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Christopher Luna by Alisha Jucevic for the Columbian

Christopher Luna by Alisha Jucevic for the Columbian
Christopher Luna by Alisha Jucevic for the Columbian

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Above: David Meltzer and the Rabbles at Shelldance
Christopher Luna at Shelldance
More photos below and to the right.
Poets and supporters of poetry, I must begin with a big thank you to David Madgalene for organizing three great poetry events in Northern California. The Shelldance festival (Sat. August 29th) was incredible: several hours of music and poetry in an absolutely gorgeous setting. The Shelldance Orchid Gardens are incredible: Many thanks to Nancy Victoria Davis and Cosmos for being such gracious hosts. I enjoyed seeing old friends like fellow Kerouac School alum Natascha Bruckner, and hearing great work from people I had not heard such as Jennifer Barone ( and Jym Marks.
Here is a link to some of the pictures that Jennifer Barone took of the event (
Toni, Eileen, and I all delivered good sets accompanied by Steve Shain, an excellent bass player ( It was exciting to watch my friends step things up for a new audience. I had the privilege of introducing San Francisco poet Neeli Cherkovski, who read an excellent piece about being 64. Then my co-emcee and partner-in-crime David Madgalene stunned us with the tale of an enthusiastic Stevie Ray Vaughan fan and a mini-musical romance based on true events that took place in Chinatown, accompanied by Judy Irwin on keyboards. One of the reasons I have loved David since I first saw him read at Naropa in 1997 is that he is willing to try things that others simply do not possess the courage to pull off. His performances are hilarious and astounding. He continues to thrill and surprise me. Then came the main event—a preview of the upcoming Rockpile tour (see item 6 below or go to First Michael Rothenberg, Terri Carrion, and the Rabbles (, a great experimental rock band, blew us away with an epic, joyful, and varied piece which elicited whoops of approval from the audience. Next, David Meltzer ( and the Rabbles brought it home, with an improvised blues and a transcendent poem about Lester Young, Bird, and jazz that left me uplifted and weeping. I must tell you what a gift Meltzer is. Despite some health issues, he stayed for the entire program, which lasted more than six hours. I have never performed for a more engaged and focused audience member. When you look out to see David Meltzer smiling back at you, nodding, you know he’s with you, and you realize that you have never read poetry to anyone who possesses his level of attention. Meltzer is also an incredibly charming, generous, and supportive man, whose willingness to encourage writers is touching. Take a look at the Rockpile tour schedule below (Item 6), and forward it on to friends you may have in the cities Meltzer and Rothenberg are visiting. Madgalene and Rothenberg are planning to make this an annual event, so stay tuned. Many thanks to Jean Bartlett, a freelancer for the San Jose Mercury News, who wrote two pieces on the event. I spoke to Jean briefly at Shelldance, and she is very supportive of what we were trying to do: On Sunday (Aug. 30th) we read round-robin style with about twenty people from all over the area on and beneath the bridge in Guerneville, a beautiful town on the Russian River that is the strangest mix of open homosexuality and slightly threatening street rat culture. Yet the two groups seem to co-exist. We had some interesting reactions to our street poetry, but most people just walked on by, enjoying the weather. Although we were our own audience (with a few exceptions), we had a great time sharing poems dealing with subjects including America, loss, bridges, and rock and roll. The final reading (Monday night Aug. 31st) of our tour was at Café Greco in San Francisco’s North Beach, just up the street from City Lights Bookstore. Before the reading, we hung with Neeli outside Café Trieste, where we chatted with local poets including Jack Hirschman. I also said hello to the experimental filmmaker Dominic Angerame ( who, like me, knew Stan Brakhage. The reading at Café Greco is part of an ongoing series hosted by Phillip Hackett ( David, Judy, Eileen, Toni, and