SPLAB Becomes the Cascadia Poetics LAB

SPLAB becomes the Cascadia Poetics Lab

Seattle, WA, September 1, 2021—The Seattle Poetics LAB (SPLAB), a 501(c)(3) literary arts-oriented nonprofit organization founded in 1993, has changed its name to the Cascadia Poetics Lab, effective today.

Founding Director Paul E Nelson said, “the new name reflects better our mission, the clarity provided by the current board and our recent and extensive organizational development work.”

The new mission is:

Empowering people to practice poetry & deepen connections to place, self & the present moment.

Over the past 28 years SPLAB has been instrumental in leading a bioregional cultural investigation using poetics, poetry festivals (such as the Cascadia Poetry Festival, and the Poetry Postcard Festival) along with publications and education.

In addition to the new website


the organization is launching a podcast which will lean on the 700+ hours of original interviews conducted since 1993, when the organization was founded in Auburn, Washington, on December 14, 1993.

Founding Director Paul E Nelson is available for interviews and can be contacted at (206) 422.5002 or Splabman@icloud.com

Cascadia Poetics Lab, 9030 Seward Park Av S, Unit 213,

Seattle, WA 98118, USA

We have put a great deal of thought into this and we will be announcing aspects of this evolution over the next few weeks, including a podcast, a new anthology, a writer’s retreat space and other projects designed to allow people interested in the confluence of poetics, place and the present moment.

& be sure to check out the first of our Fall online workshops, Poetics as Cosmology 2021.

Paul Nelson’s Poetics as Cosmology course was resonant and revelatory. — Laura King, Helena, MT

Paul Nelson’s organic poetry workshops are less a class than a journey, leading the participant not only to an ingeniously natural method of writing, but to the living energy of the poem itself. — Rob Lewis, Bow, WA

Thanks so much for an engaging workshop – what fun! The best thing about it, to my mind, is your affirmative and humor-graced approach to all. You have a genius for getting people connected and encouraging their work… — Margaret Lee, Tulsa, OK

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Poetry Postcard Fest: A Tribute to di Prima and McClure

For Immediate Release June 28, 2021

SPLAB’s 15th Annual Poetry Postcard Fest:
A Tribute to di Prima and McClure

Registration for the 15th Poetry Postcard Fest ends July 18, 2021 at popo.submittable.com The fest in 2020 featured 544 participants from 11 countries, 47 states and 3 Canadian provinces. In 2021 the fest will honor legendary poets Diane di Prima and Michael McClure. www.popo.cards.

The Poetry Postcard Fest process is simple. Participants register online for a nominal fee. Starting July 4, registered participants receive a list of 32 registered poets. Participants agree to compose and send to another poet on the list an original poem composed on a postcard, delivered by regular mail.

Two poets who had tremendous influence on USAmerican culture and poetry in the second half of the 20th century, both died in 2020, were good friends to each other and each had an influence on the Poetry Postcard Fest.

Diane di Prima, whose work with the Diggers had her at the forefront of a very active San Francisco counter-culture in the thick of the 60s and 70s, working with the Diggers alongside such members as Peter Berg, who is the prime force behind the notion of bioregionalism, a huge influence in our work. She came to the Auburn SPLAB on one occasion to give a reading (where she read her remarkable and prescient poem Rant) be interviewed, and to conduct a workshop.

Michael McClure participated in several SPLAB events, starting with being interviewed in October 1995 and extolling the wisdom of Projective Verse: aka Composition by Field. McClure, a member of the Beat Generation which he called the “Literary Wing of the Environmental Movement.” More on di Prima and McClure is available here: https://www.poetrypostcardfestexhibit.org/tribute

An essay about the fest and its debt to the aestheic of Black Mountain College can be read here: http://www.blackmountainstudiesjournal.org/nelson-lee-postcards/

An online gallery, which debuted this year can be viewed here: https://www.poetrypostcardfestexhibit.org

SPLAB is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in December 1993by poet Paul E Nelson. www.splab.org and based in Seattle, WA.

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Poetry Postcard Fest Orientation

Poetry Postcard Fest Orientation

10am PDT, this Saturday, June 19, 2021. Make sure YOU are ready, or tell a poet friend about the joy of summer poetry postcards as SPLAB presents an orientation for the 15th Poetry Postcard Fest, which is accepting registrants at www.popo.submittable.com

See also: https://popo.cards/2021/06/07/postcard-orientation/

Hosted by Fest Co-Founder, Paul E Nelson, history, basic info and good tips for fest participation will be provided. We hope to see you and encourage you to tell friends about this long-running self-guided spontaneous composition and community-building workshop. Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/s/2064225002

Paul will also discuss the online workshop series and plans for the Fall series, designed for people who have participated in the fest, or who have interest in living the life of a writer 24/7 as Anne Waldman urged in a SPLAB workshop in 2000 at the old SPLAB in Auburn, WA.

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New SPLAB Board Members

In the last 5 weeks two new members have joined the SPLAB board of directors. Please welcome these two extraordinary humans. Already they have changed the scope and direction of the organization and I am grateful for their work with SPLAB and its mission.

Diana Elser was elected to the SPLAB Board on April 5, 2021. Diana graduated from Utah State with a BA in English, then worked as a grant and technical writer in healthcare services and consulting. Born in Montana, she’s lived in El Paso, Texas, Great Falls, Montana; Jackson, Wyoming; Bountiful, Utah; Bay Area (Rodeo/Crockett); and Seattle (also Canada and Thailand).  She’s turned over peaches, waitressed, tended bar, and sold Bibles along the way – as well as raising three children and helping raise a stepson.  She moved to Seattle for love (which has lasted) in 1994 and went to work for Group Health (now Kaiser Health Plan of Washington) where she did market research and competitive intelligence as part of strategic planning.  In 2013, she retired, and dedicated her retirement to “the arts” and having fun – taking writing classes at Hugo House and the Jackson Hole Writers Conference, year after year, as well as traveling, gardening, playing guitar/songwriting and becoming a grandmother. Finishing Line Press published her first chapbook in April, 2021, and she has a couple more in the works.  Diana discovered SPLAB through the Poetry Postcard Festival (collaged her own cards), and continues to take classes.  She lives in San Clemente, but spends part of the summer in Seattle. She’s new to the SPLAB Board and serves as Board Secretary, and on the Governance Committee.

Adelia MacWilliam
Board Member since May 3, 2021

Adelia MacWilliamWhen Adelia MacWilliam did her poetry thesis at the University of Victoria she discovered that if you cast the mythic imagination across a piece of land that has always been part of your life, everything will out.  What she encountered amidst the remnants of a stunning wilderness – a savage history, with its culturally sanctioned amnesia – changed her view of her home forever. Her work explores the complexities of a settler culture struggling to create a home in a world it is simultaneously gutting.
Adelia was also co-founder of Cascadia Poetics Lab, www.cascadiapoeticslab.ca,  (now Terra Poetics) which, pre-pandemic, produced annual poetry events and the monthly Red Tree reading series in Cumberland on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. She has poems published in Reckoning 3 and 4, and in the anthology, Sweet Water: Poems for the Watershed. She divides her time between Cumberland and Desolation Sound.

The whole board list is here: https://splab.org/about-splab/splab-board/ a treasurer is needed and Diana is a participant in the Poetry Postcard Fest for which registration ends July 18. See: www.popo.submmittable.com

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