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Christopher Luna performs with Tyler Burba by Nathan Tompkins

Christopher Luna performs with Tyler Burba by Nathan Tompkins

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mid-April Poetry Newsletter

Hello poets and poetry lovers, There are so many events for National Poetry Month that I have another newsletter for you. I wanted to let you know that I have resigned from the Board of the WPA, primarily because I am too far away from Seattle to make most of their meetings. I also wanted to let you know that David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg will not be at the WPA Spring Festival, but they are still scheduled to be at Clark College and Cover to Cover Books on May 14. (Unfortunately, Joanne Kyger will not be accompanying them, as originally planned.) However, in order to help Meltzer and Rothenberg pay for expenses, we still need to raise $400-$500. Please contact me if you are able to help, or if you know anyone who might want to donate to the cause of bringing world-class poets to Vancouver, WA. If you’d like to know more about David Meltzer, visit For more info on Michael Rothenberg, go to or I would like to thank Nora Nichols and the other anonymous donors who have already contributed. Many thanks to David Abel for his fantastic reading Thursday at Cover to Cover Books. The pieces he performed were witty, thought-provoking, and inventive. One piece was sewn into a long ribbon, which David unfurled as he read it. We also had several musicians and many poets at the open mic, including a few first-timers. I would also like to thank Julio Appling, who accompanied me on bass. We performed my poem, “Ode to a seashell rediscovered” (written during Lorraine Healy’s Neruda workshop in April), and he played a Mingus tune as I read from Charles Mingus’ great memoir “Beneath the Underdog.” If you want to find out more about Julio and his great bluegrass band, The Student Loan, go to or Congratulations to Sage Cohen on the publication of her beautiful book, Writing the Life Poetic. I just received my copy, and it is filled with great ideas and poetry from many diverse sources including Brittany Baldwin, Paulann Petersen, Claire Sykes, Dan Raphael, Toni Partington, Mary Oliver, Frank O’Hara and more! When I think of Portland poets who have dedicated themselves to spreading the word and making the PNW safe for poetry, Sage is one of the first people who come to mind. Please visit or and order a copy of this great resource right away! My friend Sean Patrick Hill, who will soon be leaving the area, will give one of his last readings on Wednesday (see Item 1 below). I also hope you will join me on April 22, when I will be reading for the Verse in Person series at the NW Branch of the Multnomah county Library (see item 7 below). The aforementioned Julio Appling has kindly agreed to accompany me on bass that night as well. Finally, the great Dan Raphael (who, like Charles Mingus, is larger than life) just informed me of the following: “April 21st I’ll be reading at the Krakow Koffeehouse, 3990 N Interstate (at N Shaver, just up from the tiki bar), with Rosanne Parry and Christy Caballero. The show starts at 7pm and ends around 8:30. My one reading in Portland for national poetry month.” I would like to hear from those of you who have taken a look at my blog. I want it to be a useful resource for local writers. Please let me know what you think! Lots to see and hear. Enjoy National Poetry Month! Christopher Luna NATIONAL POETRY MONTH E-NEWSLETTER, PART TWO TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Sean Patrick Hill, Patrick Bocarde, and Lindsay Hill at the Press Club April 15 2. Trombonist & composer Michael Vlatkovich visits the NW (various dates/locations) 3. Show and Tell Gallery/Three Friends Coffee House Events 4/16/09-4/30/09 4. Em Space Book Arts Center Open House and Member Show April 18 5. Jane Glazer, Harold Johnson, Dennis McBride and Pat Vivian at the Fireside Room in Lake Oswego April 19 6. Location, an afternoon workshop by Paulann Petersen followed by an evening reading by Stephanie Lenox, Laura Weeks, and Paulann Petersen April 18 in Silverton, OR 7. Voice Catcher poetry editor and contributors on KBOO’s “Talking Earth” April 20/ Verse in Person Poetry & Music with LAURA WINTER, CHRISTOPHER LUNA, LEANNE GRABEL, J. STUART FESSANT at NW BRANCH OF THE MULTNOMAH COUNTY LIBRARY April 22 8. OSPA Spring conference with Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, Paul Hunter, John Morrison, and Sharon Wood Wortman April 24 and 25, in Portland. 9. Home for rent in Index. 