christopher will deliver two readings–at approximately 8pm and 9:30pm. To accommodate as many people as possible, he will also be available to sign copies of the book from 5-6pm. There will be eight open mic slots open for each half of the event, for a total of 16 open mic readers.

The book launch and open mic reading will be hosted by Printed Matter Vancouver co-founder Toni Lumbrazo Luna and Printed Matter Vancouver author Tiffany Burba (Meet Me Where I left You, 2016)

7 pm & 8:45 pm
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Open mic sign up begins at 6:30 and closes at 7
FREE

Angst Gallery
1015 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
angstgallery.com

Food and libation provided by Niche Wine Bar, 1013 Main Street
Sound provided by Briz Loan & Guitar: http://briz.us/
LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

Join us for the Portland Book Launch at Like Nobody’s Business on February 23.

Message Luna Front Cover 600 dpi cropped.jpg
Collage Art by Christopher Luna for Message from the Vessel in a Dream

Flowstone Press announces the release of Message from the Vessel in a Dream by Christopher Luna, Clark County, WA’s first poet laureate and the founder of Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic. Luna’s first full-length volume of poetry spans 20 years, and favors prose poetry and collage poems assembled and arranged using found materials. The book is dedicated to Carlos Santana, the guitar virtuoso and eponymous “vessel” who gifted Luna with the only line of poetry he has ever received from a dream.

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

Christopher Luna served as Clark County, WA’s first Poet Laureate from 2013-2017. He 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 Lumbrazo Luna co-host Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, the popular Vancouver, WA reading series he founded in 2004. Luna’s books include Brutal Glints of Moonlight, GHOST TOWN, USA and The Flame Is Ours: The Letters of Stan Brakhage and Michael McClure 1961-1978.

Message Luna Back Cover 600 dpi cropped
Collage Art by Christopher Luna for Message from the Vessel in a Dream

Christopher Luna would like to thank all the people, living or dead, whose words provided material for the poems in this book. He would especially like to thank the poets and friends whose words (before, during, and after reading their work at the mic) offered such inspiration: Lynn Alexander, Jane Arnal, Elizabeth Austen, Brittany Baldwin, Roxanne Bash, Kristin Berger, Alex Birkett, Holly Black, Sari Breznau, Tiffany Burba, Barbara Lynn Cantone, J’Lyn Chapman, Sage Cohen, Darlene Costello, Walt Curtis, Leah Noble Davidson, Rene Denfeld, Natalie Diaz, Liz Donley, Josh Ehrdal, Matt Eiford, Terri Eliof, Eileen Elliott, Barbara Engel, Annette Ernst, Kathleen Flenniken, Michelle Fredette, Mike G (Michael Guimond), Rhonda Grace, Samuel Green, Jack Greene, Michelle Giuliano, Dean Haspiel, Miles Hewitt, Morgan Hutchinson, Vishal Khanna, Kevin Killian, Sabra Patricia Larsen, Rosemary Leary, Edee Lemonier, Robin Coste Lewis, Lori Loranger, Angelo Luna, Ben Scott Luna, Cathleen Luna, Dan Luna, Greg Luna, Jae Luna, Toni Lumbrazo Luna, Tod Marshall, Doug Marx, Alec Matthews, Dennis McBride, Marianela Medrano, Matt Meighan, David Meltzer (RIP), Kristopher Molina, Livia Montana, Judith Montgomery, Gwendolyn Morgan, Dan Nelson, Gwen Osborne, Aaron Pacora, Eric Padget, Jenney Pauer, David James Randolph, Dan Raphael, Yugen Rashad, Karen Read, Shelby Reece, Donna Roberge, Katharine Salzmann, Darcy Scholts, Laura Sciortino, Daniel Skach-Mills, Michael Smoler, Shawn Sorensen, Rob Sparks, Bill Sterr, John Stevens, Herb Stokes, Gary F. Suda, Grace Valentine, RicVrana (RIP), Julene Tripp Weaver, Paul Yates, and Lidia Yuknavitch.

