Total Pageviews

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, February 2, 2010

THE WORK: Poetry Newsletter February 2010


Many thanks to everyone who came out to make Toni’s book launch at Cover to Cover a success. We were treated to a delicious potluck dinner, music by Alisha Judge, and many open mic poems and songs. I am very proud that so many people came out to support Toni’s new book, Wind Wing, because it rocks. Toni will also be reading at St. John’s Booksellers (Portland, OR) at 2pm, Saturday, February 20. Hope to see you there. If you’d like to read the Columbian’s recent article about Toni, go to:

Toni and I read together at Culture Control, a multimedia festival at Paper Tiger Coffee curated by Olin Unterwegner. I am also proud to report that both of us had art in the show. If you’d like to see and hear some of what happened that day, go to:

Thanks to Dan Nelson for inviting me to be the featured reader at the inaugural Paper Tiger open mic poetry reading (Third Thursdays, 7pm, 703 Grand Blvd., Vancouver). I was happy to see that so many of my friends came out to support me. I also received kind and supportive feedback from several people who were hearing me for the first time. I would also like to thank Olin for doing a great live painting to complement the Ghost Town poems, and to Zachary for hosting us. Finally, congratulations to those who stepped up to read their poems for the very first time. February’s featured reader at Paper Tiger will be Darlene Pagan (see item 4 below). I would like to encourage everyone to support this fun new event.

Join us on February 5 for a special event that will feature a collaborative art project:

Three Muses All you need is Love--Red, White and Black Ball
"--celebrate love and art with your creative community"
Friday, February 5 at 6:00pm - 2:00am
Brickhouse Bar and Grill, Vancouver
109 West 15th Street

And, of course:

Open Mic Poetry
hosted by Christopher Luna
7:00pm Thursday, February 11, 2010
& 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, Laura Winter:

Laura Winter’s new book, Coming Here to Be Alone ($15), is a bilingual English-German edition focused on the High Desert and Great Basin. The western landscape with all its hoo doos, headlands, basin and range, whitewater and rain are the foundation from which she works. Winter’s love for improvised music also informs how she approaches using the English language. Laura has written for and performed with jazz musicians and improvisers in the US and Europe. Her work has been widely published, translated, and set to music for an art song series. She currently publishes the occasional TAKE OUT, a bag-a-zine of art, writing and music that features powerful voices from around the globe. Sleeping Leaves will also be available for $8. Everyone who purchases a book at this event will receive a free broadside.

Christopher again.

I have decided to christen this newsletter The Work, in honor of Allen Ginsberg, who wrote in “Memory Gardens” Well, while I'm here I'll/ do the work –/ and what's the work?/ to ease the pain of living./ Everything else, drunken/ dumbshow. There is still room in my workshop, also entitled “The Work,” which will take place on February 13 at Angst Gallery. Please contact me for more information.

Rich Lindsay has invited me to join him on his weekly radio program, Kill Ugly Radio Adventure Hour on Thursday, February 25 at 5pm on KOUG ( or with iTunes at

The Kill Ugly Radio Adventure Hour is Every Thursday, from 5pm to 7pm, Pacific Standard Time on the KOUG. The KOUG is WSU’s radio station, streaming 24 hours a day at (iTunes, Winamp, Windows Media Player and VLC). Shows archived shortly after the live broadcast.

Your friend in poetry,
Christopher Luna



1. New work from Kaia Sand
2. Upcoming readings featuring Penelope Schott
3. Social Action Writing and open mic at Barnes & Noble Vancouver Feb. 10
4. Songwriting as Truth-Telling Workshop w/ Matt Meighan & Chris Kokesh Saturday, Feb. 13
5. Figures of Speech Reading Series Feb. 17 with Daniel Skatch-Mills and Anne Jennings Paris
6. Darlene Pagan at Paper Tiger Coffee Thursday, February 18
7. VoiceCatcher submission call (deadline March 31) and reading schedule
8. ZAP Writing Workshop with Judith Arcana March 6


from Kaia Sand:

Dear All,

My ongoing Remember to Wave poetry walk is now out as a book from the good people at Tinfish Press. This poetry/essay/mixed media collection is locally based (investigating the political history of Portland Expo Center--internment of Japanese Americans in 1942, the Vanport flood in 1948--as well as present day goings-on such as trade shows, Rose City Roller Derby action, and commerce near the Expo Center).

