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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

Monday, November 9, 2009



Let me begin by thanking Neeli Cherkovski for sharing his poetry and his wisdom with us October 29 and 30. I am happy to report that Neeli was received warmly by poets on both sides of the river. I really enjoyed his talk entitled “Bukowski, the Beats, and Other Rebellions” and hope to write more about the visit at a later date. I would also like to thank Mel for allowing us to hold the events at Cover to Cover Books, and Eileen Elliott for opening her home to Neeli and his partner, Jesse, while they were here. I could not pull off these events without the generous help of members of the community like these.
Congratulations to Herb Stokes, whose poem “Feeding Dolphins” won 1st Place in the OSPA Fall Poetry Contest in the category: New Poets / Dueling Judges by Judge A and 3rd Place in the category: New Poets / Dueling Judges by Judge B.
If you’d like to read the latest column I wrote for Sage Cohen’s “Writing the Life Poetic” E-Zine, go to:

If you’d like to read the previous columns, go to:

Please take look at “With Words and Song: An Interview with John Trudell” by Christopher Luna from the Fall 2009 Online Edition of Rain Taxi Review of Books:

Not convinced that poetry and music can work together? Check out recent posts from the Rockpile tour featuring David Meltzer and Michael Rothenberg at

As we continue to bring poetry to Vancouver, WA please email me with your ideas for how to make this town safe for poetry, art, and music. I am very encouraged by the presence of great galleries like Angst and Lincoln’s Gallery (see item 1 below), and events such as Dada ’09. Come out creatives, and show us what you’re made of!

Of course, don’t forget to join us for this month’s open mic reading at Cover to cover Books:

Open Mic Poetry
hosted by Christopher Luna
7:00pm Thursday, November 12, 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, Melissa Beal:

Melissa Beal, MD is the author of In Her Eyes. Having survived sexual abuse as a child, a traumatic near-death fall, alcohol abuse, and most recently, ovarian cancer, Melissa has been through more in her 54 years than most will in a lifetime. Her work is an account of human frailty, psychological demise, and transforming that pain through poetry.
Melissa lives in Salem, Oregon. She retired from 18 years of service at Pacific Pathology Associates, Inc. in December 2008 to pursue writing. Written over the course of a year during her chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, In Her Eyes is Melissa Beal's first book of poetry.

Rock on,
Christopher Luna


1. Lincoln’s Gallery and Lincoln’s Beard: New Art and Music for Vancouver

2. Matt Meighan’s "Songwriting as Truth-telling" workshop at Artichoke Music (Portland) begins Tuesday, Nov. 10/Matt Meighan plays at a house concert Nov. 15

3. Charles Potts on Blog Talk Radio talking about his new book “Inside Idaho”

4. Voice Catcher 4 Readings Nov. 11 and 16 featuring Naomi Fast, Constance Hall, Toni Partington, Paulann Petersen and others

5. Sage Cohen’s “Writing the Life Poetic” excerpted in “Writer's Digest Guide to Creativity”

6. Judith Arcana’s schedule of readings for November

7. New NW Poetry Calendar by Debi Stone

8. “How to Increase Consumption of Poetry by Non-Poets." Poetry Panel in San Rafael, CA Nov. 16

9. Poetry Foundation Launches Online Poetry Learning Lab

10. Applications are being accepted for Artist Trust’s 2010 EDGE Professional Development Program for Writers (Deadline Dec. 7)



Lincoln’s Gallery recently opened in Vancouver at 108 Main Street. It is definitely one of the coolest places in the ‘Couve: If you’d like to exhibit your art there, send an email to

Lincoln's Beard is a great band that plays every Thursday from 7:30 – 10:30 at the Brickhouse located at 15th and Main Street in Vancouver (

Other shows:

(art) December 3 First Friday Lincoln's Gallery Artist TBA
(Music) December 12 White Eagle Time TBA
(Music) January 23 Pop Culture Main Street Vancouver Time TBA

Since January I've been teaching a workshop called "Songwriting as Truth-telling" at Artichoke Music, and have been been having a great time with it. A lot of wonderful songs have been written by students during the course. The next set of classes starts this Tuesday (Nov 10), and I have room for a couple more students in my afternoon class.

We'll meet for six weeks this time (instead of the usual eight, due to the holidays) - Tuesdays from 11/10 through 12/22, with no class on 11/24, from 3 - 5:30 pm at my home in North Portland. It's a great chance to lean into your songwriting and share new songs with a small group of other songwriters (classes are limited to 8 people). A class description appears below and is also on the Artichoke Music web site. There is also an evening class, but it is full for November.

