Category: News!

Becoming Cascadian

I sat down with Paul Nelson, SPLAB founding director, to find out about the upcoming retreat SPLAB is bringing to the Cascadia region.

First, what is Cascadia?

Cascadia is a bioregion that begins in the south at Cape Mendocino, at the beginning of the Cascadia subduction zone, goes north to Mt. Logan and includes Yakutat, Alaska, and the eastern border is mostly the Continental Divide, except in the south where the Great Basin (and Ranges) bioregion cuts out a hunk of Oregon. The definitive maps are created by David McCloskey and available at his Cascadia Institute website.

What is the Becoming Cascadian retreat?

The retreat will be held in (mostly) the Rainier Beach neighborhood in Seattle on May 31 through June 3. It’s a community-building event designed for poets, artists and bioregionalists to gather, share strategies, discuss our role as humans in this time of ecological crisis and end-stage empire. We will also make connections and support one another in our efforts to create the deepest gestures in response to this situation and how that relates to Cascadia.

Paul, you say this is a retreat. What do you mean by retreat? What makes it different from a conference?

Attendance is limited; it’s designed to be a more intimate event. We have one keynote poet. Much of the event’s agenda will be developed organically. During the opening circle Friday night, participants will be given the opportunity to offer a breakout session of their own design. Scheduling will be done via a democratic process.

Tell me a little about the keynote speaker, Andrew Schelling.

Andrew has taught at Naropa Institute for 30 years. He’s a poet and translator who taught himself Arapaho and translates Sanskrit. There’s no one alive who understands the confluence of bioregionalism and poetics better than this man. This is a unique opportunity for participants to connect with a poet working at a very deep level with a renowned commitment to place.

What should I expect from the retreat?

Most of the retreat will be held in Rainier Beach, overlooking the lake. Thursday we sit in Zazen at St. Ignatius at Seattle U. (Optional). On Friday night, there will be a dinner and opening circle, with introductions, in Rainier Beach. That’s the time participants can propose breakout sessions. Saturday will be the breakout sessions and keynote interview/discussion. Sunday is a tour of Kubota Gardens with Zen monk Dr. Jason Tetsuzen Wirth, a closing circle, and a closing reading at Open Books in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.

I see there are public events attached to this retreat. Which are they?

Three events will open to the public: the Zen meditation session at Seattle University’s St. Ignatius Temple, the keynote discussion/interview with Andrew Schelling at Redwing Café, and the closing reading at Open Books.

OK, how do I register?

Registration is limited, and advance registration is required. The retreat is $80, plus meals. To register, send $80 through PayPal to pen (at) splab (d0t) org by May 29, 2018. Participants will received a confirmation email with all the salient details.

I’m psyched! Where can I find a schedule and more information?

You can find it on our web page Becoming Cascadian.

One last question. If there is one thing you’d like participants to walk away with from the retreat, what would it be?

To have a deep experience of place and poetics. So much in this life is superficial.

Here are some words from Paul about what he finds exciting about the event — and a link to Andrew Schelling speaking at Seattle University on February 20.

by Lisa Fusch Krause

Thank you sponsors!

Reviews of CPF5, Tacoma 2017

Humanities WA

Some reviews of CPF5 (Tacoma, WA, Oct 12-15, 2017) by some 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

Plans are being made for additional iterations of the festival. Please subscribe to this blog’s weekly emails to keep up to date on developments.

Videos from CPF5, Tacoma 2017

Thanks to Ra’anan David, video of the main events from the 5th Cascadia Poetry Festival, held October 12-15, 2017, in Tacoma, are now online:

7:30 Friday Main Stage: Readings featuring scheduled poets: Patricia Smith, Bruce Weigl, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Lucia Misch and Philip Red Eagle. MC – Jared Leising.

War Poetry/ Veterans Panel. MC – Abby Murray. Scheduled panelists, Philip Red Eagle, Bruce Weigl, Doug Johnson, Gary Copeland Lilley & Simone Gorrindo.

Tacoma’s Richard Brautigan: Life and Legacy Panel. MC – Nadine Antoinette Maestas. Scheduled panelists: Ianthe Brautigan, CAConrad, Tod Marshall and John Tanner.

Saturday Main Stage: Readings featuring scheduled poets: Ianthe Brautigan, C.A. Conrad, Sharon Thesen, Gary Lilley and Tod Marshall. MC – Thomas Walton.

Brautigan/Bernstein Plaque Unveiling:

Closing reading, Michael McClure, 5 days before he turned 85 years old.