Sample Poems

message from the vessel in a dream

completely still
seemingly emotion-
less yet blowing
notes to charm
succeeding ages
it matters little
whether one studies
flow or counterpoint
so long as eventually
the instrument is raised to the lips

you make your appearance
known through some creator
neither Duke nor Trane
ever revealed the source
a wisdom too precious
to put a name to
something not unlike the sound of the heart
beating in the chest of your firstborn

listen to the wind
as interpreted
remember how his hips’
involuntary Poughkeepsie shimmy
show’d you how it was done
never forget promises made
in the quiet of the early morning
priorities set straight
a brick wall stared down till dawn
experience cool breeze adrenaline release
and never forget you learned to listen
don’t forget to breathe

Channel Z (circa 1989)

suddenly static in my own time in your own time beware a tear can appear a rip a slash through the static in a moment and suddenly too suddenly you are not wherever you are but then again and there may be no reason why but there you are in the lavender shorts the garment that stuck around not wanting to miss a moment of this crisis this chaos this crisis of faith this fundamental fissure in the unseen scripture you rarely regarded as worth your time that time static that age static in my attic laughs in a darkened kitchen and you did not then and you do not now believe do not believe do not believe in anything but love

Intend to Attend

A beautiful chaos, this life. A world of pure potential. Tomorrow the discomfort index will be quite high. The weight of too many goddamn outbursts strung around my neck like an albatross. Ghost glimpsed at the periphery. Undefined blur caught by insufficient retina. Fractals behind the eyes. The moment’s gonna get you. Nurture it like a serpent to your breast. Like a neutron caterwaul. Moments away from a fatality. Skeleton falling apart. Filled with the seeds of all the troubles and blessings of existence, but also provided with the sustaining virtue, hope.
Intend to attend. Herb Stokes.

A beautiful chaos, this life. Vishal Khanna.

A world of pure potential. Translated dialogue from the film Poetry, directed by Chang-dong Lee.

The weight of too many goddamn outbursts strung around my neck like an albatross. Leah Noble Davidson.

Fractals behind his eyes. Doug Marx.

The moment’s gonna get you. Wayne Shorter.

Like a neutron caterwaul. Katharine Salzmann.

Moments away from a fatality. Jae Luna.

His skeleton was falling apart. Daniel Skach-Mills.

Filled with the seeds of all the troubles and blessings of existence, but also provided with the sustaining virtue, hope. Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, p. 23.

This is a deeply personal business, and it demands respect
Bruce Springsteen

This Professor Lorenz is a hypnotist as well as a horticulturalist. It’s a geography of the spirit for him. Writing this thing on communicating with the divine spirits. A million birds came to [the] window. . . Felt he was on the same beam, man, tuned in the same. Millions of birds, man. What they really pay you for is to be as present and alive as you can be. We create the illusion of stasis. You’ve got to destroy that mattress. It has to be rebirth on a nightly basis.

This Professor Lorenz is a hypnotist as well as a horticulturalist. Dialogue from The Corpse Vanishes, 1942.

It’s a geography of the spirit for him. Shelby Reece.

Writing this thing….millions of birds, man. Charles Mingus.

We create the illusion of stasis. Narration spoken by spoken Jake (David Mazouz), the brilliant troubled child in the 2012-2013 TV program Touch.

You’ve got to destroy that mattress. Dialogue spoken by Kirsty Cotton, the female protagonist played by Ashley Laurence in the 1988 horror film Hellbound: Hellraiser II.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring LA Poet Genève/Geneva Chao, Author of émigré, at Angst Gallery on October 11, 2018

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic flyer October 11 2018 cropped

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington of Printed Matter Vancouver

Featuring Genève/Geneva Chao

Author of émigré

7 pm

Thursday, October 11

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

FREE

Angst Gallery

1015 Main Street

Vancouver, WA 98660

angstgallery.com

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

Sound provided by Briz Loan & Guitar: http://briz.us/

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

IMG_1396
LA poet Geneva Chao

Genève/Geneva Chao is the author of three books of poetry and several translations. Chao lives in Los Angeles. Her books include one of us is wave one of us is shore (French/English), Hillary Is Dreaming (English), and émigré (English/French/guernesiais/pidgin).