If you're interested in attending this time, have any questions, or would like to receive emails about future classes and one-day workshops, please let me know.


Songwriting as Truth-telling - Taught by Matt Meighan

Begins November 10

This class will explore songwriting as a means to uncover and express deeply-felt truths of the songwriter. We'll look at aspects of songwriting craft, but our main focus will be on the songwriting process itself. What makes a song feel 'true'? How does the songwriter invite and listen for truths that want to be told, then stay true to the song's heart even while using craft to shape it into a work of art?

We'll draw inspiration and guidance from great songwriters and poets, but most of all from the collective wisdom and experience of class participants. We'll write in class and between classes, share our songs, and explore ways of listening and responding that help draw out the writer's intention rather than impose the listener's. We'll create an inspiring, non-judgmental and fun space in which to deepen our songwriting practice.

As poet William Stafford wrote, "There is a knack about writing; that knack apparently comes to the individual through performing the act of writing and the act of considering writings. The aim is to induce a kind of jog through literature and its settings. It's a group project, the class; and if we can work it right the riches of the group will provide for us all."

The class is most suited for those already writing songs, but all levels are welcome. To register or if you have any questions, please contact Matt Meighan at


I'm writing to let you know about a show I'm greatly looking forward to: Kate Mann and I will present a house concert next Sunday (Nov 15) at 4 pm. Kate is one of my favorite songwriters and performers, and I relish the prospect of sharing the stage with her.

The show will be at McLundy's Green Room, a lovely, intimate listening room attached to Suzan Lundy's house in Brightwood, Oregon. McLundy's is a great community music venue and well worth getting to know. It's about an hour drive from Portland -- 12 miles past Sandy on the Mt Hood Highway.

Seating is limited so reservations are strongly encouraged, at The attached poster has details. If you don't already know Kate, you can learn more about her at or

I hope to see you there!



From Charles Potts

Dear friends, family and poetry lovers,

Charles Potts has a new book of poems from West End Press in Albuquerque, Inside Idaho, which contains selections from 100 Years in Idaho and Lost River Mountain, although 2/3rds of the book is published for the first time. The beautiful red cover features a photograph CP took of Leatherman Pass in 2005 from high in the west fork of the Pahsimeroi River in Idaho on his way back down from climbing Leatherman Peak.

will take you directly to the website where the book is easily obtainable by pay pal or send $18 to the PO Box 1773 below. We don't do credit card purchases anymore.

Happy Trails,
Charles Potts

The Temple
PO Box 1773
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Charles Potts was interviewed by Rafael Alvarado of Blog Talk Radio on Sunday the 8th of November. Subject was the new book, Inside Idaho, from West End Press.


Join the VoiceCatcher 4
publication celebrations

November 11, Barnes & Noble Lloyd Center

November 16, Powell's Books on Hawthorne

VoiceCatcher 4, an anthology of Portland women's writing, is here!

VoiceCatcher exists because a collective of women -- editors, authors, artists, poets and teachers -- who love to read and write wanted to collect the voices of local women and offer them to the community.

Featuring new and emerging writers of diverse perspectives, voices, ages, orientation and experience, VoiceCatcher offers a panoramic view of literary life in Portland through the poetry and prose of more than 40 local women writers.

Join us in celebrating the publication of VoiceCatcher's fourth edition and hear a magnificent line-up of this year's authors reading selections of their work at two events this month!

Mark your calendars and come prepared to be thoroughly entertained.

Wednesday, November 11, 7:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Lloyd Center
As part of the Poetry and Prose for the People reading series, hosted by Sage Cohen and Tomas Mattox
1317 Lloyd Center // Gift section
Portland, OR 97232

Featured readers:

Favor Ellis
Naomi Fast
Heidi Schulman Greenwald
Constance Hall (pen name: M)
Christi Krug
Toni Partington
Wendy Willis
Monday, November 16, 7:00 p.m.
Powell's on Hawthorne
3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 235-3802

Featured readers:

Paulann Petersen
Abby Mims
Liz Prato
Carolyn Moore
Nancy Flynn
Kaitlyn Burch
Penelope Scambly Schott


From Sage Cohen

Some of my favorite prompts from *Writing the Life Poetic* have been excerpted in the *Writer's Digest Guide to Creativity* magazine, available in bookstores and on newsstands now!

