by Splabman •
“Rewilding Poetry” Panel
By way of contributing to today’s discussion about the possibilities of “rewilding” (or, as I prefer to say, “re-worlding”) poetry, I would like to make a few observations to start with. One is a quotation from a book published in 1986 by Andrew Ross called The Failure of Modernism: “Poetics can no longer be regarded as the innocent haven for ‘wild’ philosophy or ‘wild’ politics which modernist poets claimed as their special privilege, but rather as a set of different and often conflicting discourses that are ideologically produced and therefore irreducible to any particular poet’s ‘vision’.” This describes pretty much the trajectory that poetry went on to take for the next three decades. Few poets now write without consciousness that discourse is ideologically produced and that they themselves inhabit, or are inhabited by, subject positions that are as distorted and unethical as the discourse they are situated in. Despite the fact that successions in poetry are part of its history of continuing renewal, and no poetic succession ever goes completely obsolete, what one poet calls “periodically recurring sweetness of heart” could be, I think, a welcome interregnum today. And perhaps a re-wilded, or re-worlded, poetry could find a place within contemporary poetics, affecting both poets and readers in a place where maybe it IS the “innocent haven for wild philosophy” that Ross accused deluded “modernist” poetry of being.
However, I feel cautious about the prefix “re,” implying an era of wild poetry either tamed and corralled, or displaced by domesticated monocultures, much as wild land has been; and that could, if elements of the wild ecology were re-introduced, revert to a wild condition. In practical terms, this might entail introducing the vernacular into a thickly abstracted lexicon; or vice versa; or using pictorial or scenic imagery to “disrupt” an appropriated text; or vice versa. These are techniques meant to mirror a dialectic. Larger versions of this dialectic (reformation, counter-reformation, restoration) have plagued modernity until neoliberalism vanquished them all and we are now thrown into a dark ages of ubiquitous empire. Except there are no uncolonized margins left. Everywhere is in the state of becoming a neoliberal monoculture, via technology, economic seduction, and/or brute force. As worldlessness consumes the earth, our attention is drawn to globalized cyberspace, if not to outer space—where, if we are lucky, we might run into the late Sun Ra, who said he was born on Saturn and whose musical composition “Space Is the Place” should be our global anthem.
By “the world” I mean the public world, the world we share in common. We are encouraged to think, however, that such commonality is a socially constructed fiction. We do not share a world, it seems to say, but rather there is a “we” that excludes others, a “we” to whom all wealth, power, and security are owed. The communities we belong to are communities of tastes and brands. As we cling more and more to our finely parsed identities, what we take to be the world is more and more a totality of fractalled and fracked surfaces. The ground opened by poetry, on the other hand—by the world-making activity of poeisis—restores us both to the world and to one another. The late Robin Blaser, who was very much concerned about the disappearance of the public world, as he thought along the lines suggested by Hannah Arendt’s work on totalitarianism, noted, “The public world has to do with the depths beneath the surfaces in which each simple, separate [and I would say “innocent” and “wild”] person swims—the rhythmic relationships by which one can notice that the surface is violent.” None of this has escaped the notice of poetry. Young poets today must write in such a vast and slippery territory, including the world-vaporizing currents of both neoliberalism and academic suspicion of imagination and spirituality (unless safely ensconsed within indigenous methodologies).
It seems to me that poetry’s de-wilding has been accelerated by top-down academic avant-gardism and its demand, similar to that of the corporations it now must service, for constant “innovation” (but with the caveat that the innovations also deploy “ethical” attitudes and activities, as its evangelical wing the Ted Talk also does). Avant-gardes used to be scandalous; now they are merely au courant. By re-branding former repressive rhetorical structures as “constraints” and by freely borrowing the discourses of other disciplines—usually cultural and critical theory—contemporary academic poets are redefining as wildnesses (that is, innovations) poetry’s traditional generic limitations and returning it to democratic speech. Here, the way to reclaim poetry’s life, to “rewild” it, is to pursue conceptualism. An urgently-required critique of dominant discourse (the discourse that also excludes earth and nature except as instrumentality) is in this way accomplished. But where I think the conceptual move has perhaps not quite delivered as far as rewilding poetry goes, is where it enacts a curation of discourse, the poem a proxy for the de-centred, voiceless, visionless subject. The poem is now without an unconscious, without depths, although its constituent words and referents are teeming with it.