Screenshot 2018-08-27 at 7.40.12 AM

Hoku
with winds
comme des
through channels
fourmis on
sifting sand
grimpe les uns
into glass, every
sur les autres
chamber packed
se hissent
tight with bodies
jusqu’aux toits
in boxes in alleys
afin de voir
finally to climb
enfin la lueur
to see stars
des étoiles

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring Reggie Marra September 13 / Narrative Healing Workshop September 14

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic flyer September 13 2018 cropped

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington of Printed Matter Vancouver

Featuring Reggie Marra, Connecticut Poet and author of Killing America: Our United States of Ignorance, Fear, Bigotry, Violence and Greed

7 pm

Thursday, September 13

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

FREE

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

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

head shot

Reggie Marra is the author of four books of poetry and four of nonfiction, including And Now, Still: Grave & Goofy Poems and Killing America: Our United States of Ignorance, Fear, Bigotry, Violence and Greed. He has conducted poetry-writing and adult development and healing workshops since 1997, including work with the NEA’s Poetry Out Loud program, the National Association for Poetry Therapy, the Connecticut Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools program, the Transformative Language Arts Network, Teleosis Institute, the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, HealingNewtown, the National Speakers Association and in schools throughout the northeastern United States. Reggie is an Integral Master Coach,™ a Voice Dialogue practitioner through Bridgit Dengel Gaspard, and Nature Based Soulcraft® practitioner, through Bill Plotkin and Animas Valley Institute. Prior to 1997 he spent 21 years as a teacher, basketball coach and administrator in secondary and higher education. Learn more at www.reggiemarra.com.

EARLY AUTUMN SOUTHWEST EVENING

The music stops.
The young women holding hands,
their tank tops, shorts, boots, long
flowing brown hair, and the young
man in a black tee, blue jeans and
boots to their right, capture a neon-
backlit American summer evening.
They run, semi-crouched, amid
food and beverage containers
strewn across the open space while
those behind them kneel, crawl,
crouch and cower along the fence,
unsure where the shooter is and
when the shooting will stop.
If ever.

From Killing America: Our United States of Ignorance, Fear, Bigotry, Violence and Greed.

Killing America Cover

Killing America: Our United States of Ignorance, Fear, Bigotry, Violence and Greed is Reggie Marra’s fourth book of poems. As with his This Open Eye: Seeing What We Do (2006), Marra unflinchingly sees, writes and shares with the reader verbal snapshots of his country’s late 20th- and early 21st-century culture of violence as it manifests at home and abroad. His poems both grieve slaughtered school children, unarmed black men, ambushed law enforcement officers, church-, concert- and movie-goers, military veterans and victims of American foreign policy violence in the Middle East, and indict the leaders who refuse to act amid, or implicitly condone, the ongoing slaughter.

ISBN: 978-0-9627828-8-6

135 pages | 6×9 paper

Cover Art: Whose Heaven? by Ray DiCapua Charcoal and ink on paper | 48” x 72” Copyright © 2003 by Ray DiCapua

Go to Amazon in September: https://www.amazon.com/Reggie-Marra/e/B00AECM6OM

Approximately 546 copies of this book will be sent to the September 2018 occupants of the United States Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court and White House. We’ll be raising money to do that: https://www. gofundme.com/poems-for- politicians-in-dc

Ongoing updates and poem excerpts at: https://killing-america.com/

Narrative Healing: Transcending the Illness Narrative Workshop with Reggie Marra

6:30 – 9:00pm

Friday, September 14

Angst Gallery

1015 Main Street

Vancouver, WA 98660

Cost: $35

RSVP to christopherjluna@gmail.com by Thursday, September 13

Narrative Healing: Transcending the Illness Narrative

“It is true that the mind is restless and difficult to control, but it can be conquered… through regular practice and detachment” (6.35)  – The Bhagavad Gita, c. 500-200 BCE.