I all nailed it again, and enjoyed well-delivered poems from Mark Eckert, Mark Kockinos, and Neeli Cherkovski, who later emailed to express his appreciation for our “wild and wondrous and loving crew.” Neeli and I are working on bringing him to Vancouver in October. Toni and I also had the pleasure of meeting poet Ed Coletti. Please take a look at his blogs (item 5) and post your comments. All in all, it was a great weekend. We made many new friends, and were very happy with how our work was received. I am very grateful to David Madgalene for all his hard work organizing these events, and for making the three of us from Vancouver feel welcome. ********************* Please stop by Angst Gallery ( on Main Street in Vancouver to see “Words,” a show celebrating collaborations between poets, songwriters, musicians, and painters. I have some collaborative pieces with Harry Lane and Erin Madarang in the show, which also features work by Toni and Eileen. ********************** From Shawn Sorensen: “Author and poet Willa Schneberg will make an upcoming special appearance featuring her book Storytelling in Cambodia. From 1992-1993, she worked for the U.N. in Phnom Penh. "Schneberg is a poet who boldly faces evil... The wisdom underpinning her poems is fully earned," writes author David Ray. Schneberg's book links haunting, beautiful pieces describing the country from its mythic times to its first free elections. She will read at Barnes & Noble Vancouver (7700 NE Fourth Plain Blvd., 98662) Wednesday, Sept. 9th at 7 pm. Free treats and open mic included. Email for more information. Hosted by Shawn Sorensen.” ********************** This Thursday, I am honored to present the book launch for Eileen Elliott’s Prodigal Cowgirl. Eileen and I have known each other for several years, and I am privileged to have supported her through the long and arduous process of selecting the work that would appear in this book, so I don’t mind telling you that it kicks ass. Those of you who are regulars at Cover to Cover already know what a great performer she is. Please join us: Open Mic Poetry hosted by Christopher Luna 7:00pm Thursday, September 10, 2009 & every second Thursday Cover to Cover Books 1817 Main Street, Vancouver McLoughlin Blvd. & Main Street “always all ages and uncensored” For more info call 514-0358 or 910-1066 With our featured reader, Eileen Elliott: Eileen Davis Elliott came from a 1950's Midwest isolation still reeling from the Great Depression and World War II, and has been a time traveler ever since. She has explored the emerging Eastern Europe, women moving from school marms to combat pilots, and her own spirituality, stopping at Buddhism, shamanistic ideas, and revisiting the wisdom of the Golden Rule. She is a psychologist, (PhD from University of Missouri), artist (self-taught), and writer of prose and poetry. She also makes a passable apple pie and has recently taken up mah jongg. Prodigal Cowgirl is a collection of 120 poems summarizing a lifetime of seeking and occasional resolution with the world including the rural midwest, Central Europe emerging from the Cold War, and the guy on the freeway off ramp. This book asks the questions of who we are and what we might want to do about it. Prodigal Cowgirl is available for $14.99 (or $10 download) from or by e-mailing the author at: From CROW’S NEST IN CORN FIELD Long ago, when a family could make it on a quarter-section I would climb our windmill by the south pasture Every time Dad sent Ma to town To buy parts for mower Or the combine Or whatever else lost heart and abandoned him before the final round I would hang on the ladder by one crooked elbow And lean way, way out Filling myself up with the emptiness of the place The view of flat, and clean, and corn stalks everywhere I’d drink in white butterflies And road ditches of wild roses And hums of tiny insects On adventures of their own ******************************* Then, on Saturday, September 12 at noon, Eileen, Toni, and I will be reading together again as part of the Market Day Poetry Series at St. Johns Booksellers, curated by Dan Raphael. Toni will be reading from a new chapbook of poems entitled Jesus Is a Gas. Here is Dan Raphael’s announcement about the series: St Johns Booksellers 8622 N. Lombard 503-283-0032 The Market