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.

Do Not Abandon Her, a Poem for the Girls in Afghanistan By Leah Klass

Do Not Abandon Her

By Leah Klass 

August 16th, 2021

Listen, love, it’s bright outside those plastic blinds

don’t waste your time in turning open aching palms

step straight up off cotton cushions into rainbowed reeds

I’m here just off the path, treading lightly as the signs said no, 

no worries, just a breeze, the scent of leaflings curling open, purr of sandhill cranes beyond

Simone had told me that the frogs croak while the trees sway in the wind

I’d thought to step outside, catch my breath, it was too loud inside the house

and then I saw you, in my dream, lounging, alight on silken robes

smoke rising from your silver pipe and she was there, dear Leah Lost

aside the crowd, kneeling and more, her begging eyes a sign of times to come

You lie in bed in Lakewood in a room I’ve seen just once, 

pine bed posts tall and covers white, the carpets now tell tales of puppies, kids

your forehead freckled, red and wet and wild hair spread cross the sheets

you tell me little and I understand your fear is real

In this day Kabul has fallen and I long to walk straight to the White House

from this quiet pondside all my army of mosquitoes chasing

crickets and cicadas sing and cheer as I walk through Black Lives Matter Plaza 

gaining speed past iron gates, flash something at the guards, my tits, my ass, my empathy and entering that old colonial symbol of hypocrisy: no place for the people but The Person, take myself right up the red real-carpet stairs and turning left (I always do)

march up to you, your thin skin like the surface of a pudding oh, evoking kindness 

as the image of my grandpa would

 

Wait: this is my training, I am loyal to belief and so I tell you what to do, I tell you 

here’s my name, YOUR NAME, and my solemn promise

here’s my address and civil state: I believe in goodness, kindness, safety, light and 

freedom from hunger and misogyny, abuse and ignorance 

but no time to explain Dear Joe

I know you’ve read the news 

it’s time to act straight from our heart, 

Gaia, Collective Earth, the Mother she is rising

I lie in bed and look out at the plastic window blinds

as I wake my hands are clenched, my jaw is tired

all I know is what I am, all I am is what I must

This day I will call the White House, ask to sponsor 

I have room in my heart for as many girls

as they can send. 


Act now: https://www.whitehouse.gov/get-involved/write-or-call/

What Womens Advocacy Groups Worldwide Are Doing For Women In Afghanistan by Josie Fischels

https://www.npr.org/2021/08/16/1027929275/what-womens-advocacy-groups-worldwide-are-doing-for-women-in-afghanistan

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 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.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on Zoom Featuring Michael Dylan Welch February 11, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

Featuring Michael Dylan Welch

7 pm

Thursday, February 11

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

Michael Dylan Welch served two years as poet laureate of Redmond, Washington, where he is also president of the Redmond Association of Spokenword, director of the Poets in the Park Festival, and curator (since 2006) of SoulFood Poetry Night. He has published dozens of books, most recently Dance into the World, and his poetry has appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies in more than 20 languages. Michael was keynote speaker for the 2013 Haiku International Association conference in Tokyo, is cofounder of the biennial Haiku North America conference (1991), the American Haiku Archives (1996), and the Seabeck Haiku Getaway (2008). He also founded the Tanka Society of America (2000) and National Haiku Writing Month (2010), the latter held every February, the shortest month for the shortest genre of poetry (learn more at http://www.nahaiwrimo.com). His personal website, devoted mostly to poetry (not just haiku), including hundreds of essays and reviews, is www.graceguts.com. Lately, Michael has been traveling the world, via Zoom, giving poetry readings, workshops, and presentations in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, India, England, Canada, and around the United States—a silver lining amid our pandemic lockdown.

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 February 11 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 Penelope Scambly Schott November 12, 2020

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Hosted by Christopher Luna, Toni Lumbrazo Luna, & Morgan Paige
Featuring Penelope Scambly Schott

7 pm
Thursday, November 12
On Zoom

$5 Suggested donation

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

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 November 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.

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

Penelope Scambly Schott is a past recipient of the Oregon Book Award for Poetry. She has published a novel and several books of poetry, most recently On Dufur Hill, poems about the cycle of a year in her small wheat-growing town of Dufur, Oregon. Instead of listing residencies and other prizes, Penelope wants you to know that every day she and her white goldendoodle Sophia climb Dufur Hill, where she adds another rock to her cairn. Sophia is also a co-host of the White Dog Poetry Salon, which Penelope and her husband host in Portland, and a co-author of the forthcoming chapbook Sophia and Mister Walter Whitman.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring Wil Gibson October 8, 2020

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 October 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

Hosted by Christopher Luna, Toni Lumbrazo Luna, & Morgan Paige

Featuring Wil Gibson

7 pm

Thursday, October 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 us since 2015: https://nichewinebar.com

Wil Gibson currently lives in Humboldt County, California where the trees are big. He has had 5 collections published by kind people, and has been included in a number of anthologies and lit mags both online and in print, such as Marsh Hawk Review, Button Poetry, Midwestern Gothic, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Cascadia Rising, Collective Unrest, Yellow Chair Review and many more. He has twice been nominated for both a Pushcart and Best of the Net, and currently spearheads the Redwood Poetry Project. You can find links to books and more info at wilgibson.com