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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, October 4, 2010

THE WORK October 2010 monthly poetry newsletter by Christopher Luna

The autumn poetry harvest continues this month. On Saturday, October 9, my monthly poetry workshop, also known as “The Work,” continues in our new location: Niche: A Wine and Art Bar located at 1013 Main Street and owned and operated by Angst Gallery art maven Leah Jackson. Join us at noon on Saturday October 9. Please bring a poem to share with the group. Cost: $20 for one or $45 for three workshops.

Painter and Guerilla Media mastermind Olin Unterwegner has posted a psychedelicized video featuring excerpts from last month’s Paper Tiger open mic in Vancouver, WA. If you skip ahead to the nineteen minute mark, you can see/hear my son Angelo read a poem he wrote that night in collaboration with Toni Partington and his cousin Azure Compton. Toni follows him, and at around 29 minutes, I read excerpts from “more than we can bear,” my 100-page investigative collage poem about 9/11: Olin has also posted my reading alone:

I have a poem in the new issue of Night Bomb Review. You can find a copy of this publication at Powell’s Books, or through the publishers: On October 17, Night Bomb editors Chris and Amber Ridenour are hosting a release party at World Cup Coffee & Tea 1740 NW Glisan Street, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

VoiceCatcher 5, a local publication that showcases Portland-area women writers, will be released on October 9, and the collective has many exciting readings planned in the coming months. I am proud to announce that we will help launch the book with a reading at the Cover to Cover open mic in December. If you’d like to know more about upcoming VoiceCatcher events, see item 5 below.

If you’d like to hear a podcast featuring six of the spectacular authors from Voice Catcher 4, go to:

Thanks to everyone who came out to see Ed Coletti’s featured reading at Cover to Cover. Ed would like to hear from you. Check out these blogs and please leave a comment:

Ed Coletti's P3

No Money in Poetry

This month’s featured reader, Carlos Reyes, is a noted poet, writer and translator, and the publisher/editor of Trask House Books, Inc. In 2007 he was awarded a Heinrich Boll Fellowship to write on Achill Island, Ireland and in 2008 was awarded the Ethel Fortner Award from St Andrews College. He was recently the poet-in-Residence in the Joshua Tree National Park. Reyes lives in Portland but travels often to Ireland and is a frequent visitor to Spain and Ecuador. His latest book of poetry, The Book of Shadows; New and Selected Poems (2009) will be available at this month’s reading for $21.00. Other recent books include At the Edge of the Western Wave (2004; available for $16.95) and A Suitcase Full of Crows (1995) (a Bluestem Prize winner and finalist for 1996 Oregon Book Awards). His books of translations include Poemas de la Isla/ Island Poems by Josefina de la Torre (Eastern Washington University Press, 2000) the Obra poética completa (Complete Poetic Works) of the pre-eminent Ecuadorean poet Jorge Carrera Andrade, which was published in a bilingual edition in Ecuador in 2004. His translation of Ignacio Ruiz-Pérez' s "La señal del cuervo/The Sign of the Crow" is due out in Spring 2011.

According to Carolyn Kizer: “Mr. Reyes is one of our local and national treasures. His poetry is as clear and strong as his social conscience. One is always struck by his sensual and sensory qualities: the touch, taste, feel, color of things, and his ability to capture a mood, a world, in a handful of lines.”

Open Mic Poetry
hosted by Christopher Luna
7:00pm Thursday, October 14, 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

Here is an example of Carlos’s work:


Just past midnight eight hours from Madrid,
the other passenger who speaks only Arabic

thinks he has bought a ticket to Almería.
But it says Mojácar insists the driver, stops

pushes the Arab from the bus.
The driver, whose looks could demand papers,

asks only to see my ticket again, says
to the darkness, to me, I hate people

who don’t know where they are going . . .
Repeats it to make sure I’ve understood

before I fall asleep . . . while the bus,
a beetle with flashing eyes,

rides the spine of a glistening black snake
on down the grade, toward Turre.

Guitars and voices crack the night.
Gypsy moths dance on the face of the moon.


Finally, I am looking forward to a special reading I booked for St. Johns Booksellers October 22 that will feature local readers whose work appears in the new anthology from NY’s Uphook Press, “hell strung and crooked.” See item 9 for more details.

Hope to see you at one of these great events.