Day Poetry Series is a collaboration between St. Johns Booksellers and the new St. Johns Farmers' Market (located in the nearby plaza), taking place each Saturday at noon during the market season. The St Johns farmers market closes 9/26, so we still have 3 readings to go at St Johns Booksellers (8622 n lombard) at noon 9/12- Christopher Luna reads with Eileen Elliott (her new book Prodigal Cowgirl) and Toni Partington (new book Jesus is a Gas.) 9/19- dan raphael with Dennis McBride and Nolan Calish 9/26- barbara lamorticella, Judith Arcana and Frances Payne Adler Many thanks to Nena, and her wonderful store; to Laura for asking me about doing this series; and especially to all those who've gone all the way up to st johns for the reading, if not for the wonderful scene there at themarket and the small town feel of St Johns dan Keep spreading the word, Christopher SEPTEMBER POETRY E-NEWSLETTER TABLE OF CONTENTS Show and Tell Gallery and Three Friends Reading Schedule (9/1-15) Article about David Hill in the Columbian Peter Sears workshop at Writers Dojo begins September 10 LITFUSE September 25-27 in Tieton, WA with Charles Potts, George Bowering, & Mimi Allin Two blogs by poet Ed Coletti David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg’s Rockpile Tour Schedule Caesura Poetry Contest Open mic at WSU Tri-Cities 1. 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 Staff: Melissa Sillitoe, Producer/Hostess Nikia Cummings, Marketing Coordinator Luke Lefler, Digital Media Producer Katiecat, Gallery Cat Show and Tell Gallery Productions We hope to see you at some of these upcoming events! Check out the attached pictures of what's been going down!! The Regular Event Run-Down: Three Friends Mondays Caffeinated Art Series: "Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Art" is a weekly event for which three talented friends put together a combination of music, poetry, comedy, and/or live art to present a performance for you. Every Monday is unique, and sometimes even brings strangers together to collaborate creatively. Poets, singers, cellists, bluegrass guitarists, comedy sketch groups, bands, and painters have all graced the stage, and there are always sweet surprises! Even better, there is no cover charge. Simply show up at Three Friends Coffee House, 201 SE 12th Avenue (cross street is Ash), relax with a treat, and enjoy the show! Performances start at 7 sharp. The event is hosted by Show and Tell Gallery Productions. If you are a performer or guest, please consider staying to support the artists who perform at the Open Mic immediately after the Caffeinated Art series, the variety is unbelievable! Let's Play Sundays Series: Let's Play is a laid-back event that happens every other Sunday. A group of people gathers on the couches at the coffee house with a treat, and ready to read. Often inviting local writers, and sometimes reading a classic for some throwback fun, we keep it casual. No acting or play-writing experience necessary, all you need is a fun attitude! Show and Tell Open Mic: Every Monday following the Caffeinated Art series, creative people take numbers and hit the stage to Show and Tell, well, whatever really. This event provides an open and inviting forum for artists of all types to shine and share their stuff. We've had music, live painting, poetry, journal entries, emails, blonde jokes, and more... Because of this format, every week is fresh with unexpected surprises. You don't know what will happen next, and won't want to miss it! Don't wait; sign-up is at 8. 9/14/2009, 7:00pm, 3 Friends Mondays Caffeinated Art: The Blair Rich Project Three Friends Coffee House 201 SE 12th and Ash Republic of Portland, US $FREE$ Tonight: Rich Vail Mackin and Blair Vail Mackin (reading and playing as the Blair-Rich Project) and poet Christine Homistu White. The Show and Tell Open Mic follows; sign-up at 8 p.m., bring 7 minutes of any format of art to share. Hugs, Show and Tell Gallery 9/14/2009, 8:15pm, Show and Tell Open Mic 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 If you missed Mondays, you can simply click this link and check out the talent that happened on Show and Tell's Three Friends Stage during previous weeks: Hugs, Melissa Sillitoe, Host/Producer and Nikia Cummings, Marketing Coordinator Show and Tell Gallery: “Art. Caffeine. Community. Good times.” 