This is not to dismiss the thought, passion, and knowledge driving a needed reaction to a poetry increasingly enervated by the plethora of “workshop verse” and conventional magazine verse. The blindnesses and complacencies of mainstream modernist lyric poetry have been decried for decades, and very recently Junot Diaz in a New Yorker article criticized the unbearable whiteness of creative writing programs. But there also exists a large contingent of informed and talented poets working on their own, although they will have aesthetic and personal alliances and claim a place in certain lineages. They are continuing to write the poetry that, as Gary Snyder put it, “lingers in the mind.” What San Francisco poet Duncan McNaughton referred to as “sweetness of heart” strikes me as a possibly interesting move toward a re-wilding that I believe is constantly trying to take place anyway. Sweetness of heart, McNaughton says, is “what is really common to our desirous souls, the quality which overcomes all barriers in order to circulate anew the heart’s creative feeling among men and women, who have more than enough reason to despair.” To radically expand the field of feeling seems an unintended ongoing work of any poetic practice of the wild.
I am interested in the nature of poetic imagination, or as Blake had it, poetic genius, which transcends the relative merits of anybody’s individual poem. Someone once said that even unpublished poetry has an effect on the world. I would say that poetic imagination is similarly alive in an infinite number of human feelings and interactions—with art, with nature, with each other, with spirituality, with language.
We have all seen representations of rewilded humanless cities, with vines hanging off the highrises and panthers draped over defunct signage, but this is not what we mean by the quest to rewild poetry. What is, or was, wild poetry? I suspect it would be poetry that speaks to us directly and openly, despite interiority of vision, or of distance or difference of time, space, and body, or formal peculiarity. There is presence, and with presence, unavoidable complexity of the poet’s sense of reality. Robert Duncan felt that poets were indeed on a “wild and far-out quest, albeit equipped with a pathetic compositional technology.” Yet, he says, no shrewdly imposed technology can work for long or at depth. Duncan felt that poetry was not interdisciplinary, that it couldn’t beg its ethics from other disciplines, and that the real audience for poetry, in the end, was human DNA. As a reader or a listener, I have often enough had a feeling of my life being made more vivid and real by hearing or reading a particular poem. I feel, quite literally, that I can go on. These are the poems that as Gary Snyder says “linger in the mind” and the body, and are part of the gift exchange that has turned out to be the ethos and spirit of this Cascadian event. This is the magic, the wildness, the innocence, the ecology of poetry, which is to say of poetic imagination. Poetry, the sound imagination makes in language, is always to our deepest communal benefit.
© SharonThesen, 2015
by Splabman •
by Susan McCaslin
From our new website section, Perspectives…
“You may say I’m a dreamer
but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
and the world will be as one.”
John Lennon from “Imagine”
The Cascadia Poetry Festival in Nanaimo, British Columbia (April 30-May 3, 2015) was a rich conjoining of ecologically-minded poets from the States and Canada who identify with the richly diverse bioregion named Cascadia that stretches from southeast Alaska to northern California. The premise of the conference was that our common grounding in the land—in place—allows us to transcend political lines and demarcations; that as poets, we are part of the larger ecosystems that flow within and through us. David McCloskey, geographer, and founder of the Cascadia Institute, presented a map of Cascadia, decades in the making, delineating the geographic history of this bioregion. David spoke eloquently of how sea, land and sky form an integral unity.
A related theme of the conference had to do with “linguistic mappings.” B.C. poet Robert Bringhurst, known for his translations of Haida epics, observed that languages are ecosystems, revelations of the ecologies of the earth. He proposed that school children should be taught at least one aboriginal language. These indigenous languages, he urged, need to be preserved not only for First Nations communities but for all. Entering into the language, myths, and stories of the First Nations could deepen our ways of seeing, knowing, and being in the world.
