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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

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cohen, Cherkovski, Bukowski, and The Bridge Lady: Poetry E-Newsletter October 2009

Hello everyone,

Many thanks to for publishing the following poems:

“The Buddha of Independence Day”

“Lost Arts”

“minor convergence” (Ghost Town, USA 2008)

“things get serious in Ghost Town” (Ghost Town, USA 2008)
Please see item 11 below for information on how to submit to OutwardLink.
We have two exciting poetry events this month. I hope to see you at one or both of these:
Open Mic Poetry
hosted by Christopher Luna
7:00pm Thursday, October 8, 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, Sage Cohen, author of Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry (Writers Digest Books, 2009, $18.99) and the poetry collection Like the Heart, the World (15.95). She writes four monthly columns about the craft and business of writing and serves as Poetry Editor for VoiceCatcher 4. Co-curator of a monthly reading series at Barnes & Noble, Sage teaches the online class Poetry for the People. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and awarded a Soapstone residency.

Sage is publisher of the Writing the Life Poetic blog and zine at! To learn more, visit
If I've reached for your lines
By Sage Cohen
If I've reached for your lines (I have) and cupped in each hollow a tender word (I will), the fullness of night that turns in blades through this darkness will give me something I can follow, some net of stars that will hold me closer than I know how to be held. And into that great sentence unfurling to paragraph into the dream that our bodies weave together, too heavy to contain what we know, too impossible to line our shelves with the sturdy preservatives of time and tomorrow, will be the moment unadorned, light as a nightgown, empty as a name.

Then, on the fourth Thursday:
Open Mic Poetry
hosted by Christopher Luna

7:00pm Thursday, October 29, 2009
Cover to Cover Books
1817 Main Street, Vancouver
McLoughlin Blvd. & Main Street
With our featured reader, Neeli Cherkovski, a longtime contributor to the West Coast literary scene. Emerging from the LA underground of the Sixties, Cherkovski, is an applauded poet, critic and literary biographer. He has written ten books of poetry, including the award winning Leaning Against Time, Elegy for Bob Kaufman and Animal; he is also the author of two acclaimed biographies, Bukowski: A Life and Ferlinghetti: A Biography; his book, Whitman’s Wild Children (a collection of critical memoirs), has become an underground classic.

In the late 1960s Cherkovski co-edited the poetry anthology Laugh Literary and Man the Humping Guns with Charles Bukowski. Since 1975, Neeli has lived and worked in San Francisco. For ten years he was writer in residence at New College of California, where he taught literature and philosophy.

Neeli will read from Whitman’s Wild Children and his memoir in progress. He will also have two works available for sale: From the Canyon Outward ($12.95) and a limited edition, lettered A to Z, with tipped-in original acrylic drawing, ($35.00, not available from publisher).

The following afternoon, Friday, October 30, at 2:00pm, he will deliver a free talk (donations welcome) entitled:


SEPTEMBER 4 (excerpt)
By Neeli Cherkovski
I said poetry and grammar come
round to the creek, I meant that
sitting on a log in the mid morning
alone is a silent song, I imagine
we are loves, I guess when I
came across your smile on a cloud
it was as if I had found something
with a meaning I cannot explain

now sitting in our garden I suppose
there are moments i will never
fathom, there is time to
attempt it, every line of the poem
is either a sentence or a dynasty
and I hope to find proof, though
it doesn't so much matter, your
smile and your eyes widen, would you
stay by my side and one day sing
for my ashes?

it is September 4,today, cold, cruel,
just the mere idea, my mind floats
on a river, my mind used to be
what they call the souL. . .

On the evening of the 30th, Neeli will also be appearing at the Writers Dojo:
Oct 30, 2009: Reading with Neeli Cherkovski

Neeli Cherkovski reads from his new book of poems, From The Canyon Outward.Cherkovski lives and writes in San Francisco. His poertry books include Animal, Elegy for Bob Kaufman, Leaning Against Time, which earned an PEN Award for Excellence in Literature, Fronteras Rotas, published in a bi-lingual edition, and the newly released From the Canyon Outward. Another collection, The Manila Poems, is forthcoming. He has also written biographies of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Charles Bukowskii, and is the author of a book of critical memoirs, Whitman’s Wild Children. For many years, Cherkvoski served as writer-in-residence at the now closed New College of California where he also taught literature and philosophy. He continues to teach poetics at various locales throughout the SF Bay Area and is completing a new memoir.

