book launch

December 6, 2018

If poetry has a presence in Vancouver, Washington, (and it does), it is largely thanks to Christopher Luna (and his collaborator Toni Lumbrazo Luna). In addition to being a poet, publisher, visual artist, writing coach, teacher, editor, and Clark County Poet Laureate (2013-2017), Luna is the co-founder of Printed Matter Vancouver, monthly wrangler of the Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, co-creator of the Poets in the Schools program for Clark County, and co-founder of Poetry Moves, a program that places poems by local students and adults on buses in the C-Tran system serving the county.

While he has been involved in the birthing of publications by numerous other poets, until now Christopher Luna has not had a full-length volume of his own poetry. That changes with the November publication of Message from the Vessel in a Dream (Flowstone Press).

On Thursday, December 13, 2018, Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic will host a book launch for Christopher Luna at Angst Gallery in Vancouver. There will be two readings, at approximately 8:00pm and 9:30pm, each preceded by an open mic program. Go.

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a poetry walk surprise

January 13, 2017

Christopher Luna poem

Here are the bare facts: Christopher Luna is the first poet laureate for Clark County, Washington. Poet, publisher, visual artist, writing coach, teacher, and editor, he is the co-founder of Printed Matter Vancouver, the Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, and Poetry Moves, a program that places poems by local students and adults on buses in the C-Tran system serving the county. (Among other achievements.)

The Vine is Clark County, Washington’s bus rapid transit system.

Yesterday, Christopher Luna posted (on Facebook) the following true story:

Today my dear friend and employer, Leah Jackson, took me on a “field trip.” She would not tell me where we were going or why. We hopped on the Vine, C-Tran’s newly launched BRT, and took pictures of the art that has been installed at all the Vine stops. At first I thought that this was what she wanted to show me, since she was on the committee that handled the art for the new bus line. I was not prepared for the real reason for our trip. When I saw that C-Tran had decided to include my name and one of my poems at the Vancouver Mall Transit Center, I was astounded. I was completely speechless, which anyone who knows me can tell you is rare. One of the things that makes this surprise honor so special is that the poem that was chosen describes a very momentous conversation I had with my son, Angelo Luna. Thank you to everyone in the community who has supported me and my activities over the years. There are no words to describe my gratitude.

Nice!

roll on, Vancouver!

July 6, 2016

poetrymoves

This is a follow-up to a January post about a poetry-on-the-bus program in Vancouver, Washington. A celebration over the holiday weekend marked the launch of the second round of poems — a selection of student work submitted by participants in Clark County’s Poets in the Schools program.

Spearheaded by Vancouver poet laureate Christopher Luna, this phase of Poetry Moves features the work of ten young poets. The poems will circulate on C-Tran buses through December 2016. For details and photos, see “Poetry Moves: Young poets’ works adorn C-Tran buses” in The Columbian and “Poetry Moves Phase Two Begins July 3 with students from the Poets in the Schools Program” on Printed Matter Vancouver.

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poetrymoves logo

Poets in the Park 2016

The annual Poets in the Park poetry festival, picnic and book fair is coming to Anderson Park in Redmond, Washington, on Saturday, June 25, 2016, and it promises to be an action-packed day.

Festival highlights include a RASP reading; a featured reading by Redmond poet laureate, Shin Yu Pai; Band of Poets (with music); a performance of the Persephone myth; bilingual readings; a “Poets Against Hate” performance; and readings from such groups as Maltby Women Poets, Rose Alley Press, MoonPath Press, StringTown, Jack Straw Writers, Striped Water, and Noisy Water anthology poets, among others.

Admission is free, including 55-minute workshops by David Horowitz, Mike Hickey, Christopher Luna, and Jeannine Hall Gailey. There will be plenty of open-mic reading opportunities (one featuring poems by dead poets only); a Poetic Sensory Walk in Urban Nature led by Kim Dietz; numerous vendors, including Black Heron Press, Rose Alley Press, Redmond Historical Society, LiTFUSE, VALA Art Center, Jim Teeters and “My Goldfish Stole the Moon: Poetry Fun”; mini-golf, chalk art, Haiku on Sticks; and family-friendly art and craft activities.