5TH CASCADIA POETRY FESTIVAL TO BE HELD OCTOBER 12-15 IN TACOMA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

5TH CASCADIA POETRY FESTIVAL TO BE HELD OCTOBER 12-15 IN TACOMA

Public Readings, Workshops, Beat legend Michael McClure & tribute to Richard Brautigan

Seattle, WA, June 21, 2017—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. On October 12-15 2017, the 5th festival will take place in Tacoma, WA, at the Washington State History Museum and other venues. (This year marks the first year of a merger of the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the Tacoma Poetry Festival, the latter which was staged twice in Tacoma.)

Michael McClure, CAConrad, Ianthe Brautigan, Patricia Smith, Bruce Weigl, Washington Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, Sharon Thesen, Lucia Misch and Lorna Dee Cervantes are among the confirmed performers/participants. The festival will honor the memory of Richard Brautigan with a tribute on Saturday October 14, and a plaque dedication on Sunday October 15. There will also be a Tribute to Grunge, Friday, October 13, at 10pm, at the Harmon Barrel Room hosted by Hamish Todd. Full schedule at: www.cascadiapoetryfestival.org/2017-schedule/.

A $25.00 Gold Pass provides access to all festival events EXCEPT for workshops, which must be booked separately. (Although there are discounts on some workshops, and some are even free if you buy your gold pass early!) Due to overwhelming demand, workshops will ONLY be open to Gold Pass holders. Tickets can be purchased beginning July 12, 2017 via Brown Paper Tickets: http://cpf5.bpt.me

Admission to single events is $10 at the door.

As in prior incarnations of the festival, Living Room, a free, democratic reading for poets to read their original work in a circle format with other poets, will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3-5pm.

The launch of the anthology 56 Days of August: Poetry Postcards is Thursday, October 12, at King’s Books, 218 St Helens Ave Tacoma, WA, at 7pm and is free.

Saturday’s highlights include a War Poetry/Veterans Panel, Richard Brautigan Life & Legacy Panel. Sunday there are five workshops offered: Patricia Smith: Writing on the Other Side of the Wall, Tod Marshall: Finding Cascadia in Poetry, Laura Krughoff/Renee Simms: Tacoma Writers Resist, CAConrad: Karma Harvest A (Soma)tic Poetry Workshop, and Ianthe Brautigan: Memoir Workshop.

Each night of the festival features main stage readings by distinguished participants, and Michael McClure closes out the festival at 6pm Sunday. An award-winning American poet, playwright, songwriter, and novelist, he was one of the five poets who participated in the Six Gallery reading that featured the public debut of Allen Ginsberg’s landmark poem “Howl.” A key figure of the Beat Generation, McClure is immortalized as Pat McLear in Jack Kerouac’s novels The Dharma Bums and Big Sur.

The Cascadia Poetry Festival was founded by SPLAB, a Seattle-based non-profit organization founded in 1993. www.splab.org

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For more information, contact Paul Nelson at 206-422-5002 or splabman@gmail.com.

CPF5-Tacoma

Lorna Dee Cervantes

The 5th Cascadia Poetry Festival will be in Tacoma, Washington, October 12-15, 2017 at the State History Museum, the Harmon Taproom and at least two other venues. All access Gold Passes are $25 and will be available via Brown Paper Tickets by July 12. Small Press Fair tables are $35 and can be reserved by sending $35 to pen (at) splab (dot) org via Paypal.

There will be a panel on War Poetry/Veterans and one on the legacy of Tacoma native Richard Brautigan, both on Saturday morning.

Living Room is a daily open reading for poets to read their own work in a circle format, 3-5pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Confirmed performers on the Main Stage include: CAConrad, Ianthe Brautigan, Bruce Weigl, WA Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, Sharon Thesen, Lorna Dee Cervantes and others to be announced.

There will be a Tribute to Grunge, Friday, October 13, at 10pm, at the Harmon Taproom hosted by Hamish Todd.

CAConrad

No Kyger, Weigl

Bruce Weigl

Joanne Kyger will not be able to participate in the 5th Cascadia Poetry Festival in Tacoma, October 12.15, 2017. (Doctor’s orders of no travel.) Bruce Weigl has accepted out offer to read on the Main Stage and be on a panel of War Poetry/Veterans.

After this post was published, Joanne Kyger died in her home in Bolinas, California, March 22, 2017. We miss her tremendously. READ MORE.