Time: 7:30pm, Friday
Door: Opens at 7:00pm
Cost: Free
Where: Writers' Dojo
7518 (and 7506) N. Chicago Ave
Portland, OR 97203
(503) 706-0509

I hope that some of you will be able to attend Econvergence (see item 1 below). My apologies to Dan Raphael for not getting the newsletter out sooner. I’d love to hear from anyone who was able to attend, especially if you made it to Noam Chomsky’s talk.

Here is another great event happening this weekend:

From Jo An Sterr: “October 3rd – The Afghan Women with LunchDon’t miss the chance to have an Afghan lunch on Saturday, October 3rd at 12:00 noon at Vancouver Heights United Methodist Church in Vancouver. Lunch will be prepared by Ahmad Qayoumi who is an Afghan American from Vancouver. Reservations are required by calling Sharon Royle at 360.693.4936. Lunch is free, but donations will be requested. Following lunch there will be a presentation of the play, The Afghan Women, at 1:30 and a discussion time with Mr. Qayoumi and the cast at 3:30.

The play is a very powerful readers theatre production. An inspiration to become part of "the conversation of the world" comes to the audience as the Afghan women are encouraged to throw down the burqa and stand up to their oppressors and the code of ethics like that of the warlords. The director of the drama team is J. Christopher Cleveland and the players in this production are Chris Cleveland, Karen Cleveland, Jo`an Sterr, Laura Blaisdell, Janelle Petersen, Rick Giles and Raquelle Avila. You are encouraged to experience The Afghan Women. This is a ‘don’t miss’ event!!! See you there!”


1. Econvergence with Noam Chomsky, Derrick Jensen, and readings by local poets October 2-4

2. Deer Drink the Moon: Poems of Oregon reading at the Central Library October 4

3. Would you like to join others who are pledging to write a novel in a single month?

4. WARM UP FOR WORDSTOCK with Poetry and Wine @ Blackbird Wineshop (NE Portland) October 9

5. THE BRIDGE LADY, a new one-woman show written and performed by Sharon Wood Wortman, October 13-18

6. Jerry Harp at Barnes and Noble Vancouver October 14

7. Tammy Robacker’s The Vicissitudes book release, reading & signing party (Tacoma, WA) October 25

8. River & Sound Review first annual Duckabush Prize for Poetry (deadline October 31)

9. Writing classes at Multnomah Arts Center

10. seeking submissions

11. “Lives of the Poets: Laura Jensen, Tacoma, Washington's reclusive genius” by Heidi Broadhead

1. Dan Raphael wants you to know about Econvergence, a Northwest Regional Gathering on the Economic and Ecological Crises taking place in Portland Oct. 2-4 that will feature guest speakers such as Noam Chomsky and Derrick Jensen: “I'm helping to put on ecoNvergence, northwest gathering on the economic and ecological crises, w/ keynote speaker Noam Chomsky. October 1st-4th, first 3 days at the 1st Unitarian Church (SW 12th & Main) and Sunday at PSU's Smith Hall. Around 90 talks, workshops and events. See the schedule ( and other information at Tickets needed for Chomsky (10/2) and Derrick Jensen (10/3), but everything else is free (donations gladly accepted), including the west coast premiere of Danny Schechter's new film, Plunder, 10/1. A couple poetry events scattered through the program, with people like Kaia Sand, Jim Grabill, Frank Sherlock, Alicia Cohen, Jonathan Skinner, Casey Bush, Aaron Vidaer and Melissa Sillitoe. Many of these people and more will be at the post-Chomsky poetry reading, 10/2, 9:30-12:00 @ SeaChange gallery, 625 nw everett. Go to the website and look at the program, an amazing diversity”