Your friend in poetry,
Christopher Luna


1. Mel Favara’s 1,000 Words Reading: Flight at the Waypost (Portland, OR) October 7
2. Poet Dan Raphael and sculptor Olinka Broadfoot at the Art Department (Portland) October 8
3. The Studio Series Poetry Reading and Open Mic (Portland) October 10
4. Readings featuring Shanna Germain (Portland) October 11 and 16
5. VoiceCatcher Authors read at Powell’s on Hawthorne (Portland) October 18/ VoiceCatcher Announcements for October-December
6. Leslie Marmon Silko and Molly Gloss at PSU October 18
7. Matthew Dickman and Judith Arcana + open mic at 100th Monkey Studios (Portland) October 20
8. Ric Vrana and open mic at Paper Tiger Coffee (Vancouver) October 21
9. Uphook Press Reading for “hell strung and crooked” at St. Johns Booksellers (Portland) October 22
10. Moonstruck Chocolate Poetry reading with Christopher Wicks, Nathan Warner, David Cook and Dan Raphael, and music by guitarist Debra Giannini October 24



7PM sharp-9PM, Thursday, OCTOBER 7 AT THE WAYPOST, 3120 N. WILLIAMS AVE., PORTLAND (503-367-3182)



CONTACT: MEL FAVARA, 971-506-3340,

Collective Unconscious
myths, religion + fairy tales

with sculptor/painter
Olinka Broadfoot
poet Dan Raphael

Exhibition + Poetry Reading
Friday, October 8, 2010

Art Department
1315 se 9th avenue
artists in attendance

The Studio Series
Poetry Reading and Open Mic
October's poetry night will feature Joe Soldati and Kate Gray
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Stonehenge Studios
3508 SW Corbett Avenue, Portland 97239
7-9 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the Studio Series is held monthly on second Sundays. For more information, please contact organizer and host Leah Stenson at


Portland erotica writer Shanna Germain has two readings this month:

Dirty Little Secrets Reading @ Three Friends Coffee House
201 SE 12th Avenue (Ash), October 11, 7-8 p.m.

Listen. We want to whisper in your ears, expose our innermost desires, and give you glimpse of those dirty spaces between our ears. Will you let us?

We invite you to come and take a peek into the very unclean minds of authors Kerry Cohen, James Bernard Frost and Shanna Germain. Whether we're exploring our inner fears and fantasies, or delighting in our sexual coming-of-age, we promise you'll be delighted, intrigued, aroused, amused, or, at the very least, aghast at the things we have to share. If that's not enough, during the Writers' Q&A, we'll be exposing all the dirty little secrets of being writers. And your own dirty secrets -- written anonymously on pretty pieces of paper -- will become part of an instant, immersive art project.


Fairy Tale Erotica Reading @ She Bop
909 N. Beech Street
Saturday, October 16th – 8:30 p – FREE

Join erotica writers Shanna Germain, Kristina Wright, and Andrea Dale for a night of fantasy and fairy tales. Reading from ‘Fairy Tale Lust’ and ‘Alison’s Wonderland’, these authors will show you how sexy and steamy fairy tales can be! Dress in fairy tale attire and be eligible to win a She Bop gift certificate (costume optional).


From Steve Williams and Constance Hall

We have events galore to talk about.

In October, there is of course Wordstock where you will find both Constance and myself wandering the aisles most of both days. Last year, Constance was in the midst of gall bladder surgery so we missed the festivities -- so we're going to be making up for it this time. A week later is the OSPA conference in The Dalles. It looks to be a good one and we will be there all day Saturday. Also, don't miss the readings on both Friday and Saturday night. I'm attaching the flyer for more info.

Our monthly critique group is going great at Looking Glass books. In October, our normal Sunday night is also the last day of Wordstock, so we're moving the critique group back a week to October 17th at 5 p.m. Bring yourself and 10 copies of a poem you'd like feedback on from the group.

On October 20th, Figures of Speech is proud to present Judith Arcana and Matthew Dickman as our featured readers at the 100th Monkey studio from 7 to 9 p.m.

Join us for another exciting evening at the Monkey. These two poets are so different and yet have much in common. And as always, open mic (1 poem, 2 page max.), prompts, cookies and other fun. See you on October 20th at 7 p.m.