While I applauded I thought to myself: now we’re into big, deep-time dreaming. During the response period, I commended Robert for his thesis, but questioned whether such a proposal might seem “utopian” to many, especially in light of the current cuts to education in BC. I could practically hear my daughter, a young educator in the BC school system who worked with aboriginal children as a tutor, saying: “I’d love to see this happen, but it’s not very likely right now. Maybe we could start by introducing kids to more of the indigenous myths and stories.” Bringhurst pointed out that aboriginal languages are already being taught in some Canadian universities. His response reminded me that big dreams and visions begin with incremental steps. The focus needn’t be on near-term outcomes, but on doing what must be done to bring about restoration. Okanagan poet Harold Rhenisch commented that Cascadia has long been a place of utopian colonies and dreams.
When I taught English at a community college in the lower mainland of B.C., I offered a course on dystopian and utopian literature. Dystopian literature explores recognizable terrains of hellish enclosure. George Orwell’s 1984, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, and Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy spring to mind.
Yet it is utopian rather than dystopian literature that continues to draw me in: Plato’s The Republic, Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, William Morris’ News from Nowhere, and Ursula Le Guin’s Always Coming Home. The inventory stretches on. Despite utopian imaginings and actual experiments, we haven’t had the kingdom of heaven on earth, at least not for any great length of time. When Plato tried to enact historically the ideas expressed in his Republic, Dion of Syracuse, the young man he trained for the job of being the first philosopher king, morphed into a petty tyrant. Plato’s utopia seemed flawed to me because it excluded the poets. The notion of philosophers ruling appealed, but only if they lived up to their names as “friends of wisdom.” More often the adage “power corrupts” seems to apply.
One question I’ve pondered for decades is: Why do utopian experiments generally fail? From Brook Farm in nineteenth-century New England, to Coleridge’s dream of Pantocracy, to the Finnish utopian community of Sointula on Malcolm Island off Vancouver Island (founded 1901), these forays into in alternative living generally fall prey to economic crises, clashing egos, power hunger, and cultishness. In a recent documentary written and directed by Jerry Rothwell on the Greenpeace movement, How to Change the World, what fascinated me was not only the amazing story of how a small group of activists succeeded in stopping the whale hunt, but how the various leaders soon fractured into vying factions.
Some might say the problems all come down to “human nature,” meaning the propensity of humans to act out of egotism, self-centredness, greed, and the desire for power rather than empathy and a sense of commitment to the public good, not just the public good for humans, but that of other species and the planet. Ecological poets sense these various dimensions can’t be separated. I’m not the only one to feel that the human species is in the middle of a collective crisis where we either transform and reverse our mass destructiveness, or hasten our extinction through our desire for unlimited development.
Even though utopias mostly fail, we require the unfettered utopian imagination. Environmental activist and Buddhist teacher Joanna Macy speaks of “a great turning” where humans might join together to put their creative energies, their collective imagination for a better world into action. I don’t know whether we have reached a place where it’s too late to turn things around, but, whatever the case, we have to try. Big dreaming isn’t based on prediction or certainly, but on envisioning alternative realities. The capacity to counter-dream the cultural malaise is innate. William Blake proclaimed, “Imaginary things are real.” What I think he meant is that if you can imagine something, it is a perceptual reality in some dimension of being. We live not knowing outcomes, but with awareness that how we act and how we choose to be matters.
Etymologically, the word utopia means “nowhere,” not a topos or place. A cynic might counter that utopias are projects based on wishful thinking. Yet another way of looking at “nowhere” is that it is a place that begins within the heart (so is at first invisible) but reaches everywhere. Some think of utopian notions as mere mental constructs, abstract, static, and unrealizable. But what if utopian visions of nowhere are indeed everywhere, forged in the heart and reified in the bloodstream? Perhaps true utopias aren’t plucked from beyond, out of the sky, or out of our heads, but arise within us through our connection with the earth itself. Perhaps they aren’t idealized places free from conflict but places where creative energy lives within the tensions and paradoxes in order to forge newness. If this is so, then utopia might just be the “no place” that is a “here and now place” within consciousness and within the world. If we walk into the woods, the forests, into what remains of wilderness, we might begin once again experience the world directly and realize that it is we who have removed ourselves from paradise. From there the journey home might begin.