2. The anthology, Deer Drink the Moon: Poems of Oregon, brings together thirty-three poets to create a mosaic of Oregon. Organized thematically into seven of the state's ecoregions, this collection takes the reader on a statewide tour of poetry. Editor Liz Nakazawa will be reading poems from the book. Please bring your own Oregon-themed poem to read.
Sunday, October 4th
1-2 pm
Central Library
U.S. Bank Room
801 SW 10th Ave.
3. Natascha Bruckner would like to know if you’d like to join her and many others who will attempt to write a novel in a single month:
4. WARM UP FOR WORDSTOCK with Poetry and Wine @ Blackbird Wineshop in NE Portland.
Join us on Friday evening, October 9th, from 7 – 9 to enjoy a reading by four of Oregon’s most highly regarded poets, Peter Sears, Shaindel Beers, John Morrison and Pamela Steele. The reading, sponsored by
Breakerboy Communications, in association with Oregon Literary Review, helps kickoff Wordstock weekend. Come early to enjoy Blackbird’s Friday night wine tasting, then stay for great words by some of the region’s finest writers.


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.

SHAINDEL BEERS’ first full-length collection, "A Brief History of Time", was published this year by Salt Publishing. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She is currently an instructor of English at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon, and serves as Poetry Editor of Contrary (www.contrary Listen to her talk radio poetry show, “Translated By,” at

JOHN MORRISON's book, "Heaven of the Moment", won the Rhea & Seymour Gorsline Poetry Competition & was a finalist for the 2008 Oregon Book Award in poetry. Morrison’s poetry has appeared in numerous national journals including the Cimarron Review, Poet Lore, Poetry East, and Southern Poetry Review. He has taught poetry for the University of Alabama, Washington State University, and in the Literary Arts Writers in the Schools program where he served as director from 2006-2009.

PAMELA STEELE is the author of Paper Bird (Wordcraft of Oregon, 2007), her first full-length collection of poetry, which was nominated for an Oregon Book Award. Steele earned an MFA from Spalding University in Louisville, KY in 2004 and is a Fishtrap fellow, a recipient of the Kentucky Writers Coalition’s Jim Wayne Miller Prize, and the James Scarbrough Memorial Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including High Desert Journal and The Louisville Review, and she has been a judge for the Oregon State Poetry Association Poetry Competition.


Blackbird Wineshop is located at 4323 NE Fremont, Portland, 97213. Wine tasting begins at 6 p.m., and includes a $6 tasting fee. There is no charge for those attending just for the reading.


Breakerboy Communications is a Portland-based writing firm that helps people and businesses tell their stories. Find out more at

5. THE BRIDGE LADY, a new one-woman show written and performed by Sharon Wood Wortman. In this one-bridge-after-another multimedia event involving narrow escapes and invisible disabilities, the WRBs (Willamette River Bridges) take on human characteristics, a mother and daughter jitterbug to Fats Domino music, and audience members, via footage filmed July 10, 2009, climb through the arch ribs and up to Fremont’s two-foot wide catwalk for a flagpole look at Portland.

With guest musician Stephen Cohen and dancer Dori Davenport
and directed by KATE HAWKES.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 through Sunday, October 18
Opening performance benefits the Oregon Writers Colony
Closing performance benefits Fertile Ground and the Portland Area Theatre Alliance
Tickets are $15 for the benefit performances
and $10 for Wednesday-Sunday (matinee) shows.
(The run includes a Saturday 17 matinee)

Reservations: ,
phone: 971-244-3740 for more information.

"The Bridge Lady" is funded in part by the Regional Arts & Cultural Council.

Copies of the CD “The Band of Bridges,” with the illustrated booklet 12 Steps for Climbing the Fremont Bridge, will be available for sale at the performances.

The show is not appropriate for children, although the CD is!


From Shawn Sorensen:

To the Best Group of Poets and Poetry Fans Around:

BARNES & NOBLE VANCOUVER is delighted to host highly touted writer JERRY HARP for our 2nd Wednesdays Poetry Group, 10/14/09, at 7 pm. How highly touted, you ask? Harp was just distinguished as one of the top 150 poets in Oregon’s history (as announced by Poetry Northwest - I'm reading Creature and find it to be pure high art - carefully perceptive and sophisticated in mood and meaning. Both Creature and Urban Flowers, Concrete Plains are pre-pay titles, so please call the store and order by 10/6/09 if you'd like a book to arrive at the store (free shipping) or at your door in time for the event. You can also order a book after listening to this fine poet on October 14th. Lastly, we have several copies of Best American Poetry 2009 on our shelves. Best American Poetry 2009 features... you guessed it, Jerry Harp. He’ll be accompanied at the event by free treats, coffee and tea, a fabulous open mic featuring many of you, and the area’s largest selection of poetry titles.