Matthew Dickman is the author of All-American Poem (American Poetry Review/Copper Canyon Press, 2008), as well as the recipient of The Honickman First Book Prize, The May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Kate Tufts Award from Claremont College, the 2009 Oregon Book Award and two Fellowships from Literary Arts of Oregon. He has received residencies and fellowships from The Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas, The Vermont Studio Center, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and The Lannan Foundation. He has been profiled in The Oregonian, Poets & Writers Magazine, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, and The New Yorker. Born and raised in the Lents District of Portland, he has been a guest lecturer and teacher at Reed College, Writers in The Schools, Portland State University, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Hamline University, and Smith College. W.W. Norton & Co. will publish his second book in 2012. He lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

Judith Arcana writes poems, stories and essays, publishing online and on paper; her books include Grace Paley’s Life Stories, A Literary Biography, the poetry collection What if your mother, and4th Period English, a chapbook of poems about immigration. In 2010, she created the ZAP Writing Workshop for Portland’s Red & Black Café and the Locally Grown Poetry series for the Hollywood Farmers Market; she spent the summer living/working as Artist-in-Residence at Milepost5. (picture by Linda Koolish)

Lastly but certainly not leastly :). If there is only one poetry event you can attend this fall, make it this one. On December 15th at 7 p.m. we are hosting a special reading by Paulann Petersen and Vern Rutsala. We expect a huge crowd for this event and have reserved space on the campus of PSU. The reading will be at the Multicultural Center in Smith Student Union (Rm. 228).

We recently discovered the Poet Laureate position in the state of Washington has been suspended by the Governor. We should count ourselves lucky for organizations like "Oregon Cultural Trust" who fund the Poet Laureate position in Oregon. For this reason, we have decided to make our December reading also a benefit for Oregon Cultural Trust. Both Paulann and Vern have agreed to let us publish a broadside with their poems side by side. Each will be signed by the author and will printed in a limited number. Each person who donates to the Oregon Cultural Trust ($10 dollar suggested) will receive a broadside commemorating the evening. And of course, there will be a book table and our normal array of poetry prompts and refreshments.

Due to the audience size, we will not be doing our usual open mic. but ask that members of the community who wish to read something inspired by our featured readers or have a personal connection they'd like to talk about, please write us at and we will reserve a spot for you to speak that evening.This is a first come, first serve kind of thing so don't wait as we expect the time to fill up quickly.

Many thanks to Paulann and Vern for gracing our series with their work. Also, huge shout outs to Michele Glaser who is co-sponsoring this event through the English Dept. at PSU and made the space for this reading possible.

VoiceCatcher 5 will be released on October 9, featuring 25 writers and 16 artists from the Portland/Vancouver area! You can get your copy at Portland area booksellers and online at .

Upcoming Readings and Events

Please join us at the Wordstock Festival on October 9 and 10, where we will be celebrating the anthology's release with a reading and a workshop with board president, Carolyn Martin, "Words Alive!"

Sunday October 10, 2010 -- Wordstock Festival
Wordstock Stage - 1 p.m.

Readers include:
Carmel Bentley
Christi Krug
Kristin Roedell
Naomi Fast
Lisa Maier
Sonya Zalubowski

Monday October 18, 2010 - Powell's on Hawthorne - 7:30 p.m.
3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland OR 97214

Readers include:
Paulann Petersen
Penelope Scambly Schott
Mary Zelinka
Kaitlyn Burch
Sage Cohen
Nikki Schulak

Tuesday November 2, 2010 - In Other Words -- 7pm
8 NE Killingsworth St., Portland, OR

Readers to be announced

Thursday December 8, 2010 -- Cover to Cover Books - 7 p.m.
1817 Main St., Vancouver, WA 98660

Readers to be announced

Literary Arts proudly presents an evening with
Leslie Marmon Silko and Molly Gloss
TIME: 7:30 P.M.

Leslie Marmon Silko is the author of numerous books including Almanac of the Dead, Garden in the Dunes, Ceremony, and most recently, The Turquoise Ledge.

Silko is a Native American novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter and short-story writer whose work is primarily concerned with the relations between different cultures and between humans and the natural world. Silko was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and grew up at Laguna Pueblo. The Pueblo has been home to members of her family for generations and is where she learned traditional stories and legends from her grandmother Lilly and her aunt Susie.

Called the most accomplished Native American writer of her generation and an "American Indian Literary Master," Silko has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant," the National Endowment for the Arts Discovery Grant, the Boston Globe prize for nonfiction, the Pushcart Prize for Poetry, and the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities "Living Cultural Treasure" Award. Silko was also the youngest writer to be included in The Norton Anthology of Women's Literature, for her short story "Lullaby."

Molly Gloss is a native Oregonian and one of Portland's literary icons. She is the author of such books as The Jump-Off Creek, The Dazzle of Day, Wild Life and The Hearts of Horses. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award for American Fiction. In 1990, Gloss won the Oregon Book Awards in fiction for her novel The Jump-Off Creek.

