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CPF5 (Oct 12-15, 2017) was a tribute to Tacoma native Richard Brautigan.

The Cascadia Poetry Festival is an international event which gathers writers, artists, scientists and activists to collaborate, discover and foster deeper connection between all inhabitants and the place itself. Over four days the fest serves as cultural bioregional investigation and features Academic, Democratic and Performance components, late night readings, a Small Press Fair and several workshops. Some of the best poetry minds in the bioregion gather, discuss this place and begin to better understand Cascadia and our role here. The festival was founded by SPLAB, a Seattle-based non-profit organization founded in 1993.

Michael McClure (Photo by Garrett Caples)

The 2017 festival schedule is here.

Some reviews of CPF5 by participants:

I’ve been to many poetry festivals over the years, and the Cascadia Festival is one of the best at combining literary energy with explorations of environmental, political, historical, and sociological pursuits with a general celebration of poetry.  The invited poets offered a wonderful representation of the diversity of our bioregion—as did the poetics of the works shared.  There were youth events, Veteran events, “living room readings” (that featured festival poets and anyone from the community could share work in).  The WA historical piece embodied by the celebration of Richard Brautigan, the consistent return to thinking about poetry and the environment, the involvement of young poets, older poets:  really, I cannot articulate how generous and egalitarian and stimulating the festival is.  Truly, The Cascadia Poetry festival is a great thing for 

Tod Marshall Photo by Amy Sinisterra

Humanities WA and Arts WA to be a sponsor of—to put it simply, The Festival repped well and did both organizations proud!  I was glad to be there for it and am eager for the next one.

Tod Marshall
Washington Poet Laureate

 

…It was a weekend’s concentration of poetry, poetics, disaster, disability, old age, young age, woundedness, healing, gathering, dispersing, and energy-producing.  This was among the instabilities of the northwest coast Cascadian geography, and its history of conquest and adaptation.  In fact, adaptation seemed to be an underlying theme–a positive theme–of the festival.  Adaptation includes laughter, description, mourning, love, acknowledgement, and recognition.  There was great poetry at this festival and it was brilliantly and respectfully organized.  For myself, I also really appreciated being put up in a comfortable hotel room (with a view of Mt. Rainier) within walking distance of the venue, the venue itself (historical, dignified), and the courtesies and kindnesses extended by Paul and Dale and Bhakti and others working at the festival…  

thanks, and talk soon,

Sharon Thesen
Kelowna, BC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul,

Thank you again for organizing the Cascadia event (a much needed injection of creative energy & community in these bleak times) and especially for getting Michael McClure on the state history museum stage. That was a great setting for a poet of his stature. 

Your (Persian Pony by Michael McClure) introduction is great, dude. It’s a marvelous distillation of the McClurean aesthetic & disposition. I’ve always admired your stunning clarity. One sentence in particular, “McClure’s poetic courage plumbs the depths of perception, achieves a precision of luminous details, a striking originality, and a range of expression form the cosmic to the microscopic,” is an excellent summation of McClure’s oceanic scope. Reading him always gives me a more acute sensation of being alive, having a physical presence especially, as well as a strong undercurrent transcendent force. Your intro encapsulates that quality with pith & mammalian warmth.

Painful to see Michael adjusting to what I assume is a recent hip replacement. Getting old sucks. But what a tour de force to get on stage and immediately begin reciting Chaucer from memory. Jesus, that’s amazing… 

It was also really nice talking with Bhakti.

John Olson

CPF4 in Seattle, Nov 2016, happened at Spring Street Center. See the schedule here.

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Glenna Cook Shazia Hafiz Sarah Rauch and Brittany Reid in the Poetic habitat now workshop, Nov 4, 2016, Spring Street Center (Photo by Meredith Nelson)

CPF5 (2017) Sponsor

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Tim McNulty at CPF4 panel honoring the memory and legacy of Denise Levertov

The first iteration happened in 2012. Cascadia 2 happened at Seattle U and Spring Street Center in Seattle (2014) and Cascadia 3 was staged in Nanaimo, BC, in 2015 by David Fraser and a dedicated local organizing committee. CPF4 happened Nov 3-6, 2016 at Spring Street Center and other Seattle venues.

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Daphne Marlatt at Poetic habitat now workshop, CPF4, Spring Street Center, Seattle, Nov 4, 2016

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Photo of Yvonne Blomer by Faiza Sultan, Nanaimo 2015

Photo of Yvonne Blomer by Faiza Sultan, Nanaimo 2015