I am grateful that many people in Portland are supporting the work in various ways:

* This week, Street Roots newspaper features Remember to Wave. Carmel Bentley wrote beautifully about the book and the Vanport flood and the internment of Japanese Americans at the Expo Center. Issues can be purchased from vendors around town (who all earn money by selling the paper--75 cents on every dollar--a wonderful micro economy), and, as always, there are many reasons to read Street Roots (including an interview with Street Roots vendor George Mayes about his participation in the San Francisco march for federal affordable housing funding and rights of the homeless).

I will be participating in some events around town to celebrate the release of the book, and I'd be happy for your company:

* Feb. 7 (Sunday) 4 p.m. I'll read from the book at Powell's on Hawthorne (3723 SE Hawthorne Ave, Portland)

* Feb 19 (Friday) 7 p.m. I'll read at St. John's Booksellers (8622 N. Lombard St., Portland) in the neighborhood near the book's focus. I'll be reading with Allison Cobb, who's kicking off her new book, Green-Wood. Our books both investigate political history of particular places (the Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn NY for Allison), and both mix essay and poetry. This reading is especially significant to me because Allison and I launched our first books together six years ago (with Carol Mirakove in New York), so I think two times qualifies as a tradition!

* March 29 (Monday) 7:30 p.m. Allison Cobb and I will read at Pacific University in Forest Grove.

* April 10, noon, I'll lead a poetry walk starting at the Portland Expo Center MAX stop. This walk is hosted by Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) and its new Submit Literary Magazine.

Links to more info for all this and other events that will come up are at and more info about the book itself is below.

Many of you supported this work, and continue to do so. Thank you. My poetry work is never completed in isolation.

All best,

"Woooo weee!--this book is really something! It's both "too much" and the "total package," and then some--sort of like an "All You Can Eat" site--a "smelter"--in a rock-alcove below petroglyphs. "Sand" plus "Wave" plus "Tinfish"--that's the cool combo, combined with Vision, Heart, Smarts, Reach, Diligence, Direction, and good doses of downhome, downright Whimsy! Are you ready? Step lively now. Be on alert. Keep up with Kaia. And REMEMBER TO WAVE!" Lawson Fusao Inada, Oregon Poet Laureate

Kaia Sand’s Remember To Wave maps the temporal palimpsests and traumatic political history of Portland, Oregon. Sand writes the seen and unseen city in the spirit of William Carlos Williams’ Paterson, Charles Olson’s Gloucester, or Barbara Jane Reyes’ San Francisco. She reads the geography of Portland for its displacements, exclusions, migrations, disappearances, ruins, and hauntings. Sand asks: “Do we need our ruins visible?” The answer resonates throughout Remember to Wave as poetry creates a deeply felt awareness of past and present injustices. In this profound and threaded mapping, Sand composes “an ode of accretion”—a song of our ruins rendered visible. Craig Santos Perez, author of from unincorporated territory

“Do we need our ruins visible?” asks Kaia Sand. “I carry old maps, but sometimes the space seems illegible because reclaimed wetlands and construction changed the shape of the land. I cross-check books and oral histories and photographs. I imagine.” Sand takes the reader on a guided tour of Portland, Oregon's hidden histories—those of the internment of Japanese-Americans, the shunting of African Americans into the part of the city that floods. Her book is composed of essays, a poetry walk, and poems that rise out of documents like histories from a nearly-forgotten past. Sand shows us how a past can be re-visioned through research and the poetic imagination.

• Remember to Wave • By Kaia Sand • 2010 • $16
Design by Bao Nguyen

Kaia Sand is the author of a poetry collection, interval (Edge Books 2004), a Small Press Traffic Book of the Year, and co-author with Jules Boykoff ofLandscapes of Dissent: Guerrilla Poetry and Public Space (Palm Press 2008), and she has created several chapbooks through the Dusie Kollektiv. Her poems lotto and tiny arctic ice comprise the text of two books in Jim Dine’s Hot Dreams series (Steidl Editions 2008). She lives in Portland, Oregon, with Jules Boykoff and their daughter, Jessica.


