by Danielle Champiet-Coronado
With the sun screaming at the Earth this summer leaving us no escape from its scorching temperatures, where can one go to find a reprieve? My favorite air-conditioned haven is the Barnes and Noble bookstore, especially on the last Tuesday of the month; their poetry event! If great books and friendly, attentive staff aren’t enough of a draw, they also have a top-notch Starbucks with food as amazing as their beverages. Their turkey and brie sandwich is absolutely delectable. If there is anything that can make a person feel like a Parisian breeze has magically transported them to a café on La Seine, people bustling around as you try to decide between touring the Eiffel tower or the Musee Rodin, it’s that dish.
At the July event guest of honor was the insanely talented and ever-entertaining A. Molotkov! Each poet brings their own, unique style to both their poetry and performance but Mr. Molotkov is one of rare gifts. Dynamic in presentation with his quiet boldness and dreamscape poems, A. Molotkov is the closest thing to experiencing a lucid dream in my waking state. Part M.C. Escher, part Cheshire cat and part old soul backpacking through time just to scratch the surface. His mysteries are plentiful but I’m hesitant to figure them all out. Some are just too good to solve and it is more fun not knowing all of the answers.
Poetry lovers were delighted with a triple-treat when Mr. Molotkov read from three of his books; ‘Your Life As It Is’, ‘The Catalog of Broken Things’ and his newest creation, ‘Application of Shadows’. Provocative and perceptive writing that’s aptly illustrated by gorgeous imagery mixed with subtle twists that leave your mind hungry for more. It’s no surprise that his books sold out that night. The journey begins with ‘Your Life As It Is‘, winner of the Editor’s Choice Award for the Accents Publishing 2014 Poetry Chapbook Contest. ‘The Catalog of Broken Things’ carries elements of that forward and deeper, exploring life and family and all of their entanglements. Profound clips such as “we swim as far as there is ocean to believe in” garnish the heartfelt prose like frames on exquisite paintings. ‘Application of Shadows’ is dazzling quintet of insights and emotional ponderings that waxes philosophical at times.
Additionally featured were two literary journals; ‘Poetry’ which featured Native-American themed poems and ‘Popshot Quarterly’ which also publishes flash fiction and short stories. Both are great resources for getting published and making credible writing connections. Another great source is ‘Writer’s Digest’ magazine. Chock full of helpful writing tips, it too has great information for writers to contact agents and publishers.
We also had the pleasure of Christopher Luna, the host of Ghost Town Poetry, and Joyce Colson, the host of Tiger Talk Thrives! at Paper Tiger coffee, among our open mic readers that evening. Poetry readings are their own flavor of interactive, and sometimes improv, theater and their popularity has flourished over the past decade. For those seeking to challenge, grow or hone their writing chops, there are workshops a plenty to be found in Vancouver as well. Mr. Luna hosts a terrific workshop, the dates of which are posted on his Facebook page. He is a former poet laureate for Clark County and taught writing at Clark College for years. Joyce Colson is a published writer, David Hill is a published writer as well as editor and translator and Cathie Padgett is a retired teacher/librarian. Great people and a fantastic mix of talents is just one of the perks to taking in poetry readings. Exposure to a variety of writing styles and themes and an incredibly welcoming and supportive group would be a couple of more. Whether published or not, we all come because we love art and these open mics are tremendous amounts of fun!
Can’t decide which one to attend? There’s no need to choose. Tiger Talk Thrives! gathers on the third Wednesday of each month at the Paper Tiger coffee house on Grand Ave, Last Tuesdays gathers on the last Tuesday of the month at Barnes and Noble on 4th Plain and Ghost Town Poetry hosts a few events each month on Main Street. The dates for Ghost Town can be found on its Facebook page.
Please join us on August 28th at 7pm. Our featured poet will be Matthew Minicucci reading from ‘Translation’ and ‘Small Gods’. Last Tuesdays poetry group is co-hosted by David Hill, Cathie Padgett and myself at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Vancouver, WA. All are welcome to attend this community event and, if they wish, read a family-friendly poem or two during our open mic sessions.
All of the books and journals featured at these events are available for purchase either in the store or on-line:
Your Life As It Is by A. Molotkov
The Catalog of Broken Things by A. Molotkov
Chiaroscuro Kisses by G.L. Morrison
Wakpa Wanagi Ghost River by Trevino Brings Plenty
The Fires of Passion by Danielle Champiet