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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, April 5, 2010


Hey folks,

April is National Poetry Month, and there is no shortage of events and workshops to look forward to.

On April 10 at noon, I will be facilitating a free, National Poetry Month edition of my writing workshop, The Work, at Angst Gallery (1015 Main Street). Bring pen, paper, and some poems to share. I will be sharing some good work and providing exercises to inspire some new work in all of you.

That same afternoon, Toni Partington and Eileen Elliott are teaching a free workshop at In Other Words Books (see Item two below).

On April 14 Toni Partington and I will host the latest in a series of Art Conversations at Cover to Cover Books in Vancouver (address and phone number below). We will discuss the role of the poet in our community, and how we writers can improve our ability to contribute positively to Vancouver’s well-being.

Congratulations to Mel Sanders, the owner of Cover to Cover Books, for the coverage she recently received in the Columbian regarding the struggle for survival of independent bookstores in a tough economy. The article also included photographs from a recent VoiceCatcher reading at the bookstore:

This month I will be hosting two of my favorite people, Portland’s Walt Curtis and James Honzik, both of whom are poets as well as visual artists:

Open Mic Poetry
hosted by Christopher Luna
7:00pm Thursday, April 8, 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 360-514-0358
or 360-910-1066

With our featured readers,
Walt Curtis and James Honzik:

Walt Curtis is Portland’s unofficial Poet Laureate. He has published 15 small-press books, including Mala Noche, which inspired Gus Van Sant’s first film. Curtis is a cofounder of the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission, having written about neglected Oregon writers John Reed, Hazel Hall, Joaquin Miller, C.E.S. Wood, and others. For 35 years, he has co-hosted The Talking Earth on radio. The poet has performed in Penny Allen’s films Property and Paydirt. Bill Plympton produced the docudrama The Peckerneck Poet, and Curtis earlier performed in American Ferris Wheel. Having read with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Ken Kesey, the aging “street poet” is legendary in the Pacific Northwest.

James Honzik studied poetry under John Yau, Bernadette Meyer, and David Trinidad at the Poetry Project at St. Marks Church, the heart of poetry in New York City, and with Charles Bernstein at the New School. He has lived in Wisconsin, New York City, and New Orleans, and currently resides in Portland. He has performed his work at the La Mama, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, CBGB's and many other venues in NYC, and on the West Coast in Big Sur, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and at Burning Man.


Christopher again:

Please take a look at the latest edition of Sage Cohen’s E-Zine Writing the Life Poetic, which features recent poems by Brittany Baldwin, Shawn Sorensen, Steve Williams, M, Toni Partington, yours truly, and others:

If you’d like to see previous editions of the zine:

Also, have a look at this interview with my friend Jason Mashak, an American expat poet living in Prague:

Onward Wordsmiths,
Christopher Luna



1. Call to poets and artists to address Hanford nuclear waste cleanup plans
2. Life As A Conscious Poet: A Free Reading and Workshop with Toni Partington and Eileen Elliott at In Other Words Books April 10 (Portland)
3. Penelope Scambly Schott at Barnes & Noble Vancouver April 14
4. Toni Partington at Paper Tiger Coffeehouse open mic April 15 (Vancouver)
5. Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer's Disease the Tacoma Dominican Center April 16
6. Eileen Elliott and Henry Hughes April 21 100th Monkey Studio (Portland)
7. Free poetry writing workshop with Paulann Petersen at Multnomah Central Library April 25
8. Liz Nakazawa, Toni Partington, Lex Runciman, and Sandra Stone at Moonstruck Chocolate April 25 (Lake Oswego)
9. Rigoberto González at the Milagro Theatre (Portland) April 26


From Laura Feldman:

Dear fellow poets and artists,

On February 10th I attended the latest Hanford Hearing held in Portland. It was to weigh in on Federal plans to use Hanford as a national radioactive waste dump while abadoning clean-up or containment of existing contamination, which is quite frankly and always has been for me, beyond my wildest imagination. It looked somewhat hopeful at the last hearing I’d attended after Obama had taken office and had dedicated a significant amount of money for Hanford clean-up. But now it seems that his administration has buckled to the stress of the nuclear industry in an effort /exchange to reduce carbon emissions, and joined some experts and environmentalists in packaging and labeling nuclear power as “green.” He recently gave the go ahead to build two nukes in Georgia, with 18 more to follow around the country.

A further twist to this frightening plot is that there are plans to begin shipping waste to Hanford before the Waste Treatment (vitrification) plant is operational. This means thousands of truckloads of radioactive waste rolling through Portland and Spokane en route to Hanford. The risks of this are imagineable and unimagineable—increase risk of cancer by simply driving next to one of these trucks.