“Poetry makes nothing happen,” a statement by W.H. Auden often lifted out of context, can be misleading. Poetry consists of words and language at their most vital— lamenting, praising, singing— and has the capacity to change everything. We have the desire and the need to place our creative gifts, our offerings, among the orders of the other creatures and larger eco-systems to which we belong. We all have poetry in our mouths and in our bones. The first cry of an infant is a poetic utterance, an om of being containing all sounds. Our poetic yawps and howls are participations in the poem of the world, a mystery which is constantly emerging out of silence into fuller articulations of being-in-the-world.
Susan McCaslin is a Canadian poet who has published thirteen volumes of poetry, including The Disarmed Heart (The St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2014), and Demeter Goes Skydiving (University of Alberta Press, 2011), which was short-listed for the BC Book Prize and the first-place winner of the Alberta Book Publishing Award (Robert Kroetsch Poetry Award). She has recently published a memoir, Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga (Inanna Publications, 2014). Susan lives in Fort Langley, British Columbia where she initiated the Han Shan Poetry Project as part of a successful campaign to save a local rainforest.
Just thought I’d let you know that, as Robert Bringhurst rightly pointed out when he responded to my question from the audience at the Cascadia Poetry Festival, bringing indigenous languages and world views into the education system is happening right now in universities in Canada. So the notion isn’t as “utopian” in the pejorative sense (as unrealistic or difficult) as it might seem. It’s happening now. See this article that appeared in today’s Vancouver Sun where Wab Kinew is quoted extensively:
Is there a way to post my above remark about this issue with my previous blog on big visionary dreaming?
All the best,
by Splabman •
Make It True: Poetry from Cascadia, published by Leaf Press, will be launched at VIU Friday, May 1st, at 7:30pm. This anthology is a collection of innovative and influential poets of Cascadia, the bioregion which stretches from Cape Mendocino in the south to Mt. St. Elias, Alaska, to the north and to the Rocky Mountains in the east. It will be a survey of the bioregional poetry scene, beginning with an introduction by the co-editors: Paul Nelson, Nadine Maestas, Barry McKinnon and George Stanley.
The tenor of the poetry will arise from the comments made by George Stanley at the 2014 Cascadia Poetry Festival on the “Innovations from Here” panel. On that occasion he discussed how Modernism was a revolt in part from the excesses of Romantic poetry and Post-Modernism was a revolt in part from the academic and formalist influence on poetry in North America. (Some notes on his talk are here.) He said that what we have in large part in contemporary poetry is irony, a tone which has permeated everything in our culture from sitcoms to advertising. A revolt from that would be poetry that is realistic, or sincere, without giving up the use of speech, as Charles Olson said, that is “least careless and least logical” and techniques such as experimental lyric, spontaneity, collage and other composition methods. Work that exudes, as Robin Blaser put it, “a spiritual chase.” We believe the times we live in call for a deeper response to issues like economic inequality, climate chaos and out-of-control capitalism which on a separate panel at CPF2 Stephen Collis likened to a “doomsday device.”
by Splabman •
Go here for more details.
by Splabman •
Peter Culley, one of our local Cascadia poets, passed away in his sleep.
Such a loss. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
A LETTER TO HAMMERTOWN
I abandon my self
to a blushing
of precise boundaries,
like where a squirrel would
step up to snap the branch
back fast enough
to ride the torque all the way back,
a walnut under each arm–
getaway with intent to spring
rather than English leave.
It’s why I wear my
& my jacket is the color
of the sky.
Peter Culley‘s books of poetry include The Climax Forest (Leech 1995), Hammertown New Star 2003, The Age of Briggs & Stratton (New Star 2008) and Parkway (New Star). His essays and art writing have been appearing since 1986.
by Splabman •
David McCloskey’s map of Cascadia has been chosen to grace the cover of ESRI’s annual Map Book, which contains about 50 of the best new maps from around the world for 2014! Congratulations, David!
by Splabman •
Old stone wall,
at Indian Beach.
and the drums.