The power of story to heal was understood 2,000 years ago. We now have over 30 years of research that confirms this philosophical, intuitive understanding. This workshop will engage you in your own narrative healing process, introduce the salient history, philosophy and research, and prepare you to write and revise your story from a salutogenic, rather than pathogenic, perspective. Deepen your abilities to embrace your own healing and nurture that of your clients, patients, students or loved ones. Find out: do you have your story – or does your story have you?

Whether you are navigating your own personal healing, coming to terms with the ongoing cultural and societal healing that is necessary to address American violence at home and abroad, or the larger global issues of pain and suffering, story matters. Your narrative impacts what you see, how you see and what you can do next. Join us on ….. for an experiential introduction to narrative healing.

Book Launch Celebration for Matthew Eiford-Schroeder’s Consistently East at Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic August 9, 2018

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington of Printed Matter Vancouver

Featuring Matthew Eiford-Schroeder

Poet and author of Consistently East, the new book by Printed Matter Vancouver

7 pm

Thursday, August 9

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

Angst Gallery

1015 Main Street

Vancouver, WA 98660

angstgallery.com

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

Sound provided by Briz Loan & Guitar: http://briz.us/

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

Join us as we celebrate the release of the latest book from Printed Matter Vancouver, poet Matthew Eiford-Schroder’s debut Consistently East.

2-Author Photo - color - Matt - 2018

“What is adventure in the time of Google Maps? If hardship is what separates an adventure from a vacation, how does one reconcile the ease of travel with the challenges one faces?” Matthew Eiford-Schroeder wrote the poems in Consistently East as he emerged from the fog of a brain injury he suffered as a result of a violent attack. Join the poet on his global travels from Brooklyn, New York to London, across Mongolia via a charity rally, then on to Seoul, Korea. After returning to the West Coast of the United States to visit his family, Matthew worked the oil fields of North Dakota before finally returning to Brooklyn, where he was assaulted. “I wrote these poems when the world stopped shaking enough for me to collect and organize words again. I had to rebuild myself, take an inventory of memories, then create. To begin to live in a world that had changed in a self that was no longer the same, but both not completely severed from the trauma and beauty of the past.”

Advance praise for Consistently East

“Traveling roads in between two stages of apocalypse, here is a friend’s diary written on a hostel wall. Through poetry, we relax into the same curiosity and fear of the wanderer, his flashbacks becoming ours. Love, insight, and invitation command this collection. And the revelation that our memoir is safest in the hands of a madman.”

– Tongo Eisen-Martin, author of Heaven is All Goodbyes (City Lights), winner of the 2018 California Book Award for Poetry.

About the Author

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Matthew Eiford-Schroeder was raised in Camas, Washington, where he spent a sizable portion of his time working and playing on his grandparents’ cattle farm. He moved around America, working retail and lifting heavy things, before eventually landing in New York, where he snuck into an art school and became a bouncer.  He currently lives in Bellingham, where he is studying political science at Western Washington University.

About Printed Matter Vancouver

Printed Matter Vancouver is a small press and editing service for Northwest writers co-founded by Christopher Luna and Toni Lumbrazo Luna. Consistently East is our fifth publication, following two anthologies of poetry from the popular Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic reading series (est. 2004) and debut volumes of poetry by Vancouver, WA poets Jenney Pauer (Serenity in the Brutal Garden, 2012) and Tiffany Burba (Meet Me Where I Left You, 2016).