To see the complete schedule, go to Poets in the Park and scroll down. There’s more Poets in the Park on Facebook. Bring your lunch and come enjoy a day of Poetry in the Park!

Poets in the Park is sponsored by the Redmond Arts & Culture Commission and the Redmond Association of Spokenword, directed by Michael Dylan Welch, with additional thanks to Rebecca Willow, Sammamish Kiwanis, Redmond Kiwanis, and many volunteers.

poetry on wheels

January 8, 2016

Bellingham Transit Company buses 1938

We have occasionally mentioned rider-friendly poetry that appears on buses, such as the winning poems from the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest on Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) buses in Whatcom County, Poetry On Buses in Seattle, and Poetry in Plain Sight in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

An article in the January 3, 2016, Seattle Times, “Riders find the meter is running when they board Vancouver buses” (reprinted from The Columbian), announces the first round of Poetry Moves bus cards in Vancouver, Washington. While neighboring Portland, Oregon, has been part of the nationwide Poetry in Motion transit poetry program for a while, this is the inaugural ride for C-Tran in Vancouver. See the poems here. Organizers Christopher Luna and Toni Partington expect to move ahead with a second round later in 2016.

For more poetry on the move, there’s Poetry in Transit in British Columbia, which has been placing poetry in TransLink and BC Transit vehicles and transit shelters each year since 1996. There’s a PDF of each year’s car cards on the Poetry in Transit site.

The Athens, Ohio, On the Bus program places poems on the outside of buses and continues them on the windows.

In San Antonio, Texas, Poetry on the Move, now in its seventh year, places poems in buses and passenger vans during National Poetry Month.

Enjoy your ride!
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WTA photo: brand new Bellingham Transit Company buses lined up in front of Bellingham High School, December 1938

laurelWith this month’s re-appointment of U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, Natasha Trethewey (she is also State Poet Laureate of Mississippi), who will serve for a second term (2013-2014), we thought it an auspicious time to consider Poets Laureate closer to home. Here is a brief introduction, with links (if available) where you can find announcements, bios, poetry and scheduled readings.

Kathleen Flenniken is Washington State Poet Laureate (2012-2014). In addition to her own writing and an ambitious schedule of readings, workshops and other appearances, Kathleen maintains The Far Field, a growing, online collection of works by poets in Washington.

Richard (Dick) Brugger is Poet Laureate for the city of Auburn, Washington (2012-2015).

Christopher Luna is serving as the Poet Laureate for Clark County, Washington (2013-2014).

Jeannine Hall Gailey is Poet Laureate for Redmond, Washington (2012-2013). See also Jeannine’s Poetry in Redmond blog.

Lucas Smiraldo is Poet Laureate for the city of Tacoma, Washington (2013-2015).

Ina Whitlock is serving as Vashon Island’s Poet Laureate (2013-2015) and Vashon also has two students who serve as Youth Poets Laureate.

Patrick Knowles is Poet Laureate for the town of Yacolt, Washington, which happens to be in Clark County (see Christopher Luna, above).

In addition to our regional laureates, the Poetry Foundation-appointed Children’s Poet Laureate, Kenn Nesbitt, happens to live in Spokane, Washington, so we include him here.

And, to be neighborly, we should also mention Paulann Petersen, serving her second term as the Poet Laureate of Oregon; Evelyn Lau, the Poet Laureate of Vancouver, BC; Janet Marie Rogers, Poet Laureate of Victoria, BC; Fred Wah, the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada; and Brady Udall, Writer in Residence for the state of Idaho. (Note: Udall, whose term ends June 30, 2013, is a novelist. He will be replaced as Writer in Residence by poet Diane Raptosh, who is also serving as the first Poet Laureate for the city of Boise.)

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