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First Friday Poetry Reading, Ledding Library Poetry Series feature in-person readings

Oct. 7 is the last chance to take part in the First Friday Poetry Reading event at Milwaukie Floral, featuring members of the Ghost Town Poetry Group, including Christopher and Angelo Luna, who will read from their new book "Exchanging Wisdom: A Parental Guide for the Autonomous" and from other work. COURTESY PHOTO: MARIA VARA - Angelo and Christopher Luna will read their poetry at the First Friday Poetry event on Oct. 7.

Christopher Luna served as the first Poet Laureate of Vancouver, Washington.

The other two featured readers will be Toni Lumbrazo Luna, Christopher's wife, and Erin Iwata.

"There will be an open mic for in-person poets. It's their choice about what they read and it can be their own work or some of their favorite poets," noted Tom Hogan, Milwaukie Poetry Series coordinator, co-sponsors of the event, along with St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Milwaukie.

The First Friday event used to take place at the Episcopal Church, but the church is not yet open for public events, so the venue was switched to Milwaukie Floral.

"The owner Kellie Keehner wants to reinvigorate First Friday, so it made sense to us to be there," Hogan said.COURTESY PHOTO: CHARLES GOODRICH - Charles Goodrich will read from his work on Oct. 12 as part of the Milwaukie Poetry Series.

Milwaukie Poetry Series

This is the 16th season of the Milwaukie Poetry Series and poet Charles Goodrich will read from his work at 6 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the Ledding Library.

Following a long career as a professional gardener and a decade working with the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature and the Written Word at Oregon State University, Goodrich writes and gardens near the confluence of the Marys and Willamette Rivers in the traditional homeland of the Ampinefu Band of the Kalapuya, in Corvallis.

He will read from "Watering the Rhubarb," his new book of poems; previous books include the poetry collections "A Scripture of Crows," "Going to Seed: Dispatches from the Garden" and "Insects of South Corvallis."


Poetry is important, Hogan said, because it "brings people together and that's even more important in these troubled times and the pandemic. It is written to be shared and read out loud and helps foster community."

In addition, poetry "allows us to talk and write about conditions around us that affect us all."

Hogan said he looks forward to bringing these poets to the local community, because it gives the poets a chance to share their work.

"It's also an opportunity for people to hear them but to do that in a group setting and have some interactive questions and answers with the poets."

It is also a chance to listen, learn and share.

"We can do that virtually and have seen during the pandemic that virtual events have their place, but they are not a substitute for in-person readings," Hogan said.

He added, "People have that real-life experience in coming to in-person events and supporting the poets, the others in the audience and themselves. It's all very exciting and rewarding."

A double dose of poetry

What: First Friday Poetry

When: 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 7

Where: Milwaukie Floral, 3306 S.E. Lake Road, Milwaukie

Details: Featured readers include members of the Ghost Town Poetry Group. An open mic will also take place; register ahead of time at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Zoom: Visit for virtual link.

What: Milwaukie Poetry Series presents Charles Goodrich

When: 6 p.m. Oct. 12

Where: Ledding Library Community Room, 10660 S.E. 21st, Milwaukie


Next: The series presents Tiel Ansari at 6 p.m. Nov. 9

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