SPLAB’s Cascadia Work (The Art of Resistance)

Map by David McCloskey

SPLAB has been facilitating events since 2012 that combine bioregionalism and poetry. Perhaps the deepest form of eco-poetics is bioregionalism, making the place you live first in your consciousness over a “state” or “nation” or “province.” That Cascadia includes most of British Columbia (west of the Rocky Mountains) and therefore crosses an international border makes it more interesting (and complicated.)

Iterations of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, which happened in 2012, 2014, 2015 (in Nanaimo, BC, produced by Wordstorm) and 2016 were all successful in different ways and the 2017 event should be the best yet. It will be the first staged in Tacoma and we are just about set to officially announce the entire lineup, which is the biggest thing SPLAB has ever attempted.

Interviews of “Cascadian Prophets” are being conducted with a landing page right now at American Prophets, and efforts are being made to save the SPLAB archive, some of which is on reel-to-reel and disintegrating.

Efforts to have geographic diversity and recognize the part of the bioregion east of the Cascades are ongoing, with a fact-finding trip to Walla Walla planned for late May. There is also a group we’re working with in Cumberland, BC, working on creating a version of the Cascadia fest every other year in that small, Vancouver Island town. They are operating under the banner Cascadia Poetics LAB.

One Day versions of the fest have been discussed with people all over the bioregion, including a place that would seem like a natural fit for such work, Cascadia College. Jared Leising has created an amazing event, while not officially a “Cascadia” event, other than the setting, is very Cascadian and looks like it is a remarkable affair. (It started on April 17th.) I am honored to participate and offer my notions of what resistance looks like from a poetry point of view.

The details:

The Art of Resistance 
(events open to the community from April 17 – 28) 
 
*April 17 – 28 – Protest Art Show (Opening Reception on April 18, 6-8 pm)

Mobius Gallery (M-Th, 10 – 4 pm)
  
*Tuesday, April 25 – “The Written Image: Blending Poetry with the Visual Arts” with Shin Yu Pai

Mobius Hall, 1:30 – 3:00  
 
For a description of the event and a bio of the speaker, please check out this link: https://www.humanities.org/speaker/shin-yu-pai/.
 
Shin Yu’s presentation will last 45 minutes, followed by a Q & A, and a writing activity responding to the new artwork in the gallery.

This event is sponsored by the Ideas and Change Lecture Series, Humanities WA, and Poets & Writers, Inc. 

 
*Thursday, April 27 – “Poetics of Resistance” with Stephen CollisSarah Dowling, and Paul Nelson
 
Mobius Hall, 1:30 – 3:00
 
For information about each poet, please click on the links above.
 
This event will involve each poet performing some of their work, then engaging in a discussion with each other and the audience about the role of poetry in protest and resistance. 
 
This event is sponsored by the Ideas and Change Lecture Series 
  
*Thursday, April 27 – Poetry Reading at the Anderson School featuring Stephen Collis (among others)
 
Thorndike Room, 7 – 9:00 pm

 

About Splabman

Poet/interviewer Paul Nelson:

Founded: SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) & the Cascadia Poetry Festival

Wrote: American Sentences (2015), A Time Before Slaughter (2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme Editions, Brazil, 2013). His 2015 interview with José Kozer was published in 2016 (Ranchos Press) as Tiovivo Tres Amigos.

Interviewed: Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, Robin Blaser, Anne Waldman, Ed Sanders, Diane di Prima, Nate Mackey, George Bowering, Brenda Hillman, among others and is engaged in a 20 year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia, including the festival, a MOOC (Innovative Cascadia Poetry), interviews with Cascadia poets indigenous elders and activists, and the anthology Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia. Paul is co-editor of that anthology as well as 56 Days of August the poetry postcard anthology and writes an American Sentence daily.

*MOOC = Massive Open Online Course

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