You may also charge by phone at 503-725-3307 or at PSU box office - 1825 SW Broadway.

Thank you to our sponsors: Portland State University and Willamette Week.

Literary Arts is a statewide, nonprofit organization that enriches the lives of Oregonians through language and literature. For more information about Literary Arts, please contact us at 503.227.2583 or visit

From Dan Nelson:

Octobers 3rd Thursday falls on the 21st and at 7pm we will begin another Poetry Night @ Paper Tiger (703 Grand blvd. in the 'Couve). Between open mic sessions I am delighted to announce we will be featuring Ric Vrana. Ric Vrana left an increasingly untenable legal and political situation in the industrial midwest and moved to Seattle 32 years ago where he worked on the watefront and fell in with a bad crowd that formed the nucleus of a poetry scene that produced the Red Sky Poetry theater and related zines and projects.Falling in with another bad crowd, he found himself in graduate school at the UW where he became a geographer, having been a maphead most of his life. Poetry and Cartography, therefore, are major lenses through which he understands the world and he likes to work at the border where they both come together. He's been in Portland since 1990 where he now works a day job as a planner for TriMet and also teaches as an adjunct in PSU's Master of Urban and Regional planning program. Re-emerging into performance poetry, he's been active in the Portland area open mic scene and invited readings for the last five years. His work has appeared in "The Duwamish Review","Open Sky", "The Alberta Street Anthology", "Blown Out: Portland's Indie Poets", "Venetian Blind Drunk" and has been heard on KBOO radio's "Talking Earth" and can be found in scattered podcasts here and there on the world wide web. His first chapbook "Brain Screams" appeared in Feb. 2010 and can still be found in a few local bookstores which means not many people are buying it but he's working on another one already anyway.

Hope to see and hear all of you at this months Poetry Night at Paper Tiger. For those who haven't been there yet Paper Tiger is located between Mill Plain and Evergreen on the east side of Grand, about a mile east of I-5 in Vancouver. Great people, great poetry, great potables! what more could you ask. I'll leave you with a sample of Ric's elegant and inspired verse.

Dan Nelson
360-334-1129 or

Landing in Portland
by Ric Vrana

Near ear deafening engine’s roar
metal cigar spear sky dart
taking me home though I would stay.
Still, it could be worse, I think
and thank some providence
it is here, not somewhere else, I return.

Northwest North America
continental edge, marine overtaking,
not mine by birth but
by these many indentured years,
earned through noble effort
a place I own a piece of
a place I raised my kids
a place scattered with incoherent
talking slivers of my story.

Airline window soliloquy uncomfortable
contortion body strains to favor eyes
sighting landmarks named and
unknown closer and closer to
the buried bones of home.

Blue world seen through water vapor atmosphere
white glaciers melt metallic, conic
volcanoes so close I might touch
but for machine envelope flying me inside.
When I descend all wet earth
is a hundred greens.
Amid noise of resumed life
my thoughts like city streets
retreat to geometric patterns.

Here's another one:

Tiny Signs of the Partial Breakdown of Civilization
(a Pantoum) by Ric Vrana

Eggshells scattered in small white flecks
fragile and jagged as broken shellfish
evidence of consumption discarded
on a transit bench inches from a trash can.

Fragile and scattered as broken shellfish
out of work former factory millwright
on a transit bench inches from a trash can
searches want ads for call center jobs.

Out of work former factory millwright
his cough will go untreated this year
searches want ads for call center jobs
hoping to keep his daughter in school another semester.

His cough will go untreated this year.
No money to pay the health care ransom.
hoping to keep his daughter in school another semester,
one by one, asks waiting commuters for spare change.

No money to pay the health care ransom.
Airport travelers stand in security line
one by one, empty pockets of their spare change
Who is comforted by this futile show?

Airport travelers stand in insecurity line.
Every new event is interpreted as war.
Who is comforted by this futile show
when we have all become the numerous enemy?

Every new event is interpreted as war.
Evidence of consumption discarded.
We have all become the numerous enemy, like
eggshells scattered in small white flecks

October 22
St. Johns Booksellers
Christopher Luna 360-910-1066
Nena Rawdah 503-283-0032

A special reading
with Claus Ankersen, Judith Arcana, Nancy Carol Moody, Charles F. Thielman
to celebrate the release of
hell strung and crooked: Poetry taken to the edge and back round again
a new anthology from Uphook Press

JUDITH ARCANA writes poems, stories, and essays, and is a longtime scholar, teacher, and activist. Her latest poetry publication is the chapbook 4th Period English (Ash Creek Press, 2009), which explores immigration. Other books include the poetry collection What if your mother (Chicory Blue Press, 2005) and Grace Paley’s Life Stories: A Literary Biography (University of Illinois, 1993).