This magazine features four, chock-full writing-boosting sections: Creative Habits, Creative Craft, Creative Business and Creativity Workbook -- all designed to get ideas flowing, words on the page and published work into the world!

You'll hear from leading thinkers, writers and teachers about the craft and business of writing -- including my mentor, platform guru Christina Katz, author of *Get Known Before the Book Deal.*

For just $5.99, you can give your creative practice a back-to-school shot of adrenaline by tapping into a wealth of wisdom from a range of genres.

Happy writing, poets! May the muse (and the moose) be with you.


From Judith Arcana
November 9, 2009 at 7pm at The Waypost, 3120 N. Williams in Portland

I'll be reading with Charles F. Thielman, Laura LeHew and Patrick Cahill, presenting work in the new Uphook Press anthology: you say. say. Editors Ice and Jane Ormerod will be here from New York. I haven't met these people yet, but I know this: the book is well done and they are serious about poetry-as-performance. for more info:

November 10, 2009 at 7pm at DIVA Gallery, 110 West Broadway in Eugene (note change in venue for this one)

SAME AS ABOVE - Uphook reading

. for more info:

November 11, 2009 at 6:30pm at DIVA Gallery, 110 West Broadway in Eugene

Screening of documentary film Jane: An Abortion Service + I'll be there with the excellent folks from Oregon's Network for Reproductive Options [NRO] talking about the embattled status of reproductive justice in the USA.

Refreshments served ..... $5 suggested donation ...... for more info:


* the other Eugene gigs this month, at the University of Oregon and Lane Community College, are not open to the public.


December 11th at Broadway Books in Portland: Gina Ochsner & BT Shaw are featured readers; ja is mc ..... more info later

*All info is (or soon will be) on the EVENTS page:

* Reply to those who've asked me about BLOGGING: I'm using my OP-ED page for that sort of thing (opinions on a variety of topics); blogging could happen, but not soon - for now, check out

For a good time, visit


New calendar to promote poetry readings, events, workshops, and open mics; and to help increase public awareness of poetry activities in our communities. If you would like your event placed on the calendar, please email name of poet(s) or event, date, time, venue with address, and contact email or phone. If you would like to help spread the world, please consider forwarding the link in your emails, or adding it to your poetry-related web pages. The poetry calendar covers Oregon and Washington. This is a new calendar, in development. Please send information to be included.

NW Poetry Event Calendar

If you have questions, feel free to contact me:

Deb Stone


Date Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 4:33 PM
Subject Monday Nov 16th Poetry Panel Seeks Your Insights

Dear Friends,

I am emailing to let you know that on Monday, Nov 16th, at Cafe

Arrivederci, San Rafael, I will be participating on a panel on "How to

Increase Consumption of Poetry by Non-Poets." The panel is hosted by MC

Angar Mora, and will also include Beth Ullrich, Marlene Weinstein, and

Shawn Pittard. We would love to have you join us and enter this important

discussion which concerns us all. There is $7.00 CASH cover charge which

will be applied to a 25% discount on food and beverages. The food is

excellent and inexpensive. If you plan on eating, it is best to join us at

or not too much later than 5:30 or 6 pm. The panel itself will convene at

7. There will also be an open mic (generally, limited to several minutes

each reader). If you are interested, please contact host Angar Mora at

415-492-8870. Cafe Arriverderci is located at 11 G Street in San Rafael.
Poetically Yours,
David Madgalene


Poetry Foundation Launches Online Poetry Learning Lab

New educational, media-rich poetry experience for teachers and students
CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation invites teachers and students to tap into its new online resource, the Poetry Learning Lab. Hosted on, the Poetry Learning Lab is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about poetry.

A dynamic resource for teachers, students, and learners of every age, the Poetry Learning Lab has been developed by the Poetry Foundation in conjunction with a team of education experts—including writing and literature teachers, librarians, and poets—to provide an immersive educational experience with poetry. By allowing students to experiment with different ways of reading poems—as text, sound, and visual artifacts—the Learning Lab provides readers of all levels with the opportunity to practice close reading and listening skills and to think broadly and analytically about poetry and poetics.