We love to work with writers to develop their skills, bring an idea to a reality, provide writing, editing, and coaching services, assist with a book concept, prepare for a book launch or a featured reading, or provide a critique of a manuscript. We work on small and large projects: from broadsides and chapbooks, to collections and anthologies. We work with writers in several genre areas: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, news and public interest articles, and literary reviews. We assist writers with content, format, arrangement, and promotional strategies.

Our fees are reasonable and our initial consultation is offered at no charge. We are formally trained and have been published broadly. Let us help you launch yourself and make your writing goals a reality. For more information visit our website at printedmattervancouver.com or contact printedmattervancouver@gmail.com.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring Matt Amott June 14, 2018

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic flyer June 14 2018 cropped

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Matt Amott

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington of Printed Matter Vancouver

7 pm

Thursday, June 14

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

Angst Gallery

1015 Main Street

Vancouver, WA 98660

 

Matt Amott is a poet, musician, and photographer who rambles around the Pacific Northwest. He is co-founder and co-editor of Six Ft. Swells Poetry Press and has been published in numerous collections as well as two books of his own, The Coast is Clear (Six Ft. Swells Press) and Get Well Soon (Epic Rites Press).  He can be reached and purchases made at afterhourspoetry.com.

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

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

“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.

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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 Leah Stenson at Angst Gallery May 10, 2018

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic May 10 2018 flyer

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Leah Stenson

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington of Printed Matter Vancouver

7 pm

Thursday, May 10

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

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

LGBTQIA+ FRIENDLY, ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

Leah-Stenson-at-Stonehenge-Studios(1)
Leah Stenson at Stonehenge Studios

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.

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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

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:

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

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

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring Peter Ludwin March 8, 2018

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic flyer March 8 2018

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Peter Ludwin

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington of Printed Matter Vancouver

7 pm

Thursday, March 8

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

Angst Gallery

1015 Main Street

Vancouver, WA 98660

angstgallery.com

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

Sound provided by Briz Loan & Guitar: http://briz.us/

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

christopherjluna@gmail.com

Peter's Pictures 006

Peter Ludwin is the recipient of a Literary Fellowship from Artist Trust and the W.D. Snodgrass Award for Endeavor and Excellence in Poetry.  His first book, A Guest in All Your Houses, was published in 2009 by Word Walker Press.  His second collection is Rumors of Fallible Gods, a two-time finalist for the Gival Press Poetry Award that was published in 2013 by Presa Press.

His new book, Gone to Gold Mountain, was published in 2016 by MoonPath Press and subsequently nominated for a Washington State Book Award.  In May, 2017 the Before Columbus Foundation nominated it for an American Book Award.

A fourteen-year participant in Mexico’s San Miguel Poetry Week, where he has studied under such noted poets as Mark Doty, Tony Hoagland, Joseph Stroud and Robert Wrigley, Ludwin was the Second Prize winner of the 2007-2008 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Awards.  In 2010 Soundings Review named him its Reader’s Choice winner in the spring/summer issue.

Most recently, he was the 2016 First Prize winner of The Comstock Review’s Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award, the Second Place winner of the 2016 Paulann Petersen Poetry Award, and a finalist in poetry for both the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards and the Pangaea Poetry Prize.   A multiple Pushcart Prize nominee, he received nominations in 2016 from MoonPath Press and Connecticut River Review.

His work has appeared in many journals, including Atlanta Review, The Bitter Oleander, The Comstock Review, Crab Orchard Review, Nimrod, North American Review and Prairie Schooner, to name a few.  A world traveler who has journeyed by canoe to visit remote Indian families in the Amazon Basin of Ecuador, hiked in the Peruvian Andes, thumbed for rides in Greece, bargained for goods in the markets of Marrakech and Istanbul and survived debilitating illness in China and Tibet, he is also accomplished on acoustic guitar and autoharp.  He lives in Kent, Washington, where he works for the Parks Department.