There’s an old stone wall near Indian Beach at Neck Point Park in Nanaimo. It’s one of the few things that remains of the house that once stood on the property.
When I refer to the old stone wall in “Fragments,” my poem excerpted above, it’s that special place with its view of Shack Island, Washington’s Mt Baker, and the coastal mountains of the mainland, ancient memories of village women, “their voices and the drums”.
The spiritual aspects of ceremonies and of this ancient place, generational identities and even sexual orientation blend together for me here in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Memories of travel, words from other poets, all define who I am here and help me describe “a poet’s Nanaimo”.
The land here – the river, estuary, harbour, island and ocean – is the basis of the traditions of the Snuneymuxw First Nation (The Great People). This land is also the source of their inspiration. The Snuneymuxw have lived here for over 5000 years.
Their winter village was Departure Bay where ferries now come and go. The Snuneymuxw know their village as Stlilup. Towards the present downtown, are sites of other ancient villages including along the banks of the Millstone River where the Howard Johnson Hotel is now located. And there were original village sites in the Nanaimo harbour, on the Nanaimo River and at False Narrows on Gabriola Island.
Robert Bringhurst, in his poem, “Stopping By,” writes:
Wherever we let the land belong
is called What Happened Here Before,
because what happened here before
is that the land learned how to be
What it became. That is to say,
it learned how to learn, day after day,
to belong where it is. That is the story
of each place that is a place and every
thing that is a thing. It is the only way
a being can become what being is.
It is the story of the riverbeds, the gravels,
bedrocks, mosses, Douglas firs,
the northern toads and black-tailed deer.
When he refers to “What Happened Here Before,” Robert is naming a poem by Gary Snyder whose poems and prose “explore many cultural and bio-regional dimensions of the whole West Coast.” (Quote from Cascadia: The Life and Breath of the World edited by Frank Stewart and Trevor Carolan.)
Robert Bringhurst, poet, typographer, translator, cultural historian and linguist, is one of the presenters coming to the Cascadia Poetry Festival in Nanaimo April 30 to May 3, 2015.
Read more at Mary Ann’s blog here.
by Splabman •
Nanaimo is filled with poetry! It’s the skin of our city, poet Kim Goldberg says. We have a poet laureate, Naomi Beth Wakan; a poem gallery (at the downtown branch of the library); monthly readings with an open mike run by the WordStorm Society at the Vault Café and many other readings and book launches in Nanaimo and vicinity. Now, for the first time, outside the U.S., the Cascadia Poetry Festival will be held in Nanaimo from April 30 to May 3, 2015.
For several months now the Cascadia Planning Committee has been gathering sponsors, inviting publishers to the small press fair, and publicizing the event.
We hope you’re able to make it to at least part of the festival. The all-access Gold Pass is just $25 for all four days (excluding workshops which are $60 each). The price for students is $10. You can register here.
If you would like to be a Cascadia Poetry Festival sponsor, let Mary Ann Moore know. (Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org) There are various levels of sponsorship and to have your logo on the Cascadia website means a link to your website and people seeing your business for the several weeks leading up to the festival. You would also be included in the printed program. You can even have a table at the small press fair which is available to organizations or publishers. Display your wares, chat up your business and have conversations about Cascadia.
The goal of the festival is to gather writers, artists, scientists and activists to collaborate, discover and foster a deeper connection between all inhabitants and the place itself: Cascadia, a bioregion that stretches from California to Alaska including Vancouver Island. You can see a map on the Cascadia Poetry Festival website here.
Cascadia is described as “a life-place or bioregion, with its own distinctive character and context. Water is the voice of this place.” David McCloskey, Professor Emeritus of Ecological Studies at Seattle University and considered “the Father of Cascadia” for his extensive mapping of the bioregion, will give the opening lecture at Vancouver Island University on May 1st.
If you’re curious about hotels, there are special Cascadia rates at some Nanaimo hotels. Check out the Cascadia website here or email Mary Ann Moore at email@example.com or David Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All these poets!
