Easy Speak Rainier Beach

It is with great excitement that we announce an extension of the popular Easy Speak reading series to Jude’s Old Town in Rainier Beach on the first Monday of each month beginning on December 4, 2017. The Easy Speak series started five years ago at the Wedgwood Ale House and continues to attract good crowds who listen well and participate in an open mic that is the best in Seattle since Red Sky Poetry Theater ended in 2005.

SPLAB has not had a presence in our home neighborhood since the Columbia City SPLAB in the old Columbia School featured a well-attended writer’s critique circle and special events like the Ginsberg Marathon and visits by Nate Mackey, Brenda Hillman, Cedar Sigo and CA Conrad, among others. Now that we are in Rainier Beach, we’re delighted to have a literary beachhead. Jude’s is generally not open on Mondays, but will make an exception for us. They’ll feature a limited menu and their specialty cocktails made from locally-distilled alcohol. We are grateful for their support.

Our first featured reader is the new Civic Poet of Seattle, Anastacia Renee. The former 2015-2017 Poet- in-Residence at Hugo House is a hybrid genre writer, workshop facilitator and multivalent performance artist. She is the author of four books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.),(Gramma Press), Answer( M e) (Argus Press), and 26 (Dancing Girl Press) and her poetry, prose and fiction have been published widely.

In addition, music for the evening will be provided by the Jim O’Halloran Trio, featuring Jim on flutes, Evan Flory-Barnes on bass and Jacques Willis on drums.

Come on out, read a poem, play a tune, or come just to listen and enjoy a night of music and literary art. We hope to see you on December 4, New Year’s Day, or any of the upcoming first Mondays.

Dec 4 – Anastacia Renee
Jan 1 – New Year’s Day Matinee, 5-8pm all Open Mic
Feb 5 – Claudia Castro-Luna
Mar 5 – Wendy Call
Apr 2 – T. Clear

 

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Video 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.

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CPF5 (Tacoma 2017) Reviews

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.

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CPF5 Thanks & Invitation to MOOC

CPF5 (2017) Sponsor

Thanks to Dale King and the Puget Sound Poetry Connection, Humanities Washington and Arts WA, and many other sponsors, volunteers, the SPLAB Board, Small Press Fair participants, brilliant poets and inspired attendees, we’re humbled and thrilled by the success of the recent Cascadia Poetry Festival. It was the 5th iteration, the first in Tacoma and we are moving on to planning for future fests, other events and our 3rd iteration of the Massive Open Online Course. More on that in a moment.

 

A few highlights: CA Conrad’s reading and his depiction of anti-GLBTQ laws as a new kind of segregation, as a Lesbian couple he knows had to leave Texas to continue being parents of their own children;

Patricia Smith’s presence and her Main Stage performance, displaying huge compassion for 34 souls left behind to die during Hurricane Katrina;

Michael McClure‘s touching remembrance of his friend Richard Brautigan which included some of the less-savory character traits of the Tacoma poet to whom the fest was dedicated. McClure’s reading from his brand new book Persian Pony another highlight;

Sharon Thesen‘s moving poem about fires in Kelowna, as a gesture to the fires devastating Northern California wine country, where Ianthe Brautigan-Swensen lives.

Ianthe’s main stage reading and her Brautigan panel participation, when she recalled feeling the presence of her father during those fires near her home;

Tod Marshall‘s Cascadia-centric workshop, his brilliant main stage reading and panel presentation on Brautigan;

Gary Lilley‘s prayer when his submarine would go beneath the surface of the sea, his telling about the Russian submariners who met a tragic end and his own reading on the main stage;

Lorna Dee Cervantes‘s presence, her reading at the Brautigan plaque unveiling, at the main stage and in the final Living Room;

The launch of the poetry postcard anthology 56 Days of August.

I could go on and I want to invite you to the next iteration of the fest, but we’ve not yet confirmed how that is going to happen and go back into planning mode. Video of CPF5 will be up soon.

Please consider being a part of this work of cultural bioregional discovery by enrolling in the free Massive Open Online Course, Innovative Cascadia Poetry on the Canvas portal facilitated by Jared Leising. Enrollment is open now:

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