An extension of the Poetry Foundation’s comprehensive website, which includes an archive of more than 600 poets and 8,000 poems, the Poetry Learning Lab’s multimedia educational resources include annotations, reading guides, audio and video recordings, discussion questions, writing ideas, teaching tips, and podcasts. The diverse learning approaches incorporated within the tools provide students and teachers with endless ways to approach poetry, and ensure that individual learning styles are met. These features are offered in connection with 10 selected poems:

Louise Bogan’s “A Tale”
Robert Browning’s “Fra Lippo Lippi”
Lucille Clifton’s “won’t you celebrate with me”
Emily Dickinson’s “I started Early - Took my Dog”
John Donne’s “The Sun Rising”
Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “The Windhover”
Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Facing It”
Sylvia Plath’s “Fever 103°”
Walt Whitman’s “A Passage to India”
William Carlos Williams’s “To a Poor Old Woman”

Also serving as a one-stop portal for reference materials, the Poetry Learning Lab is replete with engaging articles about poets and poetry, bibliographies, a thorough glossary of literary terms, and a large selection of poetics essays and manifestos ranging from Plato to today.

Catherine Halley, editor of, says, “The Poetry Learning Lab takes something Robert Frost once said as a point of departure: ‘Poetry begins in delight and ends in wisdom.’ The Lab encourages students to attend to individual poems with a focus that’s rare on the Internet—and at the same time provides teachers and instructors with a unique range of supplementary material useful in teaching poetry, from a glossary of poetic terms, to a series of historic poetics manifestos, to a variety of pedagogical essays.”

The positive response from students across the country to Poetry Out Loud, a partnership of the NEA and the Poetry Foundation that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization and performance, suggests that readers of all levels are interested in the opportunity to enjoy poetry and learn more about their literary heritage. The Poetry Learning Lab builds on and fosters this interest in poetry by facilitating an interactive learning process that allows readers to discover for themselves the pleasures of engaging with difficult and precise language.

Teachers, students, and all users can also discover Harriet, the Poetry Foundation’s blog, where poetry teacher John S. O’Connor guest-blogs about the joys of teaching and studying poetry.

The Poetry Foundation will host a booth in the Exhibit Hall at the annual National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) convention in Philadelphia, November 19 to 22, 2009. Staff will be available to answer questions and provide more information. For more information on the conference, visit

For more information on the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Learning Lab, please visit


For Immediate Release October 13, 2009

Contact: Nirmala Singh-Brinkman, EDGE Program, 206/467-8734 x20; toll free 1/866/218-7878



Application Deadline: December 7, 2009

Literary artists who reside in Washington State are encouraged to apply to participate in the 2010 EDGE Professional Development Program for Writers.

The EDGE Program provides artists with a comprehensive survey of professional practices through a hands-on, interactive curriculum that includes instruction by professionals in the field, as well as specialized presentations, panel discussions and assignments. The EDGE Program focuses on supplying artists with the relevant and necessary entrepreneurial skills to achieve their personal career goals and with the opportunity to develop peer support and exchange.

The EDGE Program for Writers is open to emerging or mid-career writers of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Applicants must be residents of Washington State but cannot be students enrolled in a graduate- or undergraduate-degree program. Applicants must commit to completing the entire 50-hour program.

Artist Trust will offer the EDGE Program for Writers from February 12 to March 26, 2010. Tuition is $400 per participant and includes a one-year Artist Trust membership. Limited financial assistance is available.

EDGE Applications and Guidelines are available at the Artist Trust office, on the website (, or by sending a self-addressed, stamped, business-sized envelope to: EDGE Application, Artist Trust, 1835 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122-2437.

Completed applications may be mailed to the address above or hand-delivered to Artist Trust, located on the corner of 12th Avenue and East Denny Way in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, by 5:00pm on December 7, 2009. Mailed applications must have a US Postal Service postmark dated on or before December 7, 2009.

The EDGE Program for Writers is made possible by generous funding from


Artist Trust offers professional development workshops around the state: How To Build a Strong Grant Application; Moving Forward: Resources for Artists; and I Am An Artist. The I Am An Artist Workshop offers essential resources, funding opportunities, peer-to-peer evaluation, networking and hands-on feedback. For dates and locations of these and other workshops, visit

For more information, contact Miguel Guillen, Artist Resources Manager at or 206/467-8734 x 11 or toll free 866/218-7878.