2. Bits 'n' Pieces: Local man ‘Consumed' by poetry Sunday, September 6 6:25 p.m. Vancouver poet and humorist David Hill, author of "Consumed," will speak at Wordstock this fall. David Hill Vancouver poet and humorist In David Hill's verse collection, "Consumed," the title aptly summarizes the focus of the 68 poems contained within."Basically, it's about life in the modern age, and the different things people consume and are consumed by. Food and drink, love and sex, globalization," said Hill, a 37-year-old freelance editor and writer. Hill originally hails from England but moved to Vancouver in 2007."Consumed" was published last year by KenArnoldBooks and contains poems Hill has written over the past few years, many of them humorous. One such poem, "Bachelor Meal," sums up in four lines the quintessential meal of the unmarried man: bacon and bread, fried, with mushrooms on the side.Hill will read from "Consumed" on Oct. 10 as part of Portland's Wordstock festival. He'll also share some samples of his travel journalism and excerpts from "Voyage to Faremido," a collaborative project with Portland-based composer Gregory Vajda, resident conductor of the Oregon Symphony. That composition will premiere in Portland by the Third Angle New Music Ensemble at Reed College in January.Hill collaborated on the spoken-word components of "Voyage to Faremido," and that wasn't the first time he's lent his talents to musicians. Hill, who studied German and Russian languages and literature at the University of Oxford in England, also translates and writes lyrics for the English-language releases of the Hungarian folk-rock band Little Cow. 3. Peter Sears Workshop at the Writers Dojo Peter Sears has not taught a workshop in Portland in seven years. This workshop is not for beginners. It is limited to nine students. He says, "The poet will read his or her poem and will discuss strengths and strategies for possibly improving the poem. Please bring ten copies of one poem to the first class, plus single copies of two other poems. During this first class, I will assemble the worksheet for the second class and hand it out before you leave. This way, you can read the whole worksheet before returning to class, and; as you continue to bring in new poems and revisions, there will be a new worksheet for each class. For those of you working on a chapbook or a full ms, you may have three poems on a worksheet and the workshop group (plus you and me) will simply rank them one, two, and three and pass on their rankings to you. If there is time left after we gather the rankings, you would choose one of the poems for discussion." September 10 - October 29 Eight Thursdays, 7-10 pm cost: $240 Peter Sears teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Pacific University. His poems have appeared in national magazines and newspapers: Saturday Review, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Mademoiselle, The Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones, and Rolling Stone. His poems have also appeared in literary magazines; Field, Southern Poetry Review, Northwest Review, Zyzzyva, Poetry Northwest, Ploughshares, Antioch Review, New Letters, Iowa Review, and Seneca Review. His book "The Brink" was recently named by the Oregon State Library one of Oregon's best 150 books. "The Brink" won the Peregrine-Smith Poetry Contest and then the Western States Poetry Award in 2000. His fifth chapbook "Luge" came out last June, and his next full-length book "Green Diver" is due out in November, 2009. He came to Oregon in the mid 70's to teach creative writing at Reed College. Considerations There is plenty of free street parking near the Dojo. No shoes are worn inside the Dojo. Slippers welcome. No smoking is allowed on the property. Unfortunately, Writers' Dojo is not wheelchair accessible. Just blocks from bus routes 17, 44, 4, 75, and 16. See a map and directions to Writers' Dojo. 4. LiTFUSE combines writing, improvisation, meditation, camaraderie, natural beauty & readings to ignite your muse. 2009 Amazing Faculty: George Bowering Canada’s Poet Laureate emeritus Carolyne Wright American Book Award winner Judith Roche American Book Award winner Charles Potts Washington Poets Ass’n Lifetime Achievement Award Tara