1. Mountain Writers and Dan Raphael present Lindsay Hill Patrick Bocarde Sean Patrick Hill Wednesday, April 15 7:30 pm Press Club 2621 SE Clinton Come hear three poets who may liberate your range of tastes and perceptions: Lindsay Hill is intense, even at parties, but when language wakes you at 2:00 am, what can you do? His most recent books are NdjenFerno (Vatic Hum) and Contango (Singing Horse). Patrick Bocarde writes of alien invasion and failed relationships as if they were related. He's active on the local reading scene, including work on KBOO, and strongly deserves a new book. Sean Patrick Hill has been published widely, including the journals Exquisite Corpse, Willow Springs, New York Quarterly, and Redactions. 2. From David Abel: An all-too-uncommon chance to hear trombonist & composer Michael Vlatkovich -- four upcoming shows in Portland and Astoria, April 15-18 Michael Vlatkovich, Greg Scholl, & Mark Burdon Wednesday, April 15 9:00 pm Tugboat Brewing Co. 711 SW Ankeny St. ===== Call & Response: Dottie Grossman & Michael Vlatkovich; Lisa Radon & Tim DuRoche Thursday, April 16 8:30 p.m. Sliding scale admission Gallery Homeland 2505 SE 11th Ave. ===== Poet Dottie Grossman, Michael Vlatkovich, and Dave Storrs (drums/percussion) Friday, April 17 8:00 p.m. Astoria Visual Arts Center 453-A 11th Street (at Exchange St.) Astoria, OR ===== Rich Halley, Michael Vlatkovich, Andre St. James, & Carson Halley Saturday, April 18 9:00 pm Tugboat Brewing Co. 711 SW Ankeny St. 3. From Melissa Sillitoe: Hi Friends-- The Show and Tell Gallery is located at Everett Station Lofts: 625 NW Everett Street #231—a working/living art space community in Portland. Featuring visual, literary, and musical programming, Show and Tell Gallery Productions hosts free artistic events in public places and promotes collaborations between indie artists. Find out more about Show and Tell Gallery: or Keep up with event listings through Myspace: or Check out reviews of our events at: http:/ Show and Tell Gallery Productions 4/16/09-4/30/09 Here's what's happening for the next two weeks at Three Friends Coffee House and the Show and Tell Gallery. We hope to see you at some of these upcoming events! Mark your April Calendar: Three Friends Mondays Caffeinated Art Series: The Telling's Wayne Pernu and Michael Donhowe, 4.20.09, 7:00pm Three Friends Coffee House, 201 SE 12th Avenue Portland, Oregon, US Cost: FREE This week, your hostess Show and Tell matches up 3 performers who really should meet and perform together. Friends 1 and 2 are: Wayne Pernu and Michael Donhowe from the Telling. The Telling has been together since 2001. We’re a rock band with country overtones and count among our spiritual heirs Gram Parsons, the Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Lucinda Williams, and Warren Zevon.The as-yet untitled album we’re working on consists of 12 songs about modernist and post-modernist poets; prefacing each song on the record will be a poem by each the relevent poet. ........and they will be matched up with...a 3rd mystery guest! Check back, boys and girls! Show and Tell Open Mic, 4/20/09, 8:00pm Three Friends Coffee House, 201 SE 12th Avenue Portland, Oregon, US Cost: FREE You know, you know--this is the Portland community's open mic. With the casual comfort of the coffee shop as your backdrop, and a welcoming audience of artists and appreciators, standing on that stage is everything thrilling. You will be pod-cast so later you can show and tell with all your friends who couldn't make it. In the meantime, you'll enjoy the pleasure of performing with other passionate people and maybe making new friends in the process. Amateurs and verbal veterans alike are in high demand every Monday, so just jump and come do it. You know you're a star, so show us! Three Friends Mondays Caffeinated Art Series: Kristen Curry, 4.27.09, 7:00pm Three Friends Coffee House, 201 SE 12th Avenue Portland, Oregon, US Cost: FREE Caffeinated Art happens every Monday from 7-8 p.m. at Three Friends Coffee House when 3 creative friends present a musical/poetic/artistic show for you! Kristen Curry is tonight’s featured performer. Bios: Kristen Curry artist/poet/princess A self -taught artist and writer, Kristen engages and inspires with her presence, her honesty, and her rhythmic verbal offerrings. She writes, paints, and responds out of her heart from her own experience. She takes her patchwork life, and looks for beauty and meaning in the stitches. A Minnesota born modern mystic, she explores ancient wells and the regions of her heart, writing visual and verbal letters to herself, to God, to the people of her past and future in search of truth. Nikki O’Brien singer/songwriter/ sweetness "With a casual approach and a gentle spirit, Nikki is a small town Oregon girl who has travelled the world, and taken the time to write about it. On Streetlight, her Quiver debut album, she has presented six songs chockful of soulful