Artist Trust is a not-for-profit organization whose sole mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Find out more at

I have several publishers interested in the three projects listed below. It’s enormously difficult and time-consuming to process email submissions, so unless you live outside the U.S, please send all submissions via USPS along with an SASE to June Cotner, PO Box 2765, Poulsbo, WA 98370


EARTH BLESSINGS: PRAYERS, POEMS, AND PROSE FOR CREATING A GREENER EARTH Preliminary chapters include: 1) Nature & the Environment; 2) Honoring the Earth; 3) Healing the Earth; 4) Cycles of Life; 5) Love, Kindness & Compassion; 6) Living Simply; 7) Our Children; 8) Honoring Animals; 9) Spirituality, Prayers & Blessings; 10) World & Community; 11) Joy, Praise & Gratitude; 12) Reflections; and 14) Inspiration. I particularly need submissions for chapters printed in bold. For desired spiritual tone, refer to my book, Looking for God in All the Right Places or the previous version of this book, Heal Your Soul, Heal the World. “Green publishing” is popular right now and focuses primarily on the nuts and bolts of how to improve the environment. In contrast, EARTH BLESSINGS is a spiritual book that will reflect upon the beauty of the earth and remind all of us to cherish the earth. Two publishers have expressed interest in EARTH BLESSINGS.Submission date closes November 10, 2009

WISDOM OF WOMEN: THOUGHTS AND POEMS FOR EVERY STAGE OF YOUR LIFE (Previously titled Girls Night Out and A Woman's Book of Poetry for the Soul) Over the past decade I’ve received wonderful submissions from female writers that never quite fit the particular theme of my general "inspirational books." These are poems and prose about womanhood, stages of life, memories, and everything in between. I would love to add a few more high-quality selections--poetry or prose. Unlike most of my other anthologies, there are no prayers in the book, but there is a chapter on Spirituality. The content of WISDOM OF WOMEN is much "edgier" than my other books. Chapters include: 1) The Strength of Us; 2) Relationships; 3) Motherhood; 4) Ordinary Life; 5) Self-Image and Beauty; 6) Aging Gracefully; 7) Heartache and Healing; 8) Joy and Gratitude; 9) Friendships; 10) Shared Experiences; 11) Spirituality; 12) Reflections; and 13) Inspiration. I particularly need submissions for chapters printed in bold. The submissions should not have an "I am woman, hear me roar" tone, but more "this is my experience as a woman." The collection will be for women to turn to when they need encouragement, understanding, inspiration, and to reflect upon the great blessings of being a woman. This book easily spans two generations and is geared to women in their late 20s to early 60s and possibly beyond. Submission date closes March 31, 2010.

GOOD DOG! BAD DOG! FUNNY DOG! A compilation of "funny dog" stories. Two publishers have expressed interest in this project. The word limit ranges from 180 to 600 words. My goal is to create a book as humorous as Marley and Me by John Grogan. Please put "FUNNY DOG STORY" on the lower left-hand corner of your envelope. Submission date is open.

I have several publishers interested in the three projects. It’s enormously difficult and time-consuming to process email submissions, so unless you live outside the U.S, please send all submissions via USPS along with an SASE to June Cotner, PO Box 2765, Poulsbo, WA 98370

Please feel free to forward this call to other writer friends and groups. Also, please visit for additional calls for submissions.

Winter Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA

For the last forty years, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, has
run the largest and longest residency Fellowship in the United States for
emerging visual artists and writers. Artists who have not had significant
recognition for their work and writers who have not yet published a book
with significant distribution are welcome to apply. Fellows receive a seven
month stay (October 1-May 1) at the Work Center and a $650 monthly stipend.
Fellows do not pay or work in exchange for their fellowships in any way.
Fellows are chosen based on the strength and promise of their work. Former
Visual Arts Fellows include Ellen Gallagher, Jack Pierson, Lisa Yuskavage,
Angela Dufresne, Geoffrey Chadsey, and Lamar Peterson. Former Writing
Fellows have won every major national award in writing including the
National Book Award and six Pulitzer Prizes. The list of former Fellows
includes Denis Johnson, Louise Gl├╝ck, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Yusef Komunyakaa.

The postmark deadline for the 2010-11 Writing Fellowships is December 1, 2009.

2010-2011 Visual Arts Fellowship applicants may apply online beginning

December 1, 2009. Online submissions must be received by midnight February

1, 2010. FAWC will accept slide applications for one more year. Applicants

submitting slides, must have their applications postmarked by February 1,


For details, please visit:


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Alan said...

Here's an essay on a young poet's journey and lessons along the way. Please read it here at

Alan said...

Here's an essay on a young poet's journey and lessons along the way. Please read it here at