In-person at Milwaukie Floral & Garden or watch on Zoom.
Share poetry! It’s that time of year for First Fridays!
We’re having in-person poetry readings again! Our Friday, October 7 event will conclude the 2022 season First Fridays events. Our First Friday events are co-sponsored by the Milwaukie Poetry Series and St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church.
This event is in person at Milwaukie Floral & Garden, 3306 SE Lake Rd. This is a new location and is approximately a half mile east of downtown Milwaukie on Lake Rd. It will also be a virtual event on Zoom.
Our Featured Readers are members of the Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic community. Christopher and Angelo Luna will read from their new book Exchanging Wisdom: A Guide for Parents of the Autonomous and from other work. Christopher served as the first Poet Laureate of Clark County, Washington. The other two featured readers are Toni Lumbrazo Luna and Erin Iwata. The featured readers will read for about 40 minutes, followed by an Open Mic.
Readers for the Open Mic must be in-person and anyone who would like to participate is welcome. If you want to read in the Open Mic, email Tom Hogan at email@example.com to register. Plan to read 1 or 2 poems. We will have another round of poems if time permits, depending on the number of participants and length of the poems.
Register to watch the event on Zoom at the Milwaukie Poetry Series website, www.milwaukiepoetryseries.com. You will receive a Zoom link prior to the event. The event will be recorded and available for viewing on demand on the Ledding Library YouTube Channel after the event.
Please call Tom Hogan at 503.819.8367 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this event or the Series. We hope you can join us. Thank you for participating, please be safe and well.
Sixteen Years: Enriching Milwaukie one poem at a time.
Donations can be made in person or through Christopher Luna’s PayPal account (email@example.com). Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.
The Ghost Town Poetry community respectfully encourages you to support Niche Wine Bar, whose owner, Leah Jackson, provided a home for the reading series from 2015-2020. Stop by their new location at 900 Washington, Suite 130 Vancouver, WA 98660: https://nichewinebar.com.
UPDATED Statement on Healthy Spaces from Art at the Cave: We want to provide a healthy space to enjoy art. We have been practicing safety precautions such as regular cleaning, social distancing and mask wearing.
As a result of the removal of the mask mandate effective March 12, 2022, we will no longer require the wearing of masks. We encourage you to continue to wear a mask if it makes you feel more comfortable, and we will supply masks and hand sanitizer at the door. As social distancing has become a norm, please be mindful some will still need a bit of personal space while inside the gallery. Art At The CAVE was established in 2017. Located at 108 E. Evergreen in downtown Vancouver, the CAVE is free and open to the public Tues-Sat, 10am-4pm, and on First Fridays when it remains open until 8:00pm. The gallery is also available to host events. Visit the website at artatthecave.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Later this year The Poetry Box will publish Exchanging Wisdom: A Guide for Parents of the Autonomous, featuring poems for, by, and about Christopher Luna’s son Angelo.
The poems in the book range from the time period when he was a toddler to pieces written in 2021. I couldn’t be prouder to co-author this book with my son, who has been such an inspiration to me. If you pre-order your copy now you will save two dollars off the cover price:
BY CHRISTOPHER & ANGELO LUNA
Pre-Order discount thru Oct 30, 2021 Scheduled for Release on Dec 1, 2021
Exchanging Wisdom features poems for and about Christopher’s son Angelo Luna, as well as a few pieces Angelo wrote for Christopher. The earliest poem was written when Angelo was three, and the most recent at age 21. Christopher endeavored to encourage his son to be an autonomous, freethinking individual. Angelo grew to become that and so much more. Taken as a whole, the poems in this collection track the development of Angelo’s personality and the strong bond between father and son.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Christopher Luna is a poet, editor, teacher, writing coach and collage artist. He served as the inaugural Poet Laureate of Clark County from 2013-2017. Luna 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 founded the popular LGBTQ+ friendly, all ages and uncensored Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic in Vancouver, WA, in 2004. Christopher Luna’s books include Message from the Vesselin a Dream (Flowstone Press, 2018), Brutal Glints of Moonlight, and The Flame Is Ours: The Letters of Stan Brakhage and Michael McClure 1961-1978.
Christopher believes that the parent-child power dynamic is inherently fascist, so he endeavored to raise his son to think for himself, question authority, and make his own decisions. He respected his son’s humanity enough to trust him to be responsible, to “allow” him his autonomy. Despite what some saw as tragic indulgence, Angelo grew up to be a sweet, kind, polite, philosophical, compassionate young man who will surely accomplish things his father could not. Christopher could not imagine being more proud of the person Angelo became.
Angelo Luna is a poet, son, and LEGO connoisseur. Originally from New York, with a migration to Washington as a young child, he grew up with a fiery bloodline and cold weather. Currently employed as a teller for Wells Fargo, he loves writing, working, and finance and is interested in what every human has to offer.
EARLY PRAISE FOR EXCHANGING WISDOM:
Christopher Luna is a true heir to the Beat and New York School traditions of candor and grandeur. This collaboration and celebration of life runs on impeccable timing and deep love. As Luna and his son Angelo exchange wisdom they also re-invent the meaning of open verse: these poems crack open the heart and spill the joy of parenthood into the world.
