Ghost Town Poetry celebrated a special anniversary recently at Cover to Cover Books in Vancouver WA. Good thing I went a little early. When I arrived, the bookstore was already packed to the rafters with well-wishers. The seating area was 3/4 full. The barista machine was hissing and grinding away happily, and the refreshment table was mobbed by appreciative fans. There was even live entertainment with music by harpist Jennifer Pratt-Walter. What was the happy occasion?
Ghost Town and Cover to Cover Books were commemorating a very successful collaboration. For five years, they have co-hosted a monthly open mic program that features readings by renowned poets from across the country. In doing so, they’ve also provided a valuable forum for local poets to showcase their talent. It’s a program that is obviously much appreciated by the community. The turnout was phenomenal.
The poems that night ran the gamut from anger and outrage to light-hearted humor and pensive introspection. One was accompanied by the strumming of an acoustic guitar and another by the flourish of a Japanese fan. Still others were delivered with an artistic flair reminiscent of a stage performance. All were greeted with an enthusiastic round of applause.
Halfway through the poetry readings, a folk/rock band (sans drummer) took the stage and soon had everyone tapping their feet. The lively performance by Lincoln’s Beard was one of the highlights of the evening.
Poet, artist, editor, and well known personality Christopher Luna founded the poetry open mic program way back in 2004. He continues as emcee for the event, with help from the equally talented Toni Partington. (VoiceCatcher 6 co-editor and co-founder of Printed Matter Vancouver)
Though the party’s over, the excitement continues. Ghost Town Poetry meets the second Thursday of every month at Cover to Cover Books. Meetings start promptly at 7 pm. Can’t make it? A good sampling of poems presented at open mic programs in the past–as well as some new work–can be found in Ghost Town Poetry: Cover to Cover Books 2004-2010. (see cover above) Order your copy today!
Special Note: For some candid shots of the celebration, please check the Printed Matter Vancouver website. Thanks for the heads-up, Chris!