Art at the Hopvine Pub, Summer, 2017

Join Raven Chronicles May 29 to August 27, 2017, celebrating 3 local artists: John Hunter, Magda Baker, and Jamey Rahm; Hopvine Pub, 507 15th Avenue East, Capitol Hill neighborhood, Seattle. Curated by Les Morely.

Reading/Reception for Raven Chronicles Journal, Vol. 24


A Reading & Reception for Raven Chronicles Journal Vol. 24: HOME
July 7, 2017
Friday, 7:00pm., Free
Jack Straw Cultural Center, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E., University District, Seattle

What is there in history but a shape of being? A language structure that is place with its multiple meanings of places within place. —Diane Glancy

The place where I truly feel at home is in a book. This is where the real panoramas are. The landscapes of the human imagination. Oceans, raging rivers, philosophies, forests. Language is a wilderness and books are their reserves. —John Olson

After all, home changes, but stories—be they the stories of former occupants or the stories of travelers visiting a darkened chimney—live forever. —Nyri A. Bakkalian

MC Paul Hunter
Readings by:

Dianne Aprile, Anna Bálint, Jim Cantú, T. Clear, Clare Johnson, Shankar Narayan, Linda Packard, Joannie Stangeland, Carolyne Wright; Recovery Café’s Safe Place Writing Circle readers.

Is home a place or a dream of sanctuary? A tarp, bedroll or car parked on the side of the freeway? A ranch you inherited? People you love? A state of mind? An elusive definition of space or location that only the privileged can afford to claim? Describe your home (whatever and wherever it may be) and the things that make it home for you. In Aleppo, “Abu Hussein, a man in his 50s, was remarkably cheerful as he stood with his wife Umm Hussein and looked down from their balcony on to the rubble that makes his street impassable for any vehicle. ‘Nothing is better or more beautiful than our home,’ he said. ‘It’s the place to be in good times or in bad.’ ”

Raven Chronicles is indebted to our 2017 co-sponsors for partial funding of our programs: Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture; 4Culture / King County Lodging Tax; ARTSWA/Washington State Arts Commission with NEA project support; and Jack Straw Cultural Center / Joan Rabinowitz, for co-sponsoring Raven readings, and for unflagging support for writers, literary groups, and music artists. And all Raven subscribers and donors.

Contact Information:
Mailing address: 15528 12th Ave. NE, Shoreline, WA 98155

Corrina Wycoff Reviews Crysta Casey’s “Rules for Walking Out”

This review is forthcoming in Raven Chronicles Journal, Vol. 24, HOME, out July 7, 2017.

Cave Moon Press
P.O. Box 1773, Yakima, WA 98907
2017, paper, 86 pp., $12.95

Rules for Walking Out—Crysta Casey’s second posthumously released poetry collection—chronicles Casey’s life during and after military service. Her poems stretch from the Parris Island boot camp where her enlistment began in 1978, to the Seattle Veteran’s Hospital where her life ended thirty years later. She rarely editorializes. Instead, with journalistic distance, Casey juxtaposes her experiences, revealing their complexity, and creating a deeply authentic, poignant memoir in verse.

An enlisted woman in the 1970s, Casey lived the sexual politics of Marine culture. A boot camp poem quotes the chaplain, who derides the all-female troop as “lesbians [and] whores” while the drill instructor asks, “How many of you joined because love is a pain in the ass?” This ambiguity between exploitation and agency recurs in several poems written about her time in active duty. In one, Casey’s “legs [are] spread open to officers who . . . ask [her] to suck / them like a cherry popsicle, only hot / like corn on the cob.” In another, she confesses, “I needed the money. They tipped well. I only knew them as fellow Marines; I had my own male friend off-base.”

Casey serves under Captain Bowman. It is Bowman, ultimately, whose false allegations of Casey’s suicide attempts result in her commitment to the military hospital’s psychiatric ward. His authority as a male officer means more than the inaccuracies of his accusations. The volume’s preface, “A Curse—for Captain Bowman,” explains: “You told them I was slitting / my wrists . . . . You said, ‘In the bathroom / in her room . . .’ The toilets were down the hall. / You didn’t even know / how enlisted people lived . . .”

While his mendacity seems clear, Bowman’s sanity does not. Casey and other female lance corporals clean his office. One poem describes discarding plastic spoons they find in “coffee cups, where dried noodles / claw the sides like ivy,” only to be shouted at, via intercom, “Where are my spoons?” Bowman “orders a detachment . . . to find some spoons.” A prolonged scavenger hunt ensues for replacement spoons of the specific weight and thickness Bowman requires. Not long afterward, still on base but threatened with commitment to the psych ward, Casey aptly claims, “I am on the psych ward . . . The truth is, I am.”