From Penelope Schott

Dear friends and co-conspirators,

As some of you know, I have a new book out so I am giving a bunch of readings. Here's the February-March schedule. If you can make any of them, I'd be delighted to see you. I promise not to be boring or obscure. Penelope

Wednesday, February 10, 7 pm, in the Milwaukie poetry series, the Pond House behind Ledding Library, 2215 SE Harrison. For directions you can call Tom Hogan at 503-819-8367. I'm the star reader that night so you would have to put up with a whole hour of me.

Tuesday, February 16, 7 pm, at Broadway Books, 1714 Broadway, 503-284-1726. I'm sharing the program with Henry Hughes who is a fine poet and often deals with interactions between men and women.

Thursday, February 25, 7 pm, at Looking Glass Books in Sellwood, 7983 SE 13th Avenue in Sellwood (the bookstore in the red caboose). This time I'm reading with Peter Sears, a wise and funny poet.

Wednesday, March 3, 7 pm, at Blackbird Wine, 4323 NE Freemont. You can buy wine by the glass. I'm reading with three other people whose work I don't know.

And if you happen to be at the beach in Manzanita on Saturday afternoon, March 13, I'm reading at 2 pm at the delightful Cloud and Leaf Bookstore on Laneda Avenue.

So that's the schedule. Maybe you could put one of them on the calendar. (Hey, go for 2 -- I don't always read the same stuff and I'm about to get copies of another book where I argue with a relentless magpie and usually lose.)

If you read this far, thanks! Penelope


Barnes & Noble Vancouver is honored to host Francis Payne Adler, editor of Fire & Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing for our 2nd Wednesdays Poetry Group. This is beautiful, heartfelt writing that makes a difference, featuring writers like William Stafford, Naomi Shihab Nye, Adrienne Rich, Li-Young Lee and Rafael Campo. For this February 10th, 7 pm event, Adler will be reading from Fire & Ink, which will be followed by an open mic. As always, we feature free treats and coffee and the area’s largest selection of poetry titles. B & N Vancouver is at 7700 NE Fourth Plain Blvd., 98662.

Speaking truth to power is something we can never have enough of. Please join us for this important event. Feel free to pass this announcement on.

Best, Shawn
Shawn Sorensen
Community Relations Manager
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
Vancouver Plaza
7700 NE 4th Plain Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98662
tel: (360) 260-3854
fax: (360) 253-5414

Chris Kokesh & I will co-host a songwriting workshop on Saturday, Feb 13. I'm excited about collaborating with Chris on this workshop and expect it to be a great day. The workshop limited to nine participants and is half full. If you're interested or have any questions, please let me know. See for more info.
- Matt Meighan

Figures of Speech Reading Series
Hosted by Steve Williams and Constance Hall

Join us February 17th at 7 p.m. at the monkey for our two featured readers, some open mic. time and a new writing prompt (it's a surprise). Hint: two lines

Daniel Skatch-Mills: Daniel Skach-Mills was born in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and raised in Portland, Oregon. He holds an undergraduate degree from Marylhurst University and a graduate degree from St. Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington. His award-winning poetry has appeared in a variety of publications and anthologies, including: The Christian Science Monitor; The Christian Century; Sojourners; Open Spaces; and “Prayers To Protest: Poems That Center And Bless Us” (Pudding House Publications, 1998). His chapbook, Gold: Daniel Skach-Mills’s Greatest Hits, 1990-2000 appeared in 2001 from Pudding House; and a full-length collection, The Tao of Now, (Ken Arnold Books, 2008)was recently cited as one of the “…150 outstanding Oregon poetry books” in a list compiled by Jim Baker, columnist for The Oregonian; David Biespiel, editor of Poetry Northwest; and Jim Scheppke, Oregon State Librarian.

In and around Oregon, he has been a featured reader for events at Barnes and Noble (Vancouver); Looking Glass Bookstore; Marylhurst University; The Portland Classical Chinese Garden; Living Earth Gatherings; KBOO Radio; Blackbird Wine Bar; Moonstruck Chocolate Café; The Q Center; Broadway Books; The Tenth Muse Books (Seaside); Rilassi Coffee House; and The Friends of William Stafford He has worked as a volunteer docent for Lan Su Chinese Garden for the past five years; and, in 2009, was invited to Mexico City, Mexico to give a two-day presentation on Classical Chinese Gardens and Taoism. A spiritual teacher and former Trappist monk, he is currently working on a second poetry collection based on his monastic experience. He and his partner live in Portland, Oregon.