honesty". This newlywed’s melodies are authentic offerings that are both simple and deep. Tasha vocalist/bassist/beauty This lanky, freeform songstress swims in soul as she sings the scriptures, shares her mantras, and experiments with looping, accompanied by her badass bass. The featured artists invite and encourage artmaking to take place during their performance. And would like to display them near the front during the open mic segment. (we’ll get a bulletin board or something) So bring your notebooks, sketchbooks, pens, whatever. Show and Tell Open Mic, 4/27/09, 8:00pm Three Friends Coffee House, 201 SE 12th Avenue Portland, Oregon, US Cost: FREE You know, you know--this is the Portland community's open mic. With the casual comfort of the coffee shop as your backdrop, and a welcoming audience of artists and appreciators, standing on that stage is everything thrilling. You will be pod-cast so later you can show and tell with all your friends who couldn't make it. In the meantime, you'll enjoy the pleasure of performing with other passionate people and maybe make new friends in the process. Amateurs and verbal veterans alike are in high demand every Monday, so just jump and come do it. You know you're a star, so show us! Submissions: Do you do art of any kind? Please do let us take a look and consider your creation(s) for one of our many events. Especially if you have a piece for Let's Play, send to attention Melissa at Where else is Show and Tell? * become a "Fan" of Show and Tell on Facebook or a "Friend" on Myspace; stay informally informed about indie art in our community: Hugs, Melissa Sillitoe, Host/Producer and Nikia Cummings, Marketing Coordinator Show and Tell Gallery: “Art. Caffeine. Collaboration. Good times.” 4. From David Abel Em Space Book Arts Center Open House and Member Show Saturday April 18 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. 407 SE Ivon St. Come visit the new 2,400 sf studio, which is filled with letterpress and bookbinding equipment. Check out the opening of our member show, featuring a wide range of book-related art and letterpress prints (show runs through May 31). The Open House will include tours of the space and equipment, a silent auction, raffle, libations, great food generously provided by Salt, Fire & Time, and the opportunity to pull a print on a big old press to take home. Located at the start of the Springwater Corridor trail in SE Portland, Em Space Book Arts Center offers artists and interested community members access to equipment and beautiful, bright studio space. Studio Memberships are currently available. For more information contact 5. From Joan Maiers Readings by a Remnant from Twelve Oregon Poets Jane Glazer, Harold Johnson, Dennis McBride and Pat Vivian will read their work on Sunday April 19 at 6:30 PM in the Fireside Room at 5065 Oswego Pointe Condominiums at a program hosted by Joan Maiers. Free and open to the public. Donations welcomed to support Haitian orphans. IMPORTANT! This month's location has changed from: Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe to: 5065 Foothills Drive Take Oswego Pointe entrance from State Street in Lake Oswego, follow Foothills Drive as if heading toward Foothills Park. Look for POETRY sign near Oswego Pointe Condominium clubhouse and swimming pool. Contact: 503-636-8955 or 503-697-7097 6. The Silverton Poetry Festival presents Location, an afternoon workshop by Paulann Petersen followed by an evening reading by Stephanie Lenox, Laura Weeks, and Paulann Petersen Saturday, April 18 Workshop: 1:00 - 4:30 pm Reading: 7:00 pm Gordon House Oregon Garden 879 W. Main St. Silverton, OR Oregon Garden’s Gordon House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s the only Wright-designed building in Oregon, and the only one in the Pacific Northwest that’s open to the public (for more information, see The Gordon House rent is donated by GH members in support of the Silverton Poetry Association. This year, Kathryn and Doug Collins are donating the house-rent for the workshop and reading. The workshop fee is $30. All levels welcome. Preregister by calling 503-873-2480 or by sending a check to the Silverton Poetry Association, 303 Coolidge Street, Silverton, OR 97381. 