As usual, despite the courage and spirit of those who testified at the hearing: cancer survivors who grew up directly downwind of Hanford, scientists and engineers who offer possible solutions, concerned citizens with passionate, useful and unlimited reserves of common sense, even politicians like Senator Wyden and the Oregon Dept. of Energy who know the risks of Hanford and are and have been advocating for Hanford clean-up—I leave feeling like an insane aslyum. As one citizen testified: “What do we have to do to make you clean up this mess up? The usual (and not unnecessary) answers —public education, political activism, maybe even physical protests, (conservation which a friend pointed out never gets mentioned!)—all of which has, is or will take place. But something more I felt needs to happen, and it has to come from the place where artists work-- the source, the universal call it what you will place. The place beyond the void, the apathy, the fear, the irrational government/industry/civic responses to the place where impossible connections can be made and unthinkable boundaries erased in not only thinking, but feeling, intuiting, perceiving, channeling what to do or not do about Hanford.

I’d like to convene a group composed of poets, artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, singers, etc. with some of the experts and key stakeholders in the Hanford phenomenon to create a response, a sane and inspiring, thought provoking response that increases public awareness about this issue and perhaps even miraculously offers the way toward solutions. I’m thinking of getting a grant to pay participants and purchase necessary materials and make public the results of such a gathering.

I would be most grateful for any feedback you can give me on this idea. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings. I’m feeling more desperate and frightened about Hanford than I ever have before. A sheer creature fear. If you think I’m barking up the wrong tree, please say so. If you can direct me to a different tree, all the better. If you do think this is a useful project, would you be interested in participating? This in no way commits you. I fully understand that no one has any spare time or spare money or spare anything, and that Hanford is a handful to contemplate.

Feel free to share this with other downwinders.

If you’d like more information on Hanford go to, Heart of America Northwest. There is still time to submit comments regarding this hearing. The deadline is March 6th.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


“No history is mute. No matter how much they own it, break it, and lie about it, human history refuses to shut its mouth. Despite deafness and ignorance, the time that was continues to tick inside the time that is.”

Life As A Conscious Poet: A Reading and Workshop with Toni Partington and Eileen Elliot

(not to be confused with life as an unconscious poet - that's another subject)

When: Sat, April 10, 2pm – 4pm (Free - donations to In Other Words appreciated)
Where: In Other Words Books, 8 NE Killingworth St, Portland, OR 97211, 503-232-6003
Poets/Facilitators: Eileen Elliott, author of Prodigal Cowgirl (2009) and Toni Partington, author of Wind Wing (2010).

"The highest purpose of art is to inspire." –Bob Dylan

This is a reading and workshop for writers or listeners -- you can do either or both!

Description: Life As A Conscious Poet

All around us stories unfold. Writing poetry can give life, breath, image, and understanding to these stories. We invite you to join us as we read poems from our books and use these poems as jumping-off points for your work. We will use writing prompts to identify your sources of interest and provide you with an observational strategy to heighten your day-to-day musings. We offer you an opportunity to live as a conscious poet who breathes in life while utilizing language to reveal its images.

Hello Literary Lad or Lady,

We have a wonderful group of regulars at our 2nd Wednesdays Poetry Group - warm, welcoming people and talented writers. But if you haven't been to one of our monthly poetry groups in awhile, please consider coming up or over. We still feature the very best authors - on April 14th at 7 pm we host none other than Oregon Book Award Winner Penelope Scambly Schott - along with an open mic and free coffee, all within the Portland area's 3rd largest bookstore. It's even gotten better as we host a easy-going poetry critique group from 6 - 6:45 in our cafe the night of Poetry Group, welcome to all.

And we host dozens of free community events every month. Bookmark us on your computer at

See who our guest is for our May Poetry Group...

Soon, and Happy Spring,
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

From Dan Nelson:

Greetings poetry lovers,

Many thanks and much appreciation to all the folks who got out the word and attended last months Poetry Night at Paper Tiger. It was a wonderful evening of wise and witty words centered around the thoughtful evocations of Jim Martin, and enhanced by many other fine local poets. This 3rd Thursday , April 15 at 7pm, at Paper Tiger (located at 703 Grand Blvd in Vancouver) we will have our usual open mic punctuated by the profundity and sage imagery of Toni Partington. For those unfamiliar with Toni here's a brief introduction and and a slice of her delicious word pie to pique your interest. Hope to see you all there.

Toni Partington lives and works as a poet, editor, artist, and life/career coach in Vancouver, Washington. Her poetry has been published in the Women’s Journal, Selected Poems of the River Poets’ Society, The Cascade Journal, VoiceCatcher (editions 3 and 4), and others. She is the author of a poetry chapbook, Jesus Is A Gas (2009) and her latest book of poetry, Wind Wing (2010) came out on Jan. 14th.