Anne Jennings Paris is a writer and visual artist living and working in Oregon City. She has an MFA in creative writing from San Jose State University and a BA in English Literarture from Wesleyan University. Anne's first book, a collection of historic, narrative poetry entitled Killing George Washington, was just released by Ooligan Press. Anne's work--both her painting and her writing--explores the intersection of natural history and popular culture. Anne currently teaches grades 3-12 at Alliance Charter Academy in Oregon City.

More info at

Paper Tiger Coffee Open Mic Poetry
Hosted By Dan Nelson
Third Thursdays
7pm, 703 Grand Blvd., Vancouver
February 18
With February’s Featured Reader
Darlene Pagán

Darlene Pagán is a writer and educator, mother and wife, scholar and activist, whose poems have appeared, or are forthcoming in Hiram Poetry Review, Two Review: An International Journal of Poetry and Creative Nonfiction, Willow Springs, The Birmingham Poetry Review, and VoiceCatcher. Her essays have appeared in The Nebraska Review, Literal Latté, and Mother Writer’s Literary Magazine. Her hobbies include playing troll in the Billie Goats Gruff and looking for worms in the rain with her two toddler boys. She has just completed her first book of poems, titled Something’s Liable to Break, and is already at work on another.

VoiceCatcher’s Call for Submissions
VoiceCatcher--an annual anthology featuring new and established women writers of diverse perspectives, voices, ages, orientations, and experiences--offers a panoramic view of literary life in the Portland/Vancouver area. We publish both poetry and prose.

The submission window for VoiceCatcher 5 is open from February 1 to March 31, 2010. For guidelines, please check our website ( We’d love to hear your voice.

Meet our contributors and editors at one of the upcoming readings:

Thursday, February 18 at 7 pm:
Looking Glass Bookstore
7983 SE 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97202

Thursday, March 4th at 7 pm:
Cover to Cover
1817 Main St.
Vancouver, WA 98660

Saturday, March 27 at 2 pm:
Central Library
801 SW 10th Avenue
Portland, OR 97205

Saturday, May 8 at 2:30 pm:
St. John’s Booksellers
8622 North Lombard St.
Portland, OR 97203


ZAP Writing Workshop at the Red and Black Café
with Judith Arcana
9-11am on March 6, 2010
400 SE 12th Avenue in Portland, Oregon

About ZAP Writing Workshops:

ZAP Writing Workshops are two hours long; they can serve the interests of both experienced writers and dedicated beginners because their goal is the generation of raw material. ZAP provides a jumpstart. Beginners can use the workshop as a start-up, an introduction to the use of prompts and exercises, an example of external guidance for internal purposes. Experienced writers can use the exercises to produce material for work in progress, initiate new projects, rev up, or be pushed in new directions.

Artists in other forms may benefit as well; ZAP can complement and spark their work in dance, sculpture, music, theater – whatever – through creative cross-pollination. Everybody may write in a variety of forms. The two hours will be focused on production: making words come out of your head and appear on your laptop screen or notebook page.

About Judith Arcana:
Judith, who created the ZAP Writing Workshop format, is a writer of stories, poems, essays and books; she's taught writing workshops & classes to high school students, law school students, doctoral candidates and other folks in other places. Judith believes art is in no way separate from anything else, and thinks its role in our lives is more complex and far-reaching than is usually assumed. She thinks the relationship between art and politics is intimate and ancient, and she agrees with novelist Toni Morrison, who says: “The problem comes when you find harangue passing off as art …. the best art is political and you ought to make it unquestionably political and irrevocably beautiful at the same time.”

Red and Black Café regulars may have heard Judith talk and perform in the café in July or December of 2009. Visit her website ( to learn more about her writing, her history as a teacher and activist, and her attitude (click on BIO, OP-ED, WRITING + other pages and sub-pages for info).

This workshop is a fundraiser for the café.

For registration/more info, go to the ZAP workshop page at the cafe website:

For a good time, visit

No comments: