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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, November 4, 2011

THE WORK Poetry Newsletter November 2011

 Christopher Luna
Editor, The Work
Photo by Toni Partington


The cold has finally arrived. It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting in the sun in my shorts.

I am proud to announce two upcoming readings. On November 20, Toni Partington and I will read from the Ghost Town Poetry anthology at Moonstruck Chocolate Café in Lake Oswego (see item 8 below for more details). On November 28, we will be featured readers for the Last Monday Poetry Group in Hillsboro (details to follow).

 Mike G. and Toni Partington at Paper Tiger
Thursday, October 22, 2011
Sketch by Christopher Luna

If you’d like to read my most recent Paper Tiger collage poem, and check out a couple of sketches I drew that night, go to:

Christopher Luna and Leah Jackson in front of Angst Gallery
I also recently posted a poem I wrote to commemorate Niche Wine and Art Bar’s one-year anniversary:
There are two new posts at the Printed Matter Vancouver website about our recently published Ghost Town Poetry anthology: 

In this video, my friend and collaborator David Madgalene, the poetic mastermind of Windsor, CA tells the story of a uniquely Ghost Town encounter:

And of course:


7pm Thursday, November 10, 2011
and every second Thursday

6300 NE St. James Rd., Suite 104B
(St. James & Minnehaha)
Vancouver, WA

With our featured reader, Peter Ludwin:

Peter Ludwin is the recipient of a Literary Fellowship from Artist Trust.  He was the Second Prize Winner of the 2007-2008 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Awards, and a Finalist for the Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award.  For the past ten years he has been a participant in the San Miguel Poetry Week in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he has workshopped under such noted poets as Mark Doty, Tony Hoagland and David St. John.  His work has appeared in many journals, including The Bitter Oleander, The Com-stock Review, North American Review and Prairie Schooner, to name a few. His first full length collection, A Guest in All Your Houses, was published in 2009 by Word Walker Press. A chapbook, The Door Unhinged, was a semi-finalist for both the 2010 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Award and the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. His second full-length manuscript, Rumors of Fallible Gods, was a Finalist for the 2010 Gival Press Poetry Award.  His poem “Terezin Concentration Camp, Bohemia,” was nominated for a 2010 Pushcart Prize. An avid traveler who has journeyed on the rivers of the Amazon Basin in Ecuador by canoe to visit remote Indian families, hiked in the Peruvian Andes, thumbed for rides in Greece and bargained for goods in the markets of Marrakech and Istanbul, he recently returned from a month in Western China and Tibet.

Tagong: the Wild West
by Peter Ludwin

A pack of dogs roams the muddy street
that bisects this one-horse Tibetan town,
and a dead one stains the sidewalk with its corpse.

Rough-looking Khampas gather by their motorbikes.
In the clinic, a young Chinese doctor
gives me a three-hour IV and a shot to bring

my fever down.  Obama! he says.  Kobe!
On the mountainside, prayer flags thick as stars.

Notes from a Sodbuster’s Wife, Kansas, 1868  
by Peter Ludwin

What really got us in the end—
we women who didn’t make it,
who withered and blew away in the open—
was the wind.  Space, yes, and distance,
too, from neighbors, a piano back in Boston.

But above all, the wind.

In our letters it shrieks hysteria from sod huts,
vomits women prematurely undone by loneliness,
boils up off the horizon to suck dry
their desire as it flattened the stubborn grasses.
Not convinced?  Scan the photographs,
grainy and sepia-toned, like old leather.
Study our bony forms in plain black dresses,
our mouths drawn tight as a saddle cinch,
accusation leaking from rudderless eyes, betrayed.

I tried.  Lord knows I tried.
Survived the locusts and even snakes
that fell from the ceiling at night,
slithering between us in bed.
I dreamed of water, chiffon, the smell
of dead leaves banked against a rotting log.
I heard opera, carriage wheels on cobblestone.
Cried and beat my fists raw into those earthen walls.

The wind.  Even as it scoured
the skin it flayed the soul,
that raked, pitted shell.
And how like the Cheyenne,
appearing, disappearing,
no fixed location,

not even a purpose one could name.


See items 9 and 10 for information about how to obtain new work by two former featured readers in the Ghost Town Poetry series: Michael Daley and Carolyne Wright.

Finally, congratulations to the women of the VoiceCatcher collective for the publication of another anthology of great Northwest women writers and artists. See item 4 below for more details. In the coming month, Voice Catcher will be presenting a number of readings to celebrate the launch of the book, and in December Printed Matter Vancouver is proud to present a book launch at the Ghost Town Poetry open mic hosted by VC co-editor Toni Partington featuring several of the authors included in the anthology.  

Hope to see you on the scene,
Christopher Luna
Co-Editor, Printed Matter Vancouver
Co-Host and Founder, Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic



  1. Crow Arts Manor Workshop Schedule (Portland, OR)
  2. Unsinkable Genius: The Surreal Voyage of George Hitchcock & kayak Magazine at Multnomah County Library’s Collins Gallery through November 27
  3. Object Poems opening Nov. 4 & 5 and exhibit (Nov. 4-26) at 23 Sandy Gallery (Portland)
  4. VoiceCatcher 6 Reading at In Other Words (Portland) November 6
  5. Judith Arcana and Judith Barrington at Broadway Books November 8
  6. Figures of Speech critique group (Nov. 13) and open mic featuring Maxine Scates and Judith Montgomery at In Other Words (Portland) November 15 
  7. Paulann Petersen + open mic at Paper Tiger Coffee (Vancouver, WA) Nov. 17
  8. Christopher Luna, Toni Partington, and Peter McMinn at Moonstruck Chocolate Café (Lake Oswego, OR) Nov. 20
  9. Michael Daley’s Way Out There: Lyrical Essays now available as an eBook
  10. Mania Klepto: The Book of Eulene by Carolyne Wright now available

Crow Arts Manor Workshop Schedule

Tuesdays, October 25th-November 29th, 7:30-8:30

Zachary Schomburg: The Narrative Prose Poem (ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT!!!)

Primarily a workshop, this course will focus on the generation and revision of 6-8 narrative prose poems within the larger context of readings. We will examine its structure: its set-up, its volta, and its exit. And we will consider how a complex pathos can be developed, an emotional confusion through humor and heartache, within this structure.

Zachary Schomburg is the author of The Man Suit; Scary, No Scary; two forthcoming books, Fjords and The Book of Joshua; a dvd of poem-films, Little Blind Things; and several small press chapbooks. He co-edits Octopus Magazine and Octopus Books.

Wednesdays, November 2th-December 7th, 8pm-9pm

Arthur Bradford: The Short Story

Sometimes the greatest gift a writing workshop can provide is simply the motivation to write down your stories.  Participants will bring in new work to present – either fiction, non-fiction, or hybrid.  Work will be shared by reading aloud, though participants may also provide photocopies so that others can read along.  We will discuss elements of successful short stories as well as strategies for publication.  This is a class for those who want to get work out of their heads, onto the page, and in front of other people.

Arthur Bradford is the author of Dogwalker: Stories (Knopf, 2001), and the upcoming children’s book, Benny’s Brigade (McSweeney’s, 2012).  He directed the new Comedy Central South Park Documentary and was the Writer/Director/Producer of MTV’s How’s Your News?

Thursdays, November 10th-December 22th, 7:30-8:30 (class will not meet Thanksgiving week)

Erica Recordon: The Business of Creativity: Developing and Submitting Your Book To Agents

This is a class for writers who have a completed manuscript, which they now want to get into the hands of a literary agent. This stage can be full of questions. What should my cover letter say? Which sample chapters should I send? Which agent is right for me? We’ll unpack the confusion and workshop your book proposal into shape. At the end of six weeks, each student will have a ready-to-send proposal, a starter list of agents, and a better sense of the publishing industry that awaits them.

Erika Recordon began her career as an agent at the Writers House, a major New York agency. From there, she accepted a position with the boutique Robin Straus Agency, where she began to take on clients of her own. Over the years, she has worked closely with a wide range of authors including Alexander McCall Smith, Ha Jin, and many others. In 2009, she left New York and moved to Portland, Oregon, where she now runs an independent editing business.

Tuesdays, January 3-Febraury 6th, 7:30-8:30
Emily Kendall Frey: Poetry Workshop

This poetry workshop will focus on generating work. Poets will bring new poems to class and discussions will be centered around enhancing the workable and vital aspects of a new piece of writing. Writers will be encouraged to find and bring to class poems that inspire their craft, and exercises will be introduced based on those models.

Emily Kendal Frey is the author of The Grief Perfomance, published by Cleveland State University Poetry Center in 2011, as well as several chapbooks and chapbook collaborations.

Thursdays, January 5th-February 9th, 7:30-8:30
Shannon Wheeler: Creating Comics: A to Z

This comic class will focus on production of comics – idea, writing, sketching, thumbnails, panel layout, story arc and publishing. The focus of this class is creating rather than talking about creating. Be ready to draw.

Shannon Wheeler is the creator of the Too Much Coffee Man cartoon series and the book, I Thought You Would Be Funnier, has published cartoons in the New Yorker and has been honored with the Eisner Award for best humor publication.

Wednesdays, January 11th-February 15th, 7:30-8:30
Martha Grover: Creative Non-fiction

This class will focus on the short personal essay and the creative nonfiction narrative. As a class we will address problems of form and memory in telling our true-life stories. Students will bring in their own work to be workshopped as well as reading handouts and examples from the instructor. We will create a safe, supportive a community of writers and readers in addition to tackling the tricky task of distilling chaotic real-life into a cohesive narrative.

Martha Grover grew up in Portland and Corbett, Oregon. She has been publishing her zine, Somnambulist, for seven years. Her book, One More For the People, was published in December, 2011.

Wednesdays, February 22-March 28th, 7:30-8:30
Carl Adamshick: Lyric Poetry

The workshop will focus on the short poem. Participants will bring work and discussions will be centered around what is and what is not needed in a poem, and how to choose the right image for the right emotion being expressed. The range and variety of lyric poetry is vast and can be found in all literatures. We will use examples to help us understand the importance and art of economy. The goal being to leave class with a richer sense of how less can be more.

Carl Adamshick received the 2010 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets judged by Marvin Bell. His book, Curses and Wishes, is published by Louisiana State University Press. His poems and essays have appeared in Narrative, American Poetry Review, Tin House, The Harvard Review, and elsewhere.

Saturdays, February 25th-April 6th, 10:30-11:30 (no class on March 24)
Mary Rechner: Momentum in Short Fiction: How to Keep Your Story Going

In this class we will use George Saunder’s essay “The Perfect Gerbil: Reading Barthelme’s The School” as a guide to escalating momentum in short fiction. Students will write and workshop a new story in this class.

Mary Rechner is the author of Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women.  Her stories have appeared in the New England Review, Kenyon Review, Washington Square, Propeller Quarterly, Literary Mama, and Oregon Literary Review.  “Hot Springs” was printed as a limited edition letterpress chapbook by Cloverfield Press.

2. Unsinkable Genius: The Surreal Voyage of George Hitchcock & kayak Magazine
October 6-November 27, 2011

Collins Gallery
3rd Floor, Central Library
801 S.W. 10th Avenue

Monday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tuesday & Wednesday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday: noon-5 p.m.

For more information:

Oregon-born writer, artist and editor George Hitchcock (1914–2010) was on the cutting-edge of the small-press revolution, and in 1964 launched an incredible 20-year run of an inexpensively produced and electrifying literary journal called kayak.

"Unsinkable Genius: The Surreal Voyage of George Hitchcock & kayak Magazine" has books, kayaks (the magazine), photographs, letters, original collages, paintings, even the walking stick of George Hitchcock who died last year at age 96. It is very visual and very literary at the same time.

Object Poems
November 4 - 26

23 Sandy Gallery
623 NE 23rd Avenue
(three doors north of Sandy Blvd.)

Opening Reception: Friday, Nov. 4, 5:00-8:00 pm
Reading/Performance: Saturday, Nov. 5, 4:00 pm

Object Poems
brings together striking works by thirty contemporary artist-poets and poet-artists: poems in three dimensions; poems that depart from the familiar form of the printed page.

Exhibitors include Alison Knowles, Nico Vassilakis, Andrew Topel, Marilyn R. Rosenberg, Steve McCaffery,  Geof Huth, Alan Halsey, K.S. Ernst, Norma Cole, Jen Bervin, Bill Berkson, Michael Basinski, James Yeary, Kristin Prevallet, Eric Magrane, Drew Kunz, Joseph Keppler, Jim Clinefelter, and many others.

Shawna Harch of Portland Reading Local conducted a wonderful interview with me which you can find at

Incidentally, the redesigned Portland Reading Local has become one of the liveliest literary sites in Portland, well worth bookmarking


 Voice Catcher 6 Reading

They're photographers, poets, painters, prose writers, and color-pencil artists who revel in the real, the imaginary, the public, the private. They're ten creative women who will be sharing their work at In Other Words on Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 2 p.m.--another lively VoiceCatcher event you won't want to miss.

Reading and Art Exhibit
In Other Words
Sunday, November 6, 2-4 pm
14 NE Killingsworth, Portland, OR

Kay Reid
Lois Rosen
Cecilie Scott
Sharon Wood Wortman

Kristin Kohl
Kari Lloyd-Jones
Heather Mikes
Elizabeth Miles
Kris Tina E. Valoppi
Lisa Valle

From Judith Arcana:

Come to Broadway Books
November 8th
Judith Arcana & Judith Barrington
Judith Arcana
Judith Barrington

prose & poetry with politics
reflective/retroactive/right now
1714 NE Broadway
Portland, Oregon

non-sneak preview: the Judiths in conversation online .....
the Judiths' websites .....
the bookstore website .....

Art is food. You can't eat it, but it feeds you.  --- Bread and Puppet Theater

From Steve Williams:

Hi Everyone

This month we have our normal day for our critique group open to the public at In Other Words on the corner of Williams and Killingsworth in N. Portland.  Bring yourself and 6-8 copies of a poem you’d like feedback on to the group on Sunday afternoon November 13th from 4-6 p.m.

Figures of Speech is proud to present not one but two former Oregon Book Award winners this month.  Please join us for Maxine Scates and Judith Montgomery on November 15th also at In Other Words at 7 p.m.  Both of these poets are from out of town so we need a good local turnout for these two outstanding writers.  And as aways open mic (2 page max. pls), poetry prompts and cookies.

 Maxine Scates

Maxine Scates is the author of three books of poetry, Undone (New Issues 2011) Toluca Street and Black Loam. She is coeditor, with David Trinidad, of Holding Our Own: The Selected Poems of Ann Stanford. Her poems have been widely published in such journals as AGNI, The American Poetry Review, Ironwood, The Massachusetts Review, Ploughshares and The Virginia Quarterly Review, and her work has received the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, the Oregon Book Award for Poetry, the Lyre Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. She has taught at Lane Community College, Lewis and Clark College and most recently Reed College. She lives in Eugene, Oregon.

 Judith Montgomery

Judith H. Montgomery lives in the High Desert of Oregon. Her poems appear in such journals as Ars Medica, The Bellingham Review, Dogwood, The Evansville Review, and Hunger Mountain, as well as in several anthologies including, most recently, I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights. (Lost Horse Press, 2009). She is the author of Passion (2000 Oregon Book Award), Red Jess, and Pulse & Constellation. With the support of fellowships in poetry from Literary Arts and from the Oregon Arts Commission, she is working on two new manuscripts (Blue Fields, Burning, and Ambiguous Gift). She has received residencies from Soapstone, Caldera, and Hypatia; several of her poems have been nominated for Pushcart prizes. She enjoys teaching as well as writing, and reviews poetry books for Calyx and the Valparaiso Poetry Review. She was the 2005-2006 Scholar-in-Residence at Central Oregon Community College.

From Dan Nelson:

 Hey there all you lovers of great poetry,
My condolences to all of you who missed our October reading. We had the usual stellar cast (plus a few great new additions) for the open mic portion of the evening. And then there was the remarkable Dan Raphael. The man is a virtuoso with the english language, torqueing words until they give up there vital essences, creating imagery that crawls around your brain and burrows into your consciousness like a mole in soft earth. Plus he is a great performance artist. Thank you Dan, and thanks to everyone else who promoted, attended or participated in the event. And special gratitude to our gracious new hosts at Paper Tiger, Kenny and Sue Fletcher.

For November's Third Thursday reading (7pm on Nov. 17th at Paper Tiger Coffeehouse, 703 Grand Blvd in Vancouver; Located about a mile east of I-5 between Mill Plain and Evergreen) I am thrilled to announce we will be featuring the phenomenal talent of Paulann Petersen. Oregon’s sixth Poet Laureate, Paulann Petersen has five full-length books of poetry: The Wild Awake, Blood-Silk, A Bride of Narrow Escape, Kindle, and The Voluptuary, published by Lost Horse Press in 2010. She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and the recipient of the 2006 Holbrook Award from Oregon Literary Arts. A current Associate Fellow at the Attic Institute, she serves on the board of Friends of William Stafford, organizing the January Stafford Birthday Events.

Paulann has the rare ability to create skeins of gorgeous imagery which she blends into a whole which offers crystal clarity. The folks who didn't get chosen to be Poet Laureate of Oregon can take comfort in knowing they lost out to a master. Kinda like all the NBA greats who didn't win a championship during Michael Jordan's reign. She is that good.

So , if you care about great verse and know you deserve the best, hie yourself on down to Paper Tiger on November 17th for a night of great company, great beverages, and some of the finest poetry in the Pacific Northwest. You will be glad you did.

I'll leave you with a sample of Paulann’s work to insure you'll make every effort to get there and hear her in person.

Dan Nelson


A bird’s beak. Recurved,
decurved, serrate, hooked.
Each to its purpose.
Dark, pale, honeyed, dun,
of use. Stabbing, probing, it keeps
its size, its shape, by balancing
constant growth and constant use.
A small and honed proof.

Onward it grows, fed by a heart’s
swift little engine that’s fed by
what the beak can dislodge.
Outward—against grit or bark—
it wears away as much of itself
as it adds. The use of use: to keep
a beak as beak, exactly.
Worn to perfection.

   Paulann Petersen
                                     from The Voluptuary, Lost Horse Press, 2010


Joan Maiers hosts an evening of poetry read by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington, co-editors of the Ghost Town Poetry anthology, along with fiction by Peter McMinn from Soul's Road.

Authors will provide book materials for browsing and signing.
Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe in downtown Lake Oswego, 6:30 PM on Sunday, November 20.
Seating is limited but parking is accessible and abundant.
Be sure to arrive by 6 PM, so as to order beverages and claim seating.

Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe, 45 S. State Street in downtown Lake Oswego, OR 97034.
Contact: 5003-697-7097.

Michael Daley’s book, Way Out There: Lyrical Essays, just became available as an ebook:

WordTech Communications / Turning Point Books Announces the Publication of "Mania Klepto: The Book of Eulene" by Carolyne Wright

Carolyne Wright has published nine books and chapbooks of poetry, a collection of essays, and four volumes of translations from Spanish and Bengali, including the anthology Majestic Nights: Love Poems of Bengali Women (White Pine Press, 2008).  Her previous collection, A Change of Maps (Lost Horse Press, 2006), finalist for the Idaho Prize and the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, won the 2007 Independent Book Publishers Bronze Award for Poetry, and was reviewed in The Iowa Review 38/1, and in The Cortland Review: < > 

Wright's other recent collection, Seasons of Mangoes and Brainfire (Carnegie Mellon U Press / EWU Books, 2nd edition 2005) won the Blue Lynx Prize, Oklahoma Book Award in Poetry, and American Book Award. Wright, a visiting writer at colleges and universities around the country, served on the Board of the AWP from 2004-2008, and moved back to her native Seattle in 2005. She teaches for the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts' Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program.

Carolyne Wright's new collection, Mania Klepto: the Book of Eulene (WordTech Communications / Turning Point Books, 2011), features the adventures of the post-modern alter-ego, Eulene.  

On his blog, publisher Kevin Walzer *confesses*: "I'm in love with Eulene, the unforgettable protagonist of Carolyne Wright's Mania Klepto.  Eulene takes us on an energetic romp through her vision. These brisk poems are never dull, often funny, and always illuminating. While the poems of Mania Klepto are varied in their length and techniques, they all share a strong, propulsive energy through their scenes. . . . These poems grab your attention and never let up."

Don Bogen, editor of The Cincinnati Review, says, "Of all the descendants of Berryman’s Henry Pussy-cat, Carolyne Wright’s Eulene has got to be the most, to use the poet’s own term, bodacious. This 'gregarious loner' weaves her formidable presence from Puyallup to Calcutta, from childhood memories to apocalyptic myth. Narrative, satire, and lyric meditation come together in an intricate, vivid portrait. In Mania Klepto, Eulene demands her say— and she says a lot."

Poet Jim Daniels writes that "Carolyne Wright’s Mania Klepto: The Book of Eulene is a masterful, imaginative collection focusing on Eulene, one of the most memorable characters to ever grace the pages of a book of poems. Nothing keeps Eulene down, and nothing keeps these poems from soaring. This inspired collection of funny, audacious poems will leave you reeling with delight and wonder."

W. D. Snodgrass, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, predicted some years ago that "Eulene promises to be a compelling, disquieting figure."  (How right he was!)

And David Wagoner, winner of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, has stated that "Carolyne and Eulene rule."

* Mania Klepto: The Book of Eulene is available from WordTech Communications:

*For a review copy, please query Kevin Walzer, Editor & Publisher, 
< >; and Senior Editor Lori Jareo,

*You may also contact Carolyne Wright for a reading and/or review copy: 

ISBN 978-1936370412, 106 pages, $19.00
Cover art: "Eulene Pajaristica," Eugenia Toledo
Book Design:  Christine Holbert, Lost Horse Press

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