JACK STRAW CULTURAL CENTER
A Reading & Reception
Raven Chronicles Journal Vol. 23:
Jack Straw Writers Program, 1997-2016
November 18, 2016
Friday, 7:00pm., Free,
Jack Straw Cultural Center, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E., University District, Seattle
MC Kathleen Flenniken
Joan Fiset, Donna Miscolta, Deborah Woodard, David Halpern, Suzanne Bottelli, Mercedes Lawry, Elizabeth Austen, Kathryn Hunt, Janee J. Baugher, James Reed, Maliha Masood, John Burgess, Jourdan Keith, Laurie Blauner, Doug Nufer, Wendy Call, Sharon Cumberland, Rachel Dilworth, Bill Carty, Martha Clarkson, Harold Taw, Sharon Hashimoto, Josephine Ensign, Margot Kahn, Martha Breiner, EJ Koh.
Raven Chronicles Press is indebted to our 2016 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: ravenchronicles.org
206.941.2955, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mailing address: 15528 12th Ave. NE, Shoreline, WA 98155
RAVEN CHRONICLES PRESS & JACK STRAW CULTURAL CENTER
A Reading & Reception, Celebrating a new book & CD:
Words From the Café
with MC/Host Anna Bálint
October 7, 2016, Friday, 7:00pm., Free
Jack Straw Cultural Center, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E. University District, Seattle
• Johnnie Powell
• Angel Ybarra
• Bang Nguyen
• Megan McInnis
• Tamar Hirsch
• Donald W. Butler
• Steve Torres
• Esmeralda Hernandez
• Mary Jo El-Wattar
Every Friday at Seattle’s Recovery Café, people struggling with addiction or mental illness or homelessness come together in Anna Bálint’s Safe Place Writing Circle to write and share writing. Here they discover their own unique voices and ways of shaping language to write stories and poems as part of reclaiming their lives. Anna’s 2015 residency with the Artist Support Program at Jack Straw, and funding from 4Culture, made it possible to capture some of the magic that takes place each week in Words From the Café, a book/CD compilation. These are voices that need to be heard. Their literary diversity and range of human experience fly in the face of prevailing stereotypes of some of the most marginalized members of our society.
Thanks to Recovery Café, 4Culture, Jack Straw Cultural Center and Raven Chronicles for making this program possible. Contact Information: ravenchronicles.org
206.941.2955, email@example.com, Mailing address: 15528 12th Ave. NE, Shoreline, WA 98155
Raven Chronicles is hosting a coming-out, publication party for Peter Ludwin’s new book, Gone to Gold Mountain, MoonPath Press. Join us Saturday, September 17th, 3-7 p.m., 15528 12th Avenue NE, Shoreline, 98155. Peter will read from his new book, which will be for sale, along with several of his earlier works. Raven’s new issue, “Celebration, Vol. 22,” will also be on sale.
Bring a musical instrument; bring a dish or drink to share: potluck dinner.
RSVP Publication Party: Sept. 17th, 2016, 3-7 pm.
15528 12TH Avenue NE, Shoreline 98155
Reply: firstname.lastname@example.org; 206-941-2955
Peter Ludwin about his book: The focus of Gone to Gold Mountain, my new book from MoonPath Press, is the massacre of over thirty Chinese gold miners in Hells Canyon on May 25, 1887, by a gang of horse thieves based in Oregon’s Wallowa County. A fair number of the poems are of the persona variety in voices as disparate as a Chinese prostitute, the gang leader, a wife left behind in China, and the clerk of Wallowa County, who, along with many local residents, didn’t want the story told. A sub-theme is the degree to which the Chinese presence in the 19th century American West has largely been forgotten.
Blurbs for Gone to Gold Mountain:
“In Gone to Gold Mountain, poet Peter Ludwin brings to life the little-known story of Chea Po and his fellow Chinese gold miners, massacred in 1887, by Eastern Oregon pioneers. Ludwin embodies Chea Po and his experiences of breathtaking racism, homesickness, and dislocation. He imbues these persona poems, letters, and laments, with the finely-drawn landscapes of Hells Canyon and China, glowing lanterns, and an eagle circling the canyon rim. Chea Po seems to have haunted Ludwin until finally, here, his life and death are told justly. We are the richer for it.”—Kathleen Flenniken
“Peter Ludwin is a writer who knows there are poems no one asks for, but everyone needs—so he sets out to write them. In this book, he travels to a place of massacre, then enhances the story of trauma with longing, devotion, hope, and the unfurling tendril of life that reaches generations beyond a tragedy. The poems speak as letters, news items, memories, secret notes of lover to lost soul. Ludwin’s lens of imagination pierces a hidden past at a remote place, and his lyric archive invents what might otherwise be forgotten, what he calls ‘the speckled rhythms’ of change. Read this book for insight into a hidden chapter of international history, and to break a code of silence across cultures. You will recognize more poems need rich research, and history needs to sing.”—Kim Stafford
“Ludwin’s haunting poems resurrect an era of vehement anti-Chinese sentiment and the U.S. by focusing on the Hells Canyon massacre in 1887—a segment of U.S. history conveniently omitted from the textbooks. To a great extent, the work’s strength lies in its understated eloquence, riveting imagery, and frequent use of persona poems in different voices. With great insight, skill and compassion, Ludwin has produced a fine collection that succeeds in fleshing out this nightmare episode from our past.”—Diana Anhalt, author of because there is no return.