Hardy Seattle Grand Slam Champ Mike Hickey Seattle Poet Populist AK Mimi Allin Poetess of Green Lake Leonard Orr TS Eliot & Blue Lynx Prizes Finalist Carol Trenga movement & meditation for the creative spirit Swil Kanim musical muse September 25-27 * Tieton, WA $120 early registration (includes Saturday banquet) / $130 after Sept. 11 Friday Master Class with George Bowering, $50 ($75 if not registered for LiTFUSE weekend) Registration and schedule at 5. Poet, Essayist and Painter Ed Coletti graduated from Georgetown University and the Creative Writing Masters Program at San Francisco State University (under Robert Creeley). He has published several books of poetry and recently has had work published in divide (Univ. of Colorado), Lilliput Review, Big Bridge, Blueline , The New Verse News, Jerry Jazz Musician, The Cherry Blossom Review, Parting Gifts, and the anthology of Italian-American poets (with Ferlighetti, DiPrima, et al) titled Avanti Popolo edited by James Tracy (Manic D Press). He is editor of Round Barn Press. Ed lives with his wife Joyce in Santa Rosa, California where he operates the respected Bay Area-wide Poetry Azul Reading Series. His internet presence includes “Ed Coletti’s P3” and also “No Money In Poetry.” I think you'll enjoy Ed Coletti's P3. It's not just a typical self-absorbed blog. Each time I post I offer one each Political, Philosophical, and Poetical piece - not typically about me. When you hit the link below, you also might want to browse through past postings. However, I'd recommend that you make any comments (encouraged) through the top one where comments are more likely to be read. I'm also sending along this notification of a separate blog which I reserve exclusively for poetry matters. It's (ed coletti's) No Money In Poetry. Please take a look and feel free to comment. 6. ROCKPILE TOUR CALENDAR 2009 CHECK OUT THE ROCKPILE WEBSITE AT LOS ANGELES Rockpile Performance Thursday, October 8th 7:00pm The Hammer Museum Billy Wilder Theater 10899 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90024 Phone: 310.443.7000 ADMISSION: free David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg with Theo Saunders (piano), Johnny Lee Schell(guitar), John B. Williams(bass), Joe Sublette(saxophone), Debra Dobkin (drums and percussion). ALBUQUERQUE Rockpile Performance Saturday, October 17th 7:30 pm Outpost Performance Space 210 Yale SE • 2 blocks south of Central Albuquerque, NM 87196 (505) 268-0044 ADMISSION: $7, $5 dollars for members, (Outpost accepts phone orders as well as in-person sales at the Outpost Performance Space Box Office Hours: 2:00-5:30pm—Monday-Friday and 1 hr before each show at the door David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg with Thunderbird Poetry Orkestra: JB Bryan, alto saxophone, rumba box, rattles; Mark Weber, hubcapaphone & glockenspiel; Leif Rustebakke, koto, hurdy gurdy, percussion; Jon Baldwin, cornet; Mark LeClaire, cello; Daisy Kates, mellophone, percussion; Lou Liberty, taiko, little instruments; Jim Burbank, djembe, didgeridoo, wooden flutes; John Tritica, rain stick, cowhorn rattle, percussion; Riha Rothberg, balafon & percussion; plus special guest Terri Carrion, accordion. NEW ORLEANS Rockpile Performance Sun, October 25th 8PM Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. New Orleans, Louisiana 70113 (504) 827-5858 or (504) 352-1150 ADMISSON: all events are by donation - $7 general / $6 students & seniors / $5 Zeitgeist members /Patrons & Children 15 and under free (unless otherwise indicated) David Meltzer, Michael Rothenberg and, Blodie with members of The Dirty Dozen Brass Band including Gregory Davis (trumpet), Roger Lewis (baritone sax), Terence Higgins (drums), Julius McKee (sousaphone), and Jake Eckert (guitar). WASHINGTON, DC Sunday, November 1st, 2pm – 3:30 The Writer’s Center 4508 Walsh Street Bethesda, MD 20815 (301)654-8664 ADMISSION: free "All About Rockpile," with David Meltzer, Michael Rothenberg, and Burnett Thompson &The New Columbia Orchestra. WASHINGTON, DC Rockpile Performance Wednesday, November 4th, 9pm-11pm Busboys and Poets: “Hump Day Groovez” 2021 14 St. NW Washington, DC 20009 202-387-9757 ADMISSION: 10 dollars at the door David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg with Burnett Thompson and The New Columbia Orchestra NEW YORK CITY Saturday, November 7th 2-5pm Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church Parish Hall 131 E. 10th St.