Join us!

Poet-at-Large/Large Poet,


Local Poet Tammy Robacker Pens First Book, The Vicissitudes.

TACOMA, WA--Northwest poet, Tammy Robacker, celebrates and releases her first book of poetry, The Vicissitudes, published by Pearle Publications. The public is invited to join the poet for a special book release, reading, and signing party held Sunday, October 25 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the bellaballs art studio located at 747 South Fawcett Avenue in Tacoma. Current 2009-10 Urban Grace Poet Laureate of Tacoma, Antonio Edwards, Jr. will be emceeing the poetry event, which is free and open to the public.

Robacker’s collection of poetry, The Vicissitudes, was made possible due to funding by the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program (TAIP) grant awarded to her this past year from the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma Arts Commission. After the signing party, the book will be available in November for purchase online at:

The poems in The Vicissitudes range from painful family vignettes to joyously celebrated moments marking Robacker’s journey. They speak to her personal experiences with a fractured family dynamic, cancer, loss, love, and self-discovery too. "It is oftentimes the ups and downs of life, things we suffer or endure, the vicissitudes beyond our control, that shape the path of life we will lead; who we become," said Tammy Robacker. “My poems are mementos of that journey.”

Local bellaballs owners, Lesli Jacobs-McHugh and Diane Hanson, have designed and hand-blown a collection of Limited Edition ‘Vicissitudes’ bellaballs—created exclusively for sale at the release party for Tammy Robacker's first book. The bellas are 3" in diameter and will be sold for $28 each. They are inspired by the book’s hot pink and black cover designed by Seattle designer, Martin McClellan. The Vicissitudes bellas are transparent, hot pink glass floats embossed with sterling silver and 24 Karat gold on a black ground with the bellaballs ‘beautiful’ design adornment.

“Lesli and I met Tammy through a writing project at the beginning of our own new business venture last year—when bellaballs was still a concept. She has always been there for us. Supporting us and encouraging our dream,” said glass artist, Diane Hanson.

“We are honored to be hosting this reading and celebrating the release of her new book," said local designer, Lesli Jacobs-McHugh.

Tammy Robacker studied Creative Writing and Poetry at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, graduating with a B.A. degree in 1993. Now, actively involved in the South Sound poetry community as a poet, a freelance writer and a volunteer, Robacker also serves as secretary of the board for Puget Sound Poetry Connection and secretary of the board for Exquisite Disarray Publishing, a non-profit literary arts organization that publishes Northwest writers. In 2009, she co-edited a Tacoma poetry anthology, with former Urban Grace Poet Laureate of Tacoma, Bill Kupinse, called, In Tahoma's Shadow: Poems from the City of Destiny. Her poetry has appeared in Plazm, Floating Bridge Review: Pontoon, Word Salad, Pens on Fire, and the Allegheny Review.

The Vicissitudes: Book release, reading & signing party
Free and Open to the Public!
Host: Poet, Tammy Robacker
Date: Sunday, October 25, 2009
Time: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: The bellaballs art studio
Street: 747 South Fawcett Avenue - Suite B
City/Town: Tacoma, WA

Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2009
Subject: online journal sponsors poetry contest

A River & Sound Review, an online journal and live literary entertainment program, is proud to announce the first annual Duckabush Prize for Poetry! The winner will receive $500, a featured spot on a future RSR Live Production, plus publication in an upcoming issue of our journal.

The final judge for this contest is award-winning writer Judith Kitchen - poetry reviewer for the Georgia Review and editor (along with former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser) of the anthology of bird poems, “The Poets Guide to the Birds,” published by Anhinga Press.

Please visit for more details, to check out our journal, or to download podcasts of our live shows. We look forward to reading your very best work!

Contest Rules:

Reading period is open until October 31st, 2009 (postmark date).

Three poems per entry, regardless of length. Our entry fee is $10. All subsequent submissions for that season's contest are $5. Please make checks out to A River & Sound Review.

Writers may submit as many entries as they choose, provided each entry is mailed in separate envelopes and each accompanied with the proper entry fee.

All submissions will be considered for publication in our online literary journal.