7. From Barbara La Morticella Talking Earth Monday April 20, 10-11 PM, KBOO More Like Music We all need a line against which to measure our wildness. The park is cut back along the path. I align my spine with the heavy bench, send my legs out around your waist as the sun heats a halo through your long black hair. Today I can understand how the scientists misjudged the universe's color for turquoise when really it is beige. The sun must have been streaming through the trees such that the calculations of space divided by matter became more like music. And when the rhythm lifted like a woman's skirt in summer wind, someone sang, as you do now, of the sky being cleared by a good hard rain. Then the universe compressed like two bodies dancng, perfected with the pressure of exchange, until the planetary percussion became a salsa. Leaning into the beat, those men reached further than who they were. Surrendered fact to abstraction. They got loose in their laboratories, pressed to the truth of the blue of turquoise until it was the only answer. Sage Cohen, VoiceCatcher, 2008 MONDAY APRIL 20, 10-11 PM PACIFIC TIME READINGS FROM VOICECATCHER ANTHOLOGY, KBOO, 90.7 FM PORTLAND The new VoiceCatcher anthology catches poetry and prose from 62 Portland women, known and unknown, seasoned and new. It's both an incubator for women's talent and proof of the generous spirit of many of the more established women writers in Portland. VoiceCatcher is a collective that aims to develop and nourish an inclusive community of women writers in Portland through close and careful editing, readings, public events, and publication of an annual anthology. Tonight poetry editor Sage Cohen brings a bevy of poets from the anthology to read their poems and talk about the enterprise. Barbara LaMorticella hosts. VIP READING WEDNESDAY APRIL 22, 7-8 PM: LAURA WINTER, CHRISTOPHER LUNA, LEANNE GRABEL, J. STUART FESSANT: POETRY AND MUSIC AT VERSE IN PERSON, NW BRANCH OF THE MULTNOMAH COUNTY LIBRARY, 23 & NORTHWEST THURMAN Overheard on the bus: #37 Bus Vancouver WA January 2004 “It's cold out there, isn't it?” “A little bit, but it ain't like Korea.” #25 St Johns October 27 2008 “You gotta give men and women a break from the routine. It even says so in the Bible. Even Jesus went off and took a sabbatical. People got to get off by themselves every once in a while. Paul did it. And the saints.” #4 Fourth Plain Vancouver October 29, 2008 “I thought people were forbidden on this planet. I'm in a good mood today. It's a pink world, and it's coming down.” Christopher Luna, from Ghost Town USA, Poems and Observations of Vancouver, Wa. This is not an Albatross Press, 2008 Visions Mixed Up by Juniper & Gin bitter taste of bile and bad water litters the ground white toes grab at dust with uncertainty buzzing head filled with grasshoppers and hornets clacking louder than my thoughts how can I crawl under a rock? my head is bigger than this desert. Laura Winter, from Coming Here to be Alone, Mountains & Rivers Press, 2008 Verse in Person celebrates poetry month with performance pieces by poet Leanne Grabel with J. Stuart Fessant on sax, and readings by poets with very different muses: Portlander Laura Winter and Christopher Luna from Vancouver. Wednesday April 22 from 7-8 PM at the NW Branch of the Multnomah County Library, 23 and NW Thurman. Free. Much of Christopher Luna's newest book, Ghost Town USA, was inspired by eavesdropping on snatched conversations in bus shelters and on the streets of Vancouver., Washington. Laura Winter's work feeds on deep listening to the silences and the sounds of the western landscape. Bridging the gap between tthese polar antipodes is poet and performance artist Leanne Grabel, whose latest appearance, in a duet with Steve Sander, won rave reviews in Hollywood this January at “The Bakery show.” Leanne is accompanied on sax by J. Stuart Fessant. Luna, poet, editor, and collage artist, is a graduate of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, CO. A native New Yorker, he currently lives in Vancouver, WA, where he is the host of a monthly open mic poetry series at Cover to Cover Books . Ghost Town USA-- Poems and Observations of Vancouver, Washington, is available at at Cover to Cover and Angst Gallery, or through the author. Laura Winter is the author of five books of poems. Her work is inspired by the deserts, rocks and waters of the west and by her love of improvisational music. Improvised music structures – soundscapes and silences - create an interesting tension between sound, words and silence in the landscape of her imagist poetry. Her poems have been set to music, used as liner notes for CDs, and translated and published in Germany. Her newest book, Coming Here To Be Alone, is a bilingual edition, with original poems and German translations. Winter publishes Take Out, an occasional “bag-a-zine” of writing, art and music from around the world. Leanne Grabel is a poet, spoken word performer and illustrator, co-founder of the legendary Cafe Lena. She currently is a full-time language and arts teacher at Rosemont Rehabilitation Center and School, and is working on a book of prose poems about her students at Rosemont. Author of four beautifully illustrated poetry collections, Leanne has written, produced and acted in full-length theatrical productions that include “Anger, the Musical,” “The