NANCY CAROL MOODY’S poetry has been anthologized in The Quizzical Chair (Uttered Chaos Press, 2010), and published in the journals Bellevue Literary Review, Natural Bridge, Poetry Northwest, and The New York Quarterly Review. Her first full-length collection, Photograph With Girls, was published in 2009 by Traprock Books.

CHARLES F. THIELMAN is a poet, artiste, reading host, and active member of Tsunami Books—an independent lefty bookstore collective in Eugene. He is a committee member of both the Lane Literary Guild and the Oregon State Poetry Association.

CLAUS ANKERSEN works with poetry, fiction, spoken word, and cross-disciplinary artistic expressions. He has published two collections of poetry, a poetry CD, and has directed and produced a documentary on spoken word in his native Denmark, where he is considered a leading figure in the genre. He writes and performs in both English and Danish, and has presented his work in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Turkey, India, and the U.S.

Readers will be joined by Uphook Press editors Ice and Jane Ormerod

Uphook Press is a New York City-based publisher specializing in work by poets and spoken words artists who love both the ink and the mike. hell strung and crooked ($15) is their second anthology, taken from open submission, with the aim to promote a nationwide community of performing poets. Featuring forty-one poets—from San Francisco, Atlanta, Nashville, Boston, Seattle, elsewhere, and New York—hell strung and crooked also includes interviews with Mark Doty and Claus Ankersen. Contributors include Lenore Balliro, Samantha Barrow, Paul M.L. Belanger, Alex O.Bleecker, Meredith Devney, Malaika Favorite, Joseph Fritsch, Christian Georgescu, Robert Gibbons, Thomas Gibney, Deborah Hauser, Suzanne Heagy, Aimee Herman, R. Nemo Hill, Vicki Iorio, Kit Kennedy, Stephen Kopel, David Lawton, Richard Loranger, E. K. Mortenson, Nancy Carol Moody, Puma Perl, John Marcus Powell, Bob Quatrone, Seraphime Rhyianir, Lynn Samsel, Jackie Sheeler, Mary McLaughlin Slechta, Elliot D. Smith, Laura L. Snyder, Francesca Sphynx, Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, Charles F. Thielman, Andrew Topel, John J. Trause, Geoffrey Kagan Trenchard, Stephanie Valente, Jacob Victorine, Ocean Vuong, Bruce Weber, and Laura Madeline Wiseman.


Arrive early to order chocolate or beverages and enjoy listening to poetry and melody. Featured are regional authors Christopher Wicks, Nathan Warner, David Cook and Dan Raphael, with music by guitarist Debra Giannini.

Hosted by Joan Maiers.

Free and open to the public.

Five dollars suggested donation to assist orphans in Haiti.

Sunday, October 24, 2010
6:30 PM
Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe
45 S. State Street in downtown Lake Oswego, OR 97034

Accessible with abundant parking.


CALYX, A Journal of Art and Literature by Women will open for submissions of poetry, short fiction, and creative non-fiction on October 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010.

Please send up to six poems or 2,500 words of prose, SASE, and a short bio to:

CALYX Journal
PO Box B
Corvallis, OR 97339

For 34 years CALYX Journal has been a creative forum for women’s diverse voices showcasing work from new and emerging writers and artists. Visit our website for full guidelines.


Beginning September 1, 2010 through January 15, 2011,Asheville Poetry Review will be accepting entries for the first annual William Matthews Poetry Prize.

First Prize: $1,000, publication in Asheville Poetry Review, and a featured reading at the nationally acclaimed Wordfest Literary Festival

Second Prize: $250, publication, and a featured reading at Wordfest

Third Prize: Publication and a featured reading at Wordfest

Final Judge: Sebastian Matthews (poet, memoirist, and son of William Matthews)

The final judging process will be “blind” (all identifying information will be removed from the poems).

All submissions will be considered for publication.

Postmark Deadline: January 15, 2011

Send 1-3 poems, any style, any theme, any length, with a $20 entry fee (payable to Asheville Poetry Review) to:

William Matthews Poetry Prize
c/o Asheville Poetry Review
PO Box 7086
Asheville, NC 28802

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