Once literally institutionalized, Casey receives a schizo-affective disorder diagnosis and begins “writing furiously in a new notebook” about the fellow soldiers she meets on the ward. Like Casey herself, they seem no more insane than the uninstitutionalized Captain Bowman. Anne, a fellow Marine, refuses to take the prescribed medicine. Casey writes, “I already swallowed mine. / Anne is sure I’ll die.” And Anne’s worry isn’t wholly wrong. Casey writes that her “thoughts are more exciting when [she’s] not on meds.” The meds trample and circumscribe her imagination. “On medication,” she writes, “I think of vacuuming the carpet.”

Casey relocates to Seattle in the 1980s after her honorable medical discharge. She is an indigent military veteran struggling with mental illness, yet poems about these post-military years remain keen and clear-eyed. One wryly describes Jim, the homebound, depressed Vietnam Vet who one day decides “to go downtown to the VA Regional Office and make sure he was going to get an American flag on his coffin,” only to be told, by the clerk, that military records already list him as dead. Another observes a five-year-old boy playing by a fountain, pretending to have been shot in the head. She writes of a Marine killed in Iraq and of a middle class civilian woman who, when asked why a nearby flag flies at half-mast, suggests Orville Redenbacher’s death. She writes of her friend Kim, a cross-dresser and former bomber pilot, living in shoddy transient housing, directly across the street from the municipal campus where the courthouse stands.

Casey, also a self-taught painter, overlays these baldly rendered situations with deliberately colored images. One of her active duty poems mentions a visit she makes to her family during a Christmas leave. There, she receives a gift of acrylic paints: “red, yellow, blue, black, and white,” all the colors needed to replicate the American flag and the Marines logo. Casey employs this palette as a central motif. On the psychiatric ward of the military hospital, she writes of living among “black sheep, white artists and poets.” There, she will sit in the dayroom and “stack white, / blue, and red poker chips / into a tower, knock it down with dice, then pile the chips again.” She writes of a Black female Marine found murdered in the barracks.

Sometimes, she mixes pigments. Writing of a literal self-portrait, she describes: “I wear a camouflage shirt . . . Only black nylons cover my legs . . . My feet are partially covered by black, open-toed high heels.” She writes of the “green cammie shirt” she buys at a garage sale when, as a veteran, she finally declares herself “Private/General of [her] own Army.” Finally, at the VA hospital, in yet another dayroom, she will “refuse to paint green or gold” on the paint-by-numbers set. She paints another self-portrait instead: “pink cheeks, red lips.” She paints a hand below the portrait, paints numbers on its fingernails, “each with purple hues.”

Describing her expression in this self-portrait, Casey deems it “sad as a baby’s hunger.” But a baby’s hunger cannot always be assuaged by bottle or breast. The keening continues without protecting the listener’s comfort, without assigning any blame, and without offering any advice. Rules for Walking Out is just as unapologetic, as innocent, and as discomfiting.

Corrina Wycoff is the author of two books of fiction, O Street, a novel-in-stories (OV Press, 2008), and Damascus House, a novel (Spuyten Duyvil, 2016). Her fiction and essays have also appeared in many journals and anthologies. She lives in Seattle and teaches English at Pierce College.

John Hunter: Art at the Hopvine Pub on Capitol Hill

John Hunter, The Alien Plantscape series, oils and acrylics on canvas and wood panels.

May 29-July 1, 2017
Opening Reception June 8, 7pm; Hopvine Pub, 507 15th Avenue East, Capitol Hill.

Hunter is a bold local artist known for intensely bright colors and odd, expressive perspectives, and subject matter. The Alien Plantscape series is an exploration into mostly surreal and abstract landscapes using oils and acrylics on canvas and wood panels. Fluid lines and shapes rich with color buzz with life, creating unique scenes that seem to blur the lines between the elements.

2017 Art shows at the Hopvine Pub on Capitol Hill. Curated by Les Morely; Co-sponsored by the Raven Chronicles.

Listening to Stories for a Change

Join us for this exciting event. Thursday, April 27th, 5:30 to 7:30 PM, Walker-Ames Room, #225, Kane Hall, UW Campus. Followed by Q&A’s.

Words From the Cafe, An Anthology, edited by Anna Bálint: Raven Chronicles Press. Anna will discuss her work at the Recovery Café, and some of her students will read their work in the book.

Josephine Ensign will discuss her book,  Catching Homelessness.

Books will be on sale from UW Bookstore.

Sponsored by UW Health Sciences Schools and Health Equity Circle. Supported by Humanities Washington, Jack Straw Cultural Center, 4Culture, and Raven Chronicles Press.



Ingri (Rachel) Quon: Art at the Hopvine Pub on Capitol Hill

Ingri (Rachel) Quon, “Color Vacation,” prints on canvas from original watercolors.

April 3-May 6, 2017
Opening Reception April 6, 7pm; Closing Reception May 5, 7pm, Hopvine Pub, 507 15th Avenue East, Capitol Hill.

Quon lets inspiration flow through water and color to explore her environment and play with organic inspired shapes. Her vibrant watercolors are a catalyst for appreciating nature more deeply and seeing beauty in color and form.

