I was stunned and humbled by this remarkable article on our festival, which starts tomorrow. Paul Constant wrote it and has been tracking our fest for a few years now. Glad he got some things out of the way and am grateful he gets what we’re doing. An excerpt:
This is why the Cascadia Poetry Festival is more important now than it ever has been. Running from Thursday, October 12th to Sunday the 15th in Tacoma, the festival, which is now in its fifth year, hosts what may be its highest-profile slate of authors yet. Nationally recognized poets Patricia Smith and CAConrad both headline events and host workshops for aspiring poets.
The festival looks back to the history of Cascadia with a “Tribute to Grunge” reading featuring poets like David Fewster who have lived in the area since the Singles era and a panel discussion on the life and legacy of criminally underrated Cascadian poet and novelist Richard Brautigan. (You might argue that Raymond Carver or Tom Robbins have done more to shape the region’s literature than Brautigan, but I’ll respectfully riposte your claims with dozens of poems by contemporary local writers ranging from Sarah Galvin to Sherman Alexie that feel like distant literary cousins of Brautigan’s.)
But the Cascadian Poetry Festival doesn’t exist just so it can stare backward. Most of the festival’s programming is forward-facing. Washington state Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, for instance, hosts a workshop to “explore some of the ways that poets have used a sense of ‘place’ to propel their poetics,” and then extrapolate those observations into the concept of “what a Cascadian Poetic might mean for each of our practices.”
There are still some slots available to take CA Conrad’s workshop and if you are coming only for one day, Saturday’s panel on the work and legacy of Cascadia native Richard Brautigan, featuring his daughter Ianthe, is not to be missed. We’ll unveil a plaque to honor Brautigan and Steven Jesse Bernstein on Sunday. The fest schedule is here.
See you Thursday, Oct 12 at King’s Books for the launch of 56 Days of August and the rest of the time at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma for this event.