Toni serves as an Associate Editor for VoiceCatcher, an annual Pacific Northwest anthology of women writers and is involved in promoting poetry, writing and art in Vancouver, WA with a lively group of friends and peers. She facilitates Life In The Moment, Poetry & Other Riches, which can be found on the web at

At Frenchman’s Bar
By Toni Partington

Egrets assemble
levitate in slow motion
above the Columbia’s glass top
framed by fifty-foot twigs
upright to the sky

in silhouette

parked barges resemble a life
stopped abruptly
await permission to dock
unload the steerage of this long journey

when will it be time for you
to sail toward unknown ports
where women gather in flocks
lean into each other and
beckon you to land

For more information contact;
Dan Nelson

On Friday, April 16, from 7:00 to 8:30, Catherine Place, Center for Women in Tacoma, will sponsor a poetry reading from the Anthology, Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer's Disease, Introduction by Tess Gallagher. Editor, Holly Hughes and other contributors will read from the Anthology at the Tacoma Dominican Center, 935 Fawcett St. S., Tacoma (between 9th and 11th). Beyond Forgetting will be available for sale and book signing. To know more abut the book go to:

Please join us on April 16 for this special event. For further information, contact Kay Mullen at:


From Steve Williams:

On April 21st at the 100th Monkey Studio, you won't want to miss Eileen Elliott and Henry Hughes.

Eileen has just returned from California for the winter. How apropos for her to read from Prodigal Cowgirl, her new collection of poems. She also, opens her house in Vancouver for visiting poets who need a place to stay while reading and giving workshops. And weren't we happy to learn that the identity of our mystery guest, 'TBA' turned out to be none other than Henry Hughes. A recent Oregon Book Award winner, Henry has a new book out -- Moist Meridian. We had the pleasure of hearing Henry read at a recent event and can't wait for you to all hear him as well.

So, two fine performers await you at the Monkey, 7 p.m., April 21st. Plus, don't forget, open mic and who knows what else :).

But wait, there's more...

Our next critique group is April 11th at Looking Glass Books, 5-7 p.m. Come join our lively group as we read and talk poetry. If you'd like feedback on one of your own poems, bring yourself and 10 copies. Maybe it will be nice enough to sit on the patio... :)

Also, we will be returning the night before from AWP in Denver. Where Constance will be representing Naugatuck River Review in some crazy thing called Literary Death Match. I suppose we'll have a story to tell...

All for now, see you soon
Steve and Constance

From Paulann Petersen:

Thanks to the Tarshis Family Endowment of the Library Foundation, I'll be giving a free poetry writing workshop at Multnomah Central Library on Sunday, April 25th, from 1 to 4 pm.

Enrollment is limited to 35, and registration will open on April 4th. You can register on line or by calling the library (503-988-5123).

For more details, please go to this site:

And please pass this announcement on to anyone else who might be interested.

Many thanks---
Paulann Petersen

Please note e-mail change to
Visit my web site at



Arrive early to order chocolate and beverages for enjoying poems by 4 of Oregon's premier poets. Linger afterwards to meet the authors, browse and buy their books.


Liz Nakazawa, Toni Partington, Lex Runciman, Sandra Stone.
Hosted by Joan Maiers.
Free and open to the public.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
6:30 PM

Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe
45 South State Street in downtown Lake Oswego, OR 97034

Free will donations accepted to assist a girls' orphanage in Haiti.


Literary Arts & Miracle Theatre Group Present
PEN World Voices Festival
Rigoberto González at the Milagro Theatre
Monday April 26 at 7:30

In conjunction with PEN American Center's 2010 World Voices Festival in New York, Literary Arts & Miracle Theatre Group present Rigoberto González at the Milagro Theatre (525 SE Stark St.).

Rigoberto González (Mexico/U.S.) is the author of eight books, including the poetry collections, So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water Until It Breaks, a National Poetry Series selection, and Other Fugitives and Other Strangers. His most recent books are the young adult novel The Mariposa Club and a short story collection, Men Without Bliss. He is the recipient of the Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, winner of the American Book Award, and The Poetry Center Book Award. He writes a Latino book column for The El Paso Times, is a contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine, serves on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle, and is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, State University of New Jersey.

The evening will feature a reading by Rigoberto González, an in-depth conversation between former Miracle Theatre, Board President, Cindy Williams Gutierrez and Mr. González, and a Q & A session from the audience at the end of the program.

We would like to acknowledge our community partners, Powell's, Portland Latino Gay Pride and
Los Porteños for helping us recognize the importance of sharing the voices among us.


- Tickets are $10 plus handling fee
- Available online at HulaHub
- By phone at 503.236.7253
- At the Hollywood Theatre box office daily from 1pm - 9pm
- Or at the door on the day of the event

Visit for additional information.