—Lisa Jarnot, author Robert Duncan, the Ambassador from Venus
One day you’re gonna have to…remind me how to believe in the basic goodness of all beings, Christopher Luna tells his son, Angelo, in his latest book, Exchanging Wisdom. More than a collection of father-son poems, Exchanging Wisdom is a record of gratitude. Luna knows that to be a parent is to be both teacher and pupil, vulnerable and responsible. In every poem Luna’s love beams: Like Lone Wolf and Cub we traversed…and you reminded me that magic is real…. These poems contemplate our never-ending wars, sickness, apathy, and art-making through the lens of a deeply reverent father. For some, being a parent, being the adult, is synonymous with having the answers. Luna, a Buddhist poet, community-organizer, and activist, reminds us that questioning is the only way to truth. What are you afraid to find? he wonders. Are these the right questions to ask? In these mind- and heart-opening poems Luna invites us to experience pure joy and wonder again through memory and thankfulness. Once you’ve opened those doors/ you need never do so again, asserts Luna. Once father you cannot go back to your former life. Thankfully for us, Luna never did.
—Claudia F. Savage, author of Bruising Continents
In this triumphant call-and-response love letter between father and son, the epic journey of the heart is explored in wisdom, witness, wonder, actualization, and kindness. We accompany two speakers in a multi-generational reckoning of what it means to be human, to be family, to embody and take forward a love which will outlive us all. I wept at the depth of connection I traveled in this lifesaving, life-affirming journey. As father and son are eternally swapping roles as student or teacher, together they inherit themselves. Angelo (the son) reflects in a poem to Christopher (his father) on his birthday, …focus on the love. That’s the real stuff the pure stuff…The world needs more of this…This collection gives it to us real and pure. Our world is so much better for it.
—Sage Cohen, author of Fierce on the Page
Christopher Luna always writes with his heart on a swivel, keeping watch for moments of significance, either now or some distance from now. But Exchanging Wisdom is more than just a love letter to parenthood or salvation or even to his son. In the right light, this book is a star map to guide the traveler. Drink it all in. Use both hands if you have to.
—Tommy Gaffney, author Three Beers from Oblivion and Whiskey Days
I will also have a poem in the next issue of The Poeming Pigeon’s From Pandemic to Protest issue, which is available for pre-order at a special price through September 15:
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.
NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond everyone’s control, this month’s reading will take place over Zoom. Email email@example.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
Tiffany Burba will be reading from Meet Me Where I Left You, her debut volume from Printed Matter Vancouver, at two readings in Portland in the coming months. Tiffany’s reading in March will also feature Printed Matter Vancouver Publisher/Editor Toni Partington. Please come out to support Tiffany and pick up a copy of her book.
Tiffany Burba, Leah Noble Davidson, and Lynn Knapp
MEET ME WHERE I LEFT YOU, the debut collection of poetry and short prose by Tiffany Burba, captures her real and imagined New York City adventures of love, lust, museums, jazz, food, and running in Central Park. She has an amazing love affair with the City and its inhabitants stretching from Brooklyn to Queens, the Bronx to Manhattan, and all points between. Living on whiskey kisses, a subway pass, and everything from pizza to soup dumplings, Burba fills and breaks her heart and ours along the way. Meet Me Where I Left You explores her arrivals and departures, her dreams of leaving Pacific Northwest forests for the taxi rides and street grime of New York City, her love of family and friends, and her unashamed quest for passion. (Published by Printed Matter Vancouver)
DOOR explores one of the oldest words in the human language in a way that only Leah Noble Davidson can do. Braking the word into four co-existing story lines, Davidson canvases the meaning of the word “door” through hard science, relationships, psychology, and dissected language itself. The book is not merely a collection of poems, but an experience in and of itself, wherein the reader falls through doors within doors at every turn. Built to be read over and over again, DOOR is riddled with quotes and inserts, footnotes, and hidden patterns that hold-up an oddly relatable and honest perspective of the world as we know it. (Published by University of Hell Press)
GIVING GROUND pulses with traffic and teems with life, leading us through tangled streets, intertwined lives. We find a place of overgrown gardens, alleys in bloom, pheasants in flight, rabbits, stray cats, and Spanish love songs, a place where the ordinary appears in an extraordinary light. With deft narrative strokes, Giving Ground reveals a place and its people, lives balanced on the shifting ground of language and culture. Like the place, Lynn Knapp’s poems are wry, real, and poignant. (Published by The Poetry Box®)
A monthly storytelling showcase about grief, loss and love. Gather in community with others who share grief in all forms and manifestations. Come ready to cry, laugh, listen and hold space for yourself and others. Trigger warning, because Grief. Content not edited for language or topic.
Doors open at 7pm, Readings begin at 7:30pm
Free admission! Full Bar!
Please consider bringing canned goods or cold weather clothing/blankets to donate to the Post 134 food & clothing pantry, which serves local veterans, homeless and anyone in need.