Article on Cascadia Poetry Festival

Ann Graham Walker just published a wonderful article on the history and mission of the Cascadia Poetry Festival. See: http://issuu.com/fbcw/docs/201410-issuu/23?e=13919309/9724638 Thanks Ann.

An Graham Walker on CPF

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3rd Cascadia Poetry Festival

Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo

NANAIMO, BC – The Cascadia Poetry Festival is coming to Nanaimo.  The third in an annual festival series that originated in 2012 in Seattle, CPF3-2015 is expected to bring more than four-hundred visitors to eat, sleep and soak up some great poetry in this Vancouver Island city.

Cascadia began as the brain-child of poet and arts activist Paul Nelson, through an organization called SPLAB (the Seattle Poetics Laboratory). It started out small, with about one hundred poets and attendees from both sides of the border. By its second bout in 2014 that number had quadrupled.  Canadian poets have participated from the outset, but this will be the first time the CPF has come to Canada.

As the CPF website (www.cascadiapoetryfestival.org) makes clear, this is a festival born with a visionary concept – an international festival that seeks to “bioregionally animate and culturally construct” Cascadia by gathering writers, artists and scientists to “collaborate, discover and foster deeper connection between inhabitants and the place itself.” Cascadia, as defined by writer and scientist David McCloskey, is the bioregion that stretches “in a great curving arc from Northern California to southeast Alaska—a vast swath which also includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and more than half of British Columbia.”

Accessibility is a key value for this festival. A Gold Pass to four days of readings, panels and discussions costs $25 and only $10 for students. The four scheduled workshops aren’t covered by the pass but, at $60, they are a literary bargain. You can buy your tickets on the CPF website. The schedule is already posted on the website too, and bios of the forty-two participating poets from both sides of the border. And, of course, you can volunteer! 

The Cascadia Poetry Festival creates a special ambiance, says CPF3-2015 Co-Chair, Vancouver Island poet David Fraser.  “It brings together people who want to be part of the important conversation about our rich, trans-national community.”

The informal mingling at CPF is as important as the panels and performances, Fraser says. “We create time and space for people to sit and talk about what Cascadia really means to us.”

Lantzville poet and publisher, Ursula Vaira, writes about Cascadia in her book about kayaking through the region – and see what happens, published by Caitlin Press in 2011. Two of the couplets in her extended poem, Frog River, say this:

Perfectly still, river becomes mountains
becomes cloud.

Canoe becomes bird.
the hollow bone.

Vaira will be part of the CPF3-2015 lineup—a lineup that brings together emerging and established poets. One of the featured participants, Brenda Hillman, won the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize. 

CPF3-2015 is forging a relationship between area poets and local businesses, schools, Vancouver Island University and the City of Nanaimo—everyone helping to make the festival a success and to highlight the area’s strength as a community of poets and writers. There were four-hundred attendees at Seattle’s CPF, held in May of this year. CPF3-2015 organizers are hoping to match or better that.

Taking the lead in festival organizing is a small Nanaimo-based arts society called “WordStorm” (www.wordstorm.ca) – a dynamic group of writers who run monthly Spoken Word performances in local cafés (currently the Vault Café on Nanaimo’s Wallace Street). CPF3 co-chair, Fraser, is also WordStorm’s artistic director and president.

“Spreading the word that Nanaimo is not only a gorgeous place, but also a major arts destination is one of the city’s key strategic goals,” Fraser remarks.  “It is gratifying that a small, volunteer group of poets is helping to manifest that message.” 

Check it all out here: www.cascadiapoetryfestival.org

Find us on Facebook for news and updates: Cascadia Poetry Festival

To sponsor or volunteer, contact David Fraser at ascentaspirations@gmail.com

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Seattle Poetics Lab (SPLAB) Presents Tadeyeske, Murphy & Bleecker

Splab Presents Jan 6, 2015Seattle Poetics Lab (SPLAB) brings three poets into one space for an evening of readings. Join us for this literary event in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill. A $5 suggested donation will support the readers and the event is being curated and hosted by SPLAB Board member Greg Bem.

Chelsea

Chelsea

Chelsea Tadeyeske (currently of Oxford, Ohio) is author of the chapbooks HEELDRAGGER (plumberries press, 2012) and TOTEM (plumberries press, 2013), co-author with Cynthia Spencer of THERE EXISTS…(plumberries press, 2012), proprietress of pitymilk press (pitymilkpress.wordpress.com), editor of the online collaborative journal gritty silk, and co-organizer of the Midwest Small Press Festival. Her work has been published in places such as Everyday Genius, NIN Journal, Gam Gam’s Plastic, smoking glue gun, Drupe Fruits, Humble Humdrum Cotton Frock, and others.

 

Patricia

Patricia

Patricia Murphy, a native of Northern Kentucky, lives in the historic Brighton neighborhood of downtown Cincinnati. She graduated from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2010 with a Bachelors in Fine Art. She is a long time collaborator and curator of alternative art and poetry venues in Cincinnati including U•turn Art Space, Important People Reading Series, and Hobohaus Gallery…….she’s got some of her art on her Facebook page, she’s particularly fond of sculpture.

Alex

Alex

Alex Bleecker (based in Seattle) is a nonstop car accident happening inside the gall bladder of a newborn American Quarter horse. Just kidding – horses don’t have gallbladders. They’re trickle feeders. As a Made at Hugo House fellow for 2014-15, Alex is currently working on a project wherein he is responding to the beautiful, haunting, surreal inquiries that Pablo Neruda’s makes in the Book of Questions (1974) – his final utterances. He’ll share some of those responses tonight.

Visit Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar‘s website for more information about the venue: vermillionseattle.com

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David Whited Dead

David Whited

David Whited

Reports are still coming in but it is apparent that longtime Red Sky poet David Whited who died yesterday morning. Michael Hureaux said: “Great poet and one of the silliest and laughingest men life could ever bless a person’s presence with. The world has just gotten a lot colder.” He was 63 and suffered a massive heart attack.

 

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Support The Capilano Review

One of the top journals in Cascadia is branching out and needs your support. I am awed by the depth of this journal and their latest, a tribute to George Bowering is stunning. A must-have for anyone serious about poetry in this bioregion and beyond. Quite compelling and very helpful to see how this man went about making himself a world-class poet.

TCR1

TCR2

TCR has featured writers such as Robin Blaser, Daphne Marlatt, Lisa Robertson, Michael Turner, and many more in multiple issues. For $50-$85, you can choose a package of back issues featuring one of your favorite authors.

For $95, you can choose either an hour manuscript consultation with one of many amazing writers including Meredith Quartermain, George Stanley, or Rita Wong, or for $145, an hour and a half manuscript consultation with Jordan Abel, Thea Bowering, and many more.

For $100, you can participate in one of winter 2015’s most memorable communal dinner soirées! Join dinner parties with Pierre Coupey, Colin Browne, Erín Moure, Tiziana La Melia + Rebecca Brewer, Sharon Thesen, Lee Plested, Pierre Coupey, Karen Matthews + David Pay, or David Farwell + Miriam Nichols!

For $150, we will send you a copy of TCR’s issue 1.16-1.17 (1979) featuring work from Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family and Daphne Marlatt’s “In the Month of Hungry Ghosts,” and signed by both of the authors.

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