More than forty poets from across the Cascadia bioregion will meet in Nanaimo to examine and explore the relationship between poetics, landscape, history, culture and ecology. As Paul Nelson, founder of the festival and of SPLAB, a Seattle-based non-profit organization, said at our last planning meeting, Robert Bringhurst and Sam Hamill will be together for the first time in twenty years.
We expect there to be more historical moments throughout the four days of the festival as we welcome the featured poets Brenda Hillman, Susan Musgrave, Barry McKinnon, Sharon Thesen, Joanne Arnott, Stephen Collis, Christine LeClerc, Rita Wong, Garry Gottfriedson, Janet Marie Rogers and many others.
The first event of the festival is the Living Room on Thursday, April 30 from 3 to 5 p.m. hosted by Mary Ann Moore at the Nanaimo Museum.
The Living Room will be a daily opportunity for everyone (including students and members of the public) to read their own poetry to an audience in a democratic poetry reading circle. That’s downtown at the Nanaimo Museum daily, April 30 to May 3, from 3 – 5 p.m.
A Sampling from the Schedule
You can find all of the events on the Cascadia website here:
Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning (May 1 – 3) will be filled with panel discussions at VIU in Bldg 355, Room 203. Evenings will include multi-poet poetry readings at the same location. A Small Press Fair will be running throughout in the lounge across from the lecture theatre.
The Marmot Spoken-Word Bout will be held on Friday, May 1 at 10 p.m. at the Globe Bar and Grill at 25 Front Street. Cascadia poets will compete for the right to be crowned the Cascadia Marmot Champ. Dan Raphael, Anastacia Tolbert, Amber Dawn, Missie Peters, Sara Brickman, Robert Lashley and Sebastien Wen will be performing at the Marmot Bout.
And there are workshops! Anastacia Tolbert and Missy Peters are offering a Spoken Word, Writing and Staging workshop on Friday, May 1 from 1 to 4 p.m.at VIU Bldg 355, Room 103. Another workshop with Brenda Hillman, Barry McKinnon and George Stanley takes place on Saturday, May 2 from 2:15 to 5:15 p.m. also in VIU Bldg 355, Room 103. Workshops are $60.
The 30 + poets reading at the After Party on Saturday, May 2 from 10 p.m. on at the Globe Bar & Grill at 25 Front Street in Nanaimo includes Mary Ann Moore, David Fraser, Christine Lowther, Kim Goldberg, Stephen Collis, Ann Graham Walker, Susan McCaslin, Leanne McIntosh, Kim Clark, Philip Gordon and Paul Nelson and many others.
One of the panels at VIU in Bldg 355, Room 203 is On the Margins. Mary Ann Moore will be hosting on Sunday, May 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It features Nadine Maestas, Joanne Arnott, Janet Marie Rogers, Susan Musgrave and Renee Sarojini Saklikar.
Checking out the schedule on the Cascadia Poetry Festival website will help you determine where you want to be. We look forward to seeing you at the festival.
Mary Ann Moore & David Fraser , Planning Committee, Cascadia Poetry Festival
by Splabman •
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where can I stay in Nanaimo that is close to downtown?
A: We have sponsor hotels that are offering festival rates for anyone attending the Cascadia Poetry Festival for accommodation during the festival and for two days before and after the festival if they wish to come early and stay later. These hotels are the Coast Bastion, the Best Western, and Howard Johnson. These hotels are within a 5 to 10 minute walking distance from all our downtown venues such as the Nanaimo Museum for the Living Room, and the Globe Bar and Grille for the Marmot Bout and the After Party Marathon.
Q: What other accommodation is available in and around Nanaimo especially if I have a car and short distances are not an issue?
A: If you go to our page “SLEEP/EAT/CHILL” you will find an assortment of places to stay through the Tourism Nanaimo link. In addition you can also find many interesting places to eat and hang out during your stay in Nanaimo.
Q: If I am going to be staying in downtown Nanaimo and I have a car, where can I safely park the car overnight?
