Student in Christopher Luna’s Poetry Writing class at Multnomah Arts Center
Poetry, a longtime friend, was mostly on the shelf until I began this class. Coming here took me on a dive into a deeper pool, a place where I would float wide-eyed at what swam by, a skiff laden with poems peeling off in the wind, language that was edible, satisfying hunger, calming the spirit, honoring the breathless, the mystical and mysterious.
Here was the breadth of human experience in snapshots, tiny home movies of distilled experience. Before me the essence of whole worlds, of memory and dreams laid bare — a marriage, a ruptured childhood, a calling, blinding wonder and profound reverence. Within a few stanzas I sank into my own emotional ocean where feeling, knowing and connecting and reconnecting moved in the eddies of poems Christopher brought to teach us, in those of my fellow students and, ultimately, in words that arrived from within me.
Poetry gives us a container for our voices, a bridge to one another that is so quick and so deep it’s almost impossible not to see yourself in the other. In this class, Christopher creates this bridge between students, supporting each person’s writing and voice, gently evoking responses spoken with respect and care, and most remarkably, building true community that each of us recognizes as a rare gift. To be in this class is to learn, to wonder, to laugh, to cry and to want more poetry in your life.
Student in Christopher Luna’s Memoir Writing class at Clark College
Christopher creates a relaxed and nurturing classroom atmosphere for his memoir writing students. He offers constructive criticism without judgment and encourages others to freely and kindly provide feedback to their fellow students. As a result, students learn to trust Christopher and one another to help guide their writing progress.
Without a doubt, participation in Christopher’s class has helped me to become less self-conscious, freer and happier in telling my stories.
Student in Christopher Luna’s poetry and memoir writing classes
I love taking classes with Christopher. From the moment you walk into the room, you see and feel his passion for literature. His zest transfers to his students. It doesn’t matter where you are on your writing path, he encourages and challenges you. Christopher holds a safe space for writers to share their work.
I wanted to publish a hardcover book of my favorite poems for family and friends. My first step was to retain Christopher and Toni as editors. Along with comments on almost every poem, their most valuable contribution was, in my opinion, to point out the “weak” ones. There were five and I deleted all of them. Deep December was published by lulu.com in January 2018. In addition, Christopher’s guidance, encouragement and example were invaluable. Thank you so much.
Thank you so much for the support and professionalism you have given me on this three year journey writing my memoir. Your compassion was always in evidence, but it never overshadowed the gentle prodding in regards to pace, structure, grammar and content that was required to make my piece the best it could be. The fact that you both are great writers yourselves certainly didn’t hurt. My proof of your ability to balance empathy with critique is obvious. I have finished the memoir.
Now, on to the fine tuning!
Thanks again Christopher, Toni, and Printed Matter Vancouver.
I surprised myself by writing a 300-page memoir with encouragement from Christopher in his Memoir Writing class. I needed help with editing and I wanted feedback, so I enlisted Toni and Christopher to help me with the manuscript. They were very flexible and clear as to what services they could provide. I appreciated that as I had no experience with editing at all. Also, as we worked together, they were diligent about asking me if I wanted additional help or needed other input. It was easy to communicate with them and ask questions; they are not nit-picky. Finally their general enthusiasm made me feel as if my writing efforts were worthy. I wholeheartedly recommend their services.