Literary Arts is a statewide, nonprofit organization that enriches the lives of Oregonians through language and literature. The programs of Literary Arts are Oregon Book Awards, Oregon Literary Fellowships, Portland Arts & Lectures, Poetry in Motion®, Writers in the Schools and Delve: Readers' Seminars. For more information about the programs of Literary Arts, please contact James Rishky at 503.227.2583.

The Miracle Theatre Group has been dedicated to bringing the vibrancy of Latino theatre to the Northwest community and beyond for more than 25 years. In addition to its national tours, Miracle provides a home for Spanish and Latin American arts and culture at El Centro Milagro, where it enriches the local community with a variety of community outreach projects and educational programs designed to share the diversity of Latino culture. For more information about the Miracle Theatre Group, visit or call 503.236.7253




Voicecatcher5 will open its ART SUBMISSION window on April 1st. Guidelines are posted on the web at --click on the page- Art Submissions.

Voicecatcher is a publication of writing and art by women -- Portland/Vancouver area women. Here's an opportunity to have your art featured in a local publication.

I hope you will consider submitting your art. Artwork will serve as chapter markers for VC5 which is due out this coming October. It is an opportunity to have your art in a superb publication read by many.

In any case, visit the website to learn more about Voicecatcher's purpose, readings and opportunities.



Feel free to forward this email to your creative network!


From Paulann Petersen: I'm delighted to help spread the word about David Biespiel's newest program at The Attic, The Attic Atheneum. David and I will be teaching the poetry component, and I'm especially pleased to be part of this because of the program's emphasis on building and sustaining community.

The Attic Atheneum is our groundbreaking alternative to traditional or low-residency MFAs.

An 11-month certificate program, the Attic Atheneum melds independent study under close faculty supervision, student receptions, public readings, and other special Atheneum events created around good food and great conversation, dialogue, and literary community.

Running for just under a year, the Atheneum is designed to advance your writing and seed your new literary life in the city.

Historically, an atheneum is a literary or scientific association dedicated to learning. And that's how we envision the Attic Atheneum, too.

The Attic Atheneum offers a unique & pragmatic format for an intensive focus on your writing while participating fully in your everyday adult life. And, it offers a thriving literary community of fellow Atheneum participants. The Atheneum will be comprised of 18 members: no more than 12 students (4 fiction writers, 4 non-fiction writers, and 4 poets) and six faculty.

An alternative to traditional or low-residency MFAs & also taking writing workshops from time to time, the Atheneum is structured to build on your strengths & encourage you to become an active participant in contemporary literary activities.

The 11-month program includes independent study under close faculty supervision, receptions,
public readings, and discussion, selected readings, and other Atheneum events created around good food and great conversation, dialogue, and community. Plus, an end-of-program urban retreat to focus on your future writing goals.

The Atheneum aims to foster a strong sense of community among both students & faculty and to make each year's class of students a unique collection of writers and readers.

Our vision is that, in the future, Attic Atheneum alumni will continue to interact with current Atheneum members and help broaden a thriving literary community from year to year.

How does it work? Throughout your Atheneum year, correspondence between you & the faculty mentor occur at regular intervals. Through building community & emphasizing an individualized course of study & engagement with faculty, our goal is not to duplicate the MFA model or to supply academic credentials, but to allow you to immerse yourself in your writing discipline, remain accountable to your aspirations over an extended and reasonable period of time, and spend 11 months reaffirming & renewing your literary ambition and skills.

Deadline for Nominations for the Atheneum Class of 2011
Must be received by Friday, April 24, 4pm.
Writers may nominate themselves.
Nomination/Application Form

Students in the Attic Atheneum class of 2011 will begin the program in July 2010 and conclude in June 2011.



21st Century Howlers: A New Generation Jazz and Blues Anthology edited by Tyehimba Jess, Duriel E. Harris and Patricia Smith.

In the past ten to twenty years, a new generation of poets has emerged that seeks to expand and deepen the call-and-response tradition of Jazz and Blues music into the 21st century. Many of these poets may have not experienced a time when Blues or Jazz were the country’s common vernacular or were played with any heavy rotation on their local radio stations.

As we quickly approach the centennial of Jazz and Blues, this anthology seeks to gather the voices of a new generation of Howlers: those poets whose work embodies or addresses the musical traditions of Jazz and Blues, and who began actively publishing no earlier than 1995. Editors are particularly interested in innovative approaches, reinterpretations, and engagements with the contemporary socio-historical moment and/or Jazz and Blues scene. Each poet featured in the anthology will provide a short commentary or anecdote on the ways Blues and/or Jazz have affected their writing.

E-mails should contain a cover letter and submission as one attachment in Microsoft Word. Previously published work must be acknowledged in the cover letter. Submissions will be taken on an ongoing basis until September 1, 2010, c/o <21stHowlers(at)> (replace (at) with @)

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