(& 2nd Ave.) Manhattan, NY ADMISSION: free ROCKPILE Symposium: David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg host a discussion on "Art and Activism, Poetry, Music and The Troubadour Tradition, Censorship and The Academy, Community and Collaboration: Open discussion with Ammiel Alcalay, Teresa Carrion, Jim Christy, Marty Ehrlich, Michael Franklin, Murat Nemat-Nejat, Wanda Phipps, Robert Priest, Harris Schiff, Suzi Winson and Bill Zavatsky. We welcome audience participation. Moderator: Jim Feast. Refreshments Monday, November 9th, 12:30-2pm Segal Theater The Center for the Humanities The Graduate Center, CUNY 365 Fifth Avenue, Room 5103 New York, NY 10016 212-817-2005 ADMISSION: free ROCKPILE- Poetry and Music and The Troubadour Tradition A Discussion with David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg hosted by David Henderson and Ammiel Alcalay. NEW YORK CITY Rockpile Performance Monday, November 9th 8pm The Gershwin Hotel 7 East 27th Street New York, NY 10016 (212)545-8000 ADMISSION: $10 at the door David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg with Marty Ehrlich (multi-reed player), Lindsey Horner (bass), Bill Zavatsky (piano), Michael Stephans (drums) ROCHESTER November 11th, 4-5:15 pm David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg read and discuss ROCKPILE Rochester Institute of Technology College of Liberal Arts Faculty Lounge Bldg. 6, Rm 1251 92 Lomb Memorial Dr Rochester, NY (585) 475-4922 ADMISSION: free November 11th, 7pm David Meltzer, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion Reading at: Writers and Books 740 University Ave Rochester, NY (585) 473-2590 ADMISSION: free November 12th, 10:30 am Rochester Institute of Technology lecture Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion class on “Editing The Literary Magazine” Rochester Institute of Technology 92 Lomb Memorial Dr. Rochester, NY ADMISSION: free BUFFALO, NY November 12th, 7PM David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg reading Just Buffalo @ WNYBAC Western New York Book Arts Center 468 Washington St. @ Mohawk Place 2nd Floor Buffalo, NY 14203 ADMISSION: free CHICAGO Rockpile Performance Thursday, November 19, 8pm- 12pm The Hideout 1354 W Wabansia Chicago, Il 60622 773.227.4433 ADMISSION: 10 dollars at the door (all shows 21 & over unless stated otherwise advance tickets online or by phone at 866.468.3401) Poetry & Jazz Festival with ROCKPILE: David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg perform with The Spider Trio and The Bob Malone Band and special guests Art Lange, Ed Roberson, Francesco Levato, Larry Sawyer, Dan Godston Band and Terri Carrion. ST. LOUIS Monday, November 23rd 6pm Untamed Ink, Under and Above Ground: A Publication Celebration hosted by David Meltzer, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion Lindenwood University, LCIE auditorium. ADMISSION: free ST. LOUIS Rockpile Performance November 24th 7:30-11pm Regional Arts Commission Performance Space 6128 Delmar Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63112-1204 (314) 863-5811 ADMISSION: free David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg with Zimbabwe Nkenya (Bass), Dave Black ( guitar), Bob Malone (piano), Michael Franklin, Shirley LeFlore, Michael Castro, K. Curtis Lyle and David Jackson (assorted percussion and electronics), Alexander Balogh, Sean Arnold, Terri Carrion, Howard Schwartz, and Philip Gounis. 7. Caesura, the literary magazine of Poetry Center San Jose, is running its first poetry contest in years! See below for general guidelines, and check for full details. Best, Erica Goss co-editor, Caesura POETRY CONTEST $500 PRIZE AND PUBLICATION The winner will be published in the Spring 2010 issue of: CAESURA The literary journal of Poetry Center San Jose Final Judge: Nils Peterson, Poet Laureate, Santa Clara County Entry fee: $10 for three poems Submission Period: 8/17/09 – 10/17/09 Send submissions and entry fee to Caesura Contest, P. O. Box 33145, Los Gatos, CA 95031 8. Finally, Len Orr would like you to know about his First Thursday open mic at WSU Tri-citites:

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