Spring has finally come to Vancouver. Sorry Punxsutawney Phil but YOUR. TIME. HAS. PASSED! The spring fae have been busy at Barnes and Noble with flowers and critters warmly greeting those headed to the Starbucks Café. Buddha figurines and yoga mats adding a touch of Zen to the atmosphere. It’s always a surprise to see what Barnes and Noble will be carrying next! Even our poetry haven was brightly decorated with gorgeous pictures from Vancouver schools in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday.
Zen and colorful are the perfect themes for February’s guest poet, G.L. Morrison and her debut collection, Chiaroscuro Kisses. Winner of the Charlotte Mew Contest with her publisher, Headmistress Press, Chiaroscuro Kisses is their inaugural book. Though this is Ms. Morrison’s first book she has been published in numerous literary journals, anthologies and limited edition chapbooks. Of writing, she said, “my relationship to poetry has been layered. There are times when it was a duty; times it was an addiction; times it was my god and times it was my slave. But I belong as much to it as it to me. I am Poetry’s creature like Shelley’s Frankenstein; a writer, a life cobbled together from diverse pieces and brought together with the electricity of poetics. Writing is my first love. My first hate. And she will likely bury me before I ever repay my debt to her.”
G. L. Morrison reading Chiaroscuro Kisses
I first met Ms. Morrison in 2017, when I had started coming to the Last Tuesdays Poetry Group. Her boisterous voice rang strong and pure as she read ‘Just Stop’, which is included in Chiaroscuro Kisses. Nearly anthemic, it remains one of my favorites and resonates with me today as much as it did the first time I heard it. In our over-caffeinated, insanely multi-tasking lives we have grown deaf to our own inner-voices. The sounds of our over-loaded days have drowned it out.
Chiaroscuro Kisses is rich with great poetry and unique perspectives. Sage wisdom expressed in highly creative metaphors draw you in and engages your senses. Not familiar with the term Chiaroscuro, I’d asked Ms. Morrison what the title meant. Her awesome response, “Chiaroscuro is a painting term which means that light throws darkness in sharper relief and vice versa. What is meant by it is that the same can be said of relationships. We tend to imagine ourselves as relationship dualists. When a relationship ends, we revisit all the omens of certainty and recast them as doubts. We toss all the memories into boxes called true love and false love. True love is a very small box with only enough room in it for the current paramour. I think this tragic and inaccurate. We have to own the purity of moments we may later regret; honor the truth, love, and passion that resided there.” Ms. Morrison’s poetry is every bit as deep and inspiring and her explanation.
It was a reunion of friends as we were joined by a few open mic readers we’d not seen nearly enough and an exciting new voice, Rob, who shared a fantastic bittersweet love poem, ‘Far But Near’. Christopher Luna treated us to what is now one of my favorite protest pieces, ‘One Good Lick’. One thing that I truly love and appreciate about this poetry group is the warmth and support that is so abundant. Whether you’re new or just trying out a new piece, it’s all met with love.
Barbara Ford, Bob Sunshine, Christopher Luna,
Danielle Champiet-Coronado, Joyce Colson,
Justin Allen and Rob
Groups are also great for new ideas and inspirations. We have a new segment to our event thanks to a suggestion by Barbara Ford which is to give a preview of the next month’s featured artist via reading a piece from their book. Cheers to new traditions!
David Hill reading Vital Signs by Emily Van Kley
Danielle Champiet-Coronado reading All Of The Things by Jon Lupin
Please join us tonight, March 26th at 7pm. Our featured poets will be Emily Van Kley reading from ‘The Cold and The Rust’ and Jon Lupin reading from ‘You Only Love Me When I’m Suffering.
The 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.
If you are an avid open mic reader the Vancouver scene will keep you dancing! In addition to our events, we have Tiger Talk hosted by Joyce Colson which gathers on the third Wednesday of each month at the Paper Tiger coffeehouse and Ghost Town Poetry hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Lumbrazo Luna which has an open mic on the 2nd Thursday of each month at Angst Gallery.
Chiaroscuro Kisses by G. L. Morrison
Villain Songs by Tammy Robacker
The Cold and the Rust by Emily Van Kley
You Only Love Me When I’m Suffering by Jon Lupin
Good Beast by Andrew Michael Roberts
Featured literary journal: Prairie Schooner