Simultaneous submissions ARE allowed, but writers must inform RSR staff if any submitted work has been accepted elsewhere and withdraw it from the contest.

Manuscript Format:

Please submit one copy of your poem(s) and make sure your name does NOT appear anywhere on the manuscript(s) itself. On a separate page, print your name, full mailing address, email address, and phone number. Also list the title of the pieces you submitted.

Electronic submission WILL NOT be read for contest entries.

Mail entries to:

A River & Sound Review
2009 Poetry Contest
17317 136th Ave. Ct. E.
Puyallup, WA 98374


Multnomah Arts Center
7688 SW Capitol Highway
To register, or for more information, call 503-823-2787.

Full catalogue (including classes for children and adults in art, dance, theatre, music, ceramics, textiles, metal arts, printmaking, photography, etc.) available at

Writing & Reading Poetry
Ages: 18 & Up

In this workshop, we’ll look at how poetry works, as writers and as readers. We’ll write in response to exercises, and in response to what we read; we’ll read closely one another’s work, and the work of other poets both familiar and not. The challenge of reading poetry pays off in two ways: empathy for the situation of our readers, and the discovery of new possibilities. Open to anyone (beginner or veteran) who writes poetry and wants to deepen their understanding of the art.

301934 Tu. 6:30 - 9:00 pm
Oct. 6 - Dec. 15 [10 classes; no class Oct. 13]
David Abel

Workshop: Art becomes Muse
All Ages

Discover the many gems the Portland Art Museum has to offer -- while writing poetry! Through guided tours and independent study, we’ll learn how to transfer the lines and forms of paintings and sculptures into lines of verse. In this one-day workshop we’ll look at and respond to a variety of works while simultaneously learning about the rich literary history of poems written in response to visual artworks. All experience levels welcome. Museum admission included in course fee.

302711 Sat. 1:00 - 5:00 pm
Oct. 17 [1 class]

Poetry: Art becomes Muse
Ages: 18 & Up
(see description above)

302712 Th. 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Nov. 05 - Dec. 03 [4 classes]

Joseph Bradshaw

Writing From Experience

Ages: 18 & Up

A good life story is one of the most important gifts we can offer ourselves, our children, our friends, and our community. With that in mind, this workshop will give you an opportunity to write your own life story that may have become buried or eclipsed. Whether you wish to keep your writing to yourself or share with others, this class will help you get started.

301937 Tu. 9:30 -11:30 am

Oct. 13 - Nov. 17 [6 classes]

Barbara Schramm

Creative Writing for Families
Ages: 6 & Up

Want to learn something new about your kids or parents? Every member of a family sees their shared experiences differently. Discover each other through a new lens while polishing writing skills in a supportive, informal atmosphere and learn how to bring writing into your home. In this class you might write a collaborative story about a favorite event, journal together or on your own, make an activities calendar, invent new names and titles for family members, or compose a poem describing what makes your family unique. Enroll three family members and the fourth is free.

302745 Sat. 10 am - 12 pm

Nov. 14 - Nov. 21 [2 classes]

Amy Minato

Writing Fiction

Ages: 16 & Up

Are you ready to write the Great American Novel? Or do you simply want to express yourself creatively? You will discover inspiration and support through discussion and inclass exercises. No writing experience necessary.

303277 Th. 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Oct. 08 - Dec. 03 [8 classes]

Susan Wickstrom

10. We are pleased to announce the launch of (, a new website for poetry and prose, welcoming writers of all ages, backgrounds, capabilities, cultures, ethnicities, faiths, genders, nationalities, and orientations who seek to advance the dialog of diversity within their communities and throughout the world.

Our mission is to use writing to promote communication by illuminating and deconstructing the labels, categorizations, stereotypes, and misinformation that prevent the growth of relationships between different groups of people.

You can also find us on Facebook ( and on Twitter (, where you can Fan or Follow Us to receive the latest news about additions to the website, new functionality, and notices on submission windows.

We've just started out, and we're looking for more material. Please see our submissions policy
( for more information.

If you like what you see on the site, please send us your poetry or prose and join our community! Webmaster
Regine de Lune (Edie Lungreen)


Thanks to Connie Walle for forwarding this link:

“Lives of the Poets: Laura Jensen, Tacoma, Washington's reclusive genius”

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