Lighter Side of Chronic Depression, ” and “The Circus of Anguish and Mirth.” She has recently completed her first novel, “Brontosaurus.” J. Stuart Fessant is a Portland teacher, performer, mixed media collaborator, and producer. KBOO, 90.7 FM Portland, Oregon Now Broadcasting Live on the Web 8. From Steve Williams: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 23, 2009 Contact Marv Lurie Oregon State Poetry Association AWARD-WINNING AUTHORS/POETS TO BE FEATURED AT THE OSPA SPRING 2009 CONFERENCE Portland – The Oregon State Poetry Association (OSPA) will hold its Spring 2009 Conference on April 24-25 at two locations in Portland, OR and will feature three prominent guest speakers/workshop leaders: Ms. Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, author of two bestselling volumes on the art of poetry writing, “poemcrazy: freeing your life with words,” and more recently, “Foolsgold: Making Something from Nothing;” Mr. Paul Hunter, author of “Breaking Ground,” a recipient of the 2004 Washington State Book Award for poetry; and Mr. John C. Morrison, author of “Heaven of the Moment,” a finalist for the 2008 Oregon Book Award for poetry. The conference will begin on Friday, April 24th, with an evening of poetry to be held in the third floor gallery at Powell’s Books Downtown (10th and W. Burnside). The festivities will start at 6:30 p.m. with presentations by Ms. Wooldridge, Mr. Hunter, and Mr. Morrison. The evening will conclude with an open mic in which conference attendees will be invited to deliver a poem of their choosing. The Spring Conference events and workshops scheduled for Saturday, April 25th, will be held on the campus of Portland State University, at the Native American Student Center (710 SW Jackson St., between Broadway and Park Ave.). The day’s programs will begin at 8:00 a.m. with a continental breakfast. There will be three workshops offered throughout the day: “Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words” by Ms. Susan G. Wooldridge; “Liftoff & Touchdown – Oral Poetry in Public Presentation” by Mr. Paul Hunter; and “Model, Memories, and Mayhem – The Play of Generating Poetry” by John C. Morrison. Other program offerings for Saturday will include a book table featuring books, for display and sale, by conference speakers/leaders and conference attendees, and the announcement of the results of the Spring 2009 Poetry Contest. Lunch will be provided. The day’s activities are expected to conclude at 5:30 p.m. In addition to the other conference features and events, Ms. Sharon Wood-Wortman, author of “The Portland Bridge Book,” will be leading a bridge walking tour on Friday afternoon, April 24th, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Ms. Wood-Wortman’s two-hour tour, “Walking Bridges Using Poetry as a Compass,” will guide guests on a ½ to 1 mile walk to some of Portland’s Willamette River bridges, including a visit inside the operator’s tower of the 1926 Burnside Bridge. The cost of the tour, not included in the Spring Conference’s registration fees, is $20 for members and $25 for non-members, and will directly benefit the OSPA. Registration is limited and tour guests will meet in front of Powell’s Books Downtown at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, the 24th. Complete information regarding the OSPA Spring 2009 conference, including details concerning Friday night’s poetry festivities, Saturday’s conference schedule, workshop descriptions, workshop leaders’ biographies, the bridge walking tour, as well as information regarding lodging, parking, and a conference registration form can be found on the association’s web site at Conference registration fees are $45 for members and $55 for non-members. OSPA is a non-for-profit association whose mission is to bring together and nurture the widest possible community of Oregon poets; to help Oregon poets young and old develop their talents and skills; to stimulate, at the grass roots level, as statewide appreciation of poetry; and to raise public awareness of Oregon poets, past and present. Mark your calendars for the release of Peter Ludwin's new book A Guest In All Your Houses. April 23(Thursday) 7:00 p.m. King's Books 218 St. Helens Avenue Tacoma 9. Finally, Roy Seitz passed on this announcement about a rental in Index. Pass it on! Ok well...., If you wish or know someone. My neighbor has a very fine little cabin for rent in Index. Sweet place. In town. Great front porch. Town water, best in the land. River's right across the street. Wood floors with the right kind of squeaks. Views? yes. The local blue heron is contacted to show up at least twice a week. $450.00 a month 350.00 deposit month to month is: ok. Call Carol: 360-793-3991 Be well, Roy

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