Peter Ludwin is the recipient of a Literary Fellowship from Artist Trust and the W.D. Snodgrass Award for Endeavor and Excellence in Poetry. His first book, A Guest in All Your Houses, was published in 2009 by Word Walker press. His second collection, Rumors of Fallible Gods, a two-time finalist for the Gival Press Poetry Award, was published in 2013, by Presa Press. Gone to Gold Mountain is forthcoming from MoonPath press. A Pushcart Prize nominee and a poetry finalist for the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards, Ludwin’s work has appeared in many journals, including Atlanta Review, The Bitter Oleander, The Comstock Review, Crab Orchard Review, Nimrod, North American Review, Raven Chronicles and Prairie Schooner. He works for the Kent Parks Department.
I was surprised, shocked, flabbergasted to be the first recipient of the Marion Kimes Open Mic Award.
I met Ms. Kimes, in 1992, at Red Sky Poetry Theatre, one of the first people to welcome me to Seattle. I had moved here for theatre with a handful of poems and stories. I had taken a few writing classes, though I had never read my own out loud, nor had sent much out.
Marion was a dynamo of energy, good cheer, and selfless enthusiasm for everybody’s writing and participation. She was especially welcoming to newcomers. As an actor, I was wary of another cliquish caste system, one very much evident in the poetry scene.
I felt in awe of the many new voices I was experiencing, commanding the room’s attention. And with Marion as everyone’s advocate, respect was always widely generated around the room.
As I attended other open mics, while auditioning around town, I wasn’t sure whether I was a writer wanting to act, or an actor wanting to write. Both required endless homework and, hopefully, an audience. With theatre you are continually selling oneself; with writing, however, you are selling something far more personal and unique, intangible perhaps, certainly not an obvious commodity as in theatre.
When performing a show, I’d get nervous about everything—external things beyond my control—whereas with writing, all that mattered really were the words themselves. Performance was a matter of presentation. To be clear, be yourself, and communicate to those listening to what you had placed upon the page.
From open mics, I discovered the most effective time to edit was about an hour before you were going to read. Like a lot of younger poets, my reading and listening to poetry, not my own, was minimal. I was resistant to the idea of “poetry,” which, at the time, I would have said seemed precious, manipulative, and unduly clever.
My enthusiasms began to shift and open mic became my drug-of-choice, and poems—such as I wrote them—weren’t ready or finished until, like a tired actor, they had made the rounds through a series of venues, tweaking them along the way.
Marion was always amicable and a generous resource, welcoming to all poetic fledglings, eager to encourage or reinforce whatever positive experiences therein gleaned. She might stop someone who was nervous and have them begin again, only, “take it a tad slower this time,” said in her soft Texan twang and a calming smile all the while.
Something I recall regarding a utopian society—put everyone first and be kind and respectful to all, and while I didn’t necessarily ever hear Marion say this, this is what I observed from her in my formative years reading in Seattle’s open mic scene.
Larry Crist lives in Seattle and is originally from California, specifically Humboldt County. He has also lived in Chicago, Houston, London, and Philadelphia, where he attended Temple University, receiving an MFA in Theatre. He’s been widely published. Undertow Overtures is Larry’s first poetry collection, published by ATOM Press, in 2014.
The editors of Raven Chronicles nominate the following writers for their work which were published in Raven Chronicles, A Journal of Art, Literature & The Spoken Word, Vol. 21, Laugh. Laugh? Laugh! issue:
- Susan J. Erickson, “Elizabeth Barrett Takes Up Tweeting”— poem, pg. 34.
- Vince Gotera, “How to Write a Sestina”— poem, pg. 42.
- Paul Hunter,“Clownery”— poem, pgs. 72-73
- Tiffany Midge,“Sex, Love, and Frybread”— fiction, pgs. 36-41.
- Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr., “Bumblebee and The Cherokee Harelip”— fiction, pgs. 54-59.
- Vladimir Vulović, “Borka”—essay, pgs. 12-15.