2017 Art shows at the Hopvine Pub on Capitol Hill. Curated by Les Morely; Co-sponsored by the Raven Chronicles.

SoulFood Coffee House: March 16, 2017 — Raven Chronicles

Raven Chronicles is a Seattle-based literary organization established in 1991. It publishes and promotes work that embodies the cultural diversity of writers and artists living in the Pacific Northwest and other regions. It publishes two print magazines each year (summer and winter), and original work on its website. This reading features prose and poetry, and maybe a surprise or two.

Reading for Raven Chronicles are Anna Bálint (poetry), Robert Francis Flor (poetry), David Halpern (stories), Paul Hunter (poetry), and Maliha Masood (fiction).

Anna Bálint is the author of Horse Thief, a collection of fiction that was a finalist for the Pacific Northwest Book Award. She has taught at El Centro de la Raza, Antioch University, and Hugo House. She is a teaching artist with Path With Art and Recovery Café in Seattle.

Robert Francis Flor was raised in Seattle’s Central Area/Rainier Valley. Several of his poems were published in anthologies: Voices of the Asian American Experience, from the University of Santa Cruz, and Where Are You From?, Thymos Book Project, Oregon. His chapbook, Alaskero Memories, was published by Carayan Press (2016).

David Halpern completed his Master’s degree at Brown University, and worked as a political writer and screenwriter for a decade before switching to a career making comic and wildlife flipbooks. He works as a Washington State Park Ranger, and writes with humor about the not-always-funny act of aging.

Paul Hunter’s work has been published in seven books and three chapbooks. His first collection of farming poems, Breaking Ground, Silverfish Review Press, was reviewed in the New York Times, and received the 2004 Washington State Book Award. He has been a featured poet on The News Hour.

Maliha Masood was born and raised in Pakistan. She is the author of travel memoirs Zaatar Days, Henna Nights: Adventures, Dreams, and Destinations Across the Middle East (Seal Press, 2006) and Dizzy in Karachi: A Journey to Pakistan (Booktrope Editions, 2013). Her work has been featured on NPR and PBS.

Raven’s Pushcart Prize Nominations for Work Published in 2016

The editors of Raven Chronicles nominate the following writers for their work published in Raven Chronicles, A Journal of Art, Literature & The Spoken Word,  Vol. 22, Celebration issue, July, 2016:
1. Christine Clarke, “Twenty”— poem, pg. 54.
2. Nancy Flynn, “Gift Event for Our New Gilded Age”— poem, pg. 73.
3. Dawn Karima, “Homecoming Celebration on the Fifth of July”— prose-try, pg. 48-49.
4. Kevin Miller, “On Jane’s Table Everything’s…— poem, pg. 63.
5. Jesse Minkert, “Basket Weaver”— poem, pg. 33.
6. Armin Tolentino “Watching My Son Bloom into
Summer”— poem, pg. 100.


His mossy crotch stains the shower floor green
and the drain is clogged with wet clumps of grass.

My boy unfolds into fronds of fern as he slowly sheds
any semblance of me. I’m losing his face through bark

and branches. His hair fluffs with pollen
and his armpits secrete a nectar so cloying

his room is filled with bees. He no longer speaks,
just stares out the window, lusting for sun.

I lie and tell him I understand, that it’s natural,
but my voice is lost through miles of forest.

I don’t know what to get him for his birthday.
I place a basket beneath his outstretched arms

and together we celebrate his falling leaves.

—Armin Tolentino

Armin Tolentino (poem, Back Cover) received his MFA at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. His poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, Ellipsis, and Backwords Press. He was a 2014 Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship recipient, and hopes one day to earn a Guinness Record for the world’s loudest clap.

Published in Raven Chronicles, Vol. 22, 2016.

Art at the Hopvine Pub, Nov. 1-Nov. 27. Reception Nov. 3rd.


Curated by Les Morely;
Co-sponsored by Raven Chronicles.

Hopvine Pub, Capitol Hill Neighborhood,
507 15th Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98112


John Dlouhy, “Lost Time,” Digital Prints. 11/1-11/27/16. Artist Reception: Thursday 11/3 at 7:00 pm

Dlouhy sifts through art historical references for images that resonate and then processed these images with digital tools to achieve a layering that speaks to memory, distortion, pattern and color.

And (this is a double exhibit):

Maggie Murphy, “Sea Knots,” Linocut Relief and Reduction Prints. 11/1-11/27/16. Artist Reception: Thursday 11/3 at 7:00 pm

Murphy’s process involves developing personally-charged, symbolic images, or, sometimes, images that provide spiritual refuge. These intricate prints are created using a multi-layered, multi-plate process and reductive printing methods.

Daniel Michael Viox, “On Nature, Time and Patience,” Acrylic on Wood. 12/1-12/31/16. Artist Reception: Thursday 12/8 at 7:00 pm

Viox is inspired by patterns of nature, geological formations, precious stones, topographical maps, and satellite imagery of the earth. He believes in the transformative power of art, myth, and metaphor.