More in Bruce Weigl on the Poetry Foundation website:

Song of Napalm
for my wife
After the storm, after the rain stopped pounding,
We stood in the doorway watching horses
Walk off lazily across the pasture’s hill.
We stared through the black screen,
Our vision altered by the distance
So I thought I saw a mist
Kicked up around their hooves when they faded
Like cut-out horses
Away from us.
The grass was never more blue in that light, more
Scarlet; beyond the pasture
Trees scraped their voices into the wind, branches
Crisscrossed the sky like barbed wire
But you said they were only branches.
Okay. The storm stopped pounding.
I am trying to say this straight: for once
I was sane enough to pause and breathe
Outside my wild plans and after the hard rain
I turned my back on the old curses. I believed
They swung finally away from me …
But still the branches are wire
And thunder is the pounding mortar,
Still I close my eyes and see the girl
Running from her village, napalm
Stuck to her dress like jelly,
Her hands reaching for the no one
Who waits in waves of heat before her.  (READ MORE).

Cascadia Poetry Festival 4 Videos

Finally the videos shot at the 4th Cascadia Poetry Festival, Nov 3-6, 2016, at Spring Street Center, have been uploaded and we’ve documented some of the most important events. Huge thanks to Ra’anan David for his expert videography.

Thursday Night Main Stage, featuring: Valerie Segrest, invocation/welcome to Muckleshoot/ Duwamish territory; Sarah deLeeuw, Peter Munro; Marilyn Stablein, Daphne Marlatt. Emcee Thomas Walton.

Friday Night Main Stage, featuring: Erin Fristad, Tim McNulty, Judith Roche, Brenda Hillman. Emcee Peter Munro.

 

 

 

 

Saturday Water Panel, moderator Peter Munro, with Erin Fristad, Sarah deLeeuw and Roger Fernandes.

 

 

 

Saturday Levertov Panel, moderator Nadine Maestas, with Daphne Marlatt, Tim McNulty and Brenda Hillman.

 

 

 

 

 

JM Miller CPF4 Main Stage Saturday Night Nov 5, 2016, Spring Street Center, Seattle

Saturday Night Main Stage reading, JM Miller, Daphne Marlatt and Colleen McElroy, Emcee, Frances McCue.

 

 

Small Press Fair, Crab Creek Review

Small Press Fair, PageBoy Magazine

Small Press Fair, Burnside Review

Rare Richard Brautigan Video

The focus of the next Cascadia Poetry Festival will be Tacoma native Richard Brautigan. His daughter Ianthe Brautigan, CA Conrad, Joanne Kyger, Tod Marshall and UK Brautigan scholar John Tanner are all scheduled to participate.

 

 

Yesterday I came across a bog post about Brautigan which linked to rare video of the poet. Click on the classic collage photograph to get to the post.

The video:

Handmade Artist Books (Workshop)

Bk Arts wkshp 1Cascadia Poetry Festival 2016 – Seattle –

WORKSHOP by Marilyn Stablein

Handmade Artist Books

Sunday Morning, November 6, 2016, 9a-12N. Limit: eight participants. Registration fee: $45.Register here.

This workshop will be useful to writers, artists and anyone interested in discovering alternative ways to display work either in unique one-of-a-kind presentations or to consider ways to self publish small editions of their writing, art or a combination of both.  The workshop will begin with a presentation of three basic book structures that anyone can make.  We will then make the books and discuss optional ways to illustrate or insert personal memorabilia and/or written work.  Writing examples could be a poem, a favorite quotation, or an excerpt from a travel or nature journal.  Another option is to leave the books blank for future projects or to give as gifts.   

The skills you learn—how to make an accordion book, a pamphlet stitched chapbook and a folded structure—will be useful in many other creative projects.

BIO:

Marilyn Stablein, poet and artist, exhibits her artist books in museums, libraries, and galleries in the US and abroad. Her work is included in Lark’s 1000 Artist Books, Lark’s 500 Artists Books and in magazines (Raven Chronicles, Rattle Magazine, Gargoyle, & Kyoto Review.)  A monograph Bind, Alter, Fold: Artist Books recently published by Book Arts Editions, was featured in the Vancouver Canada Sun, Guild of Bookworkers news and Bound and Lettered Magazine.  Her books include Sleeping in Caves: A Himalayan Memoir; a collection of environmental essays set in the Northwest, Climate of Extremes: Landscape and Imagination and Splitting Hard Ground which won the New Mexico Book Award and the National Federation of Press Women Book Award.   Visit: marilynstablein.com