Luna’s: the new landmark (take that, Sutter’s Fort)
About 13 years ago, Joe Montoya—artist, educator, musician, poet, muckraker and passionate maker of love—planted the seed of poetry at Luna’s Café & Juice Bar. It would have been foolish to think that 13 years later it would still be growing. But it is. And it’s blossomed into a strange, twisted flower—at once wild, putrid, colorful and serene—that only seems with each passing week to reach, with willful ferocity, toward the moon. Cafe owner Art Luna has much to do with the readings’ success, as do the hosts, past and present, who always make sure to bring innovative poets, like Neeli Cherkovski and Michelle Tea (to name just a couple) to read their work. And, of course, the roots of the series are planted firmly in the soil of open-mic poets—ranging from the well-seasoned to the functionally illiterate—who keep every Thursday night full of surprises.
On this special evening, two Luna’s-inspired books will be released on Rattlesnake Press: Luna’s House of Words by B.L. Kennedy and La Luna: Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café, an anthology (edited by Kathy Keith and Frank Andrick) of more than 150 poets who have read at the open-mic throughout the years. [Full disclosure: Josh Fernandez has two poems in the Luna’s anthology—I mean, like, really good poems.]