A: If you are staying at one of the sponsored hotels, there is parking available at a daily rate. Also there is municipal underground parking beneath the Port Theatre which is just around the corner from The Painted Turtle Guest House, the Coast Bastion and the Best Western. The 12 hour rates are 6 dollars and change for overnight parking and this is the least expensive for paid parking. Your can also park hourly during the day in the municipal parking. Howard Johnson has parking outside as part of the accommodation.
Q: I am taking my car to Vancouver Island University for the events there. What is the arrangement for parking?
A: The campus parking is run by a private organization with metered parking. (They’re very strict!) However we have arranged for Cascadia Poetry Festival attendees to receive a PARKING PASS to be displayed on their dashboard. This pass is good for the duration of the festival only. There will be designated PARKING LOTS for the festival. These are LOTS E, C AND A during the day and evenings and LOT N for evenings only. There will be volunteers to provide parking passes at these lots when you arrive. The campus is spread out on a hill so you should allow extra time to walk to Building 355. A map is here and there will be a map in your package.
Q: If I am staying downtown and do not have a car, how do I get to the VIU campus and Building 355?
Also the Cascadia Poetry Festival will be running a volunteer carpooling shuttle in the early morning from 8:00 to 9:00 and in the early evening from 6:00 to 7:00 up to VIU, leaving from Skinner Street. This service is subject to availability.
Q: If I am staying downtown and do not have a car, how do I get back from the VIU campus to the downtown area in the afternoon and in the evening?
A: There are two options. There is public transport which will take you to the downtown area from Vancouver Island University. You can check the schedule at http://bctransit.com/nanaimo/home.
Also the Cascadia Poetry Festival will be running a volunteer carpooling shuttle in the afternoon and evening after the last event at 2:00 pm and 9:30 pm respectively to the downtown. This service is subject to availability.
Q: If I am coming by ferry, without transportation, how do I get to the downtown area?
A: There are two ferries, one arriving at Departure Bay which is in close proximity to Nanaimo and the other at Duke Point which will require transportation. Departure Bay is the recommended destination. There is a Ferry Shuttle # 25 run by BC Transit Nanaimo to downtown. You can check the schedule at http://bctransit.com/nanaimo/home.
Arrangements can also be made if absolutely necessary for a specific pick up by one of our volunteers if you cannot access the Ferry Shuttle # 25. You will need to email email@example.com and ask for this special arrangement.
Q: I ordered my Gold Pass on-line or by cheque in the mail. How do I get my Gold Pass for the festival?
A: On Friday between 8:30 and 10:15 (the start of the first event requiring a Gold Pass) we will have our Greeter Table Staff available for you to check in for the festival. You will receive a package including the program and your Gold Pass, as well as other pieces of useful information. You will need to present your Gold Pass at the door for all of the events except the Living Room which is available to everyone, not just attendees of the festival.
Q: If I donated to the Cascadia Poetry Festival or bought a Gold Pass on Indiegogo where I am to receive a perk, where can I pick up my perk?
A: This will vary with the perk, however the procedure is to mention the perk at the Greeter Table and we will have a record of it and be able to direct you to where you can pick up your perk.
Q: I am a poet who is attending the festival and I have a published book. Is there a place where I can bring copies of my book to display and have it for sale?
A: Yes, the Poets’ Book Store will be established at the Living Room events taking place at the Nanaimo Museum from 3 to 5pm. It will be an informal table where you can display your book (one title only) and have it for sale. No one will be staffing this table but it will be adjacent to the Living Room Reading Circle where participants can visit the table before and after the event and talk to you about your poetry and your book. Purchase arrangements can be made privately by you.
Q: Will there be assigned seating for all events at the festival?
A: The Gold Pass and the single entry tickets are all General Admission other than some assigned seating for poets involved in the reading event. Should the featured readings in the evening on Friday and Saturday and the Celebratory Closing reading on Sunday afternoon fill to capacity, we are providing a live-stream video/audio feed into the Small Press Fair room with seating for the overflow. Events in the downtown particularly in the later evening are subject to governmental regulations as to the numbers of people. The Globe Bar and Grille can accommodate 145 people at anyone time. We will be tracking the numbers in and out during the events, so that we are always at maximum capacity.