Cascadia Poetry Festival Advisory Board

If you are wondering what SPLAB has been up to lately, we’re scaling back in preparation of something quite huge. In our last season, Sept 2011 to June 2012, we produced 51 events. With the arrival of Ella Roque Nelson, that pace became impossible, so we decided to put our efforts into much fewer events and, particularly, the Cascadia Poetry Festival. We helped facilitate the 2nd annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change, which attracted a healthy crowd of poets to the Richard Hugo House on September 29th. Last week we produced an evening with Sam Hamill and his painter/collaborator, Ian Boyden at the Spring Street Center.

Our huge project is the Cascadia Poetry Festival and today we are announcing our Advisory Board. (See below). The 2nd iteration of the Festival is happening next spring at the University of Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, BC. Dates are just about to be announced. The third festival will happen at Seattle University, May 2-4, in partnership with Cascadia Community College and other organizations. If you would like to serve on the Advisory Board, please send Paul Nelson an email, pen at splab dot org.

Cascadia (Map courtesy of David McCloskey, Cascadia Institute)

Cascadia Poetry Advisory Board

Yvonne Blomer, Victoria, BC, was born in Zimbabwe and came to Canada when she was two years old. With her husband she has lived in Japan, cycled through Southeast Asia and lived in the UK where she completed a Masters in Creative Writing at The University of East Anglia. Yvonne is the Artistic Director and Host of the Planet Earth Poetry reading series.  In the spring of 2012 Yvonne released her second full collection of poetry The Book of Places (Black Moss Press) and second chapbook Bicycle Brand Journey (JackPine Press). Her first book, a broken mirror, fallen leaf was shortlisted for The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and her poems have twice been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards. Anthologized and published in journals across Canada, in the USA and the UK her poems are forthcoming in 75 BC Women Poets (Mother Tongue Press) and appeared in The Best Canadian Poetry in English.   Yvonne recently co-edited the anthology Poems from Planet Earth and her third collection Caged is forthcoming with Palimpsest Press in 2014.  She has travelled and lived in Europe and Southeast Asia where she cycled for three months from Vietnam to Kuala Lumpur and resides in Victoria, BC with her husband and young son.

Phoebe Bosche, Seattle, WA, is a co-founder, managing editor, and co-publisher of Raven Chronicles, a 501(c)3 non-profit, Seattle-based literary organization established in 1991 to promote and publish writers and artists with diverse multicultural viewpoints. Since 1984, she has organized literary events and readings in the Puget Sound area. In 1985, she co-founded, along with Roberto Valenza, “Alternative To Loud Boats,” a literary and musical festival which ran for 10 years. She was co-editor, with Roberto Valenza, of Swale Magazine; co-editor, with Jim Maloney, of SkyViews, a monthly literary publication of Red Sky Theater, in the mid 1980s-early 1990s. She has participated in the Native American Storytelling mentorship program (Univ. of Oklahoma), and served as a Literary Panel Judge for the Rasmuson Foundation, Anchorage, Alaska, for several years.

George Bowering, Vancouver, BC, OC, OBC (born December 1, 1935) is a prolific Canadian novelist, poet, historian, and biographer. He has served as Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate. He was born in Penticton, British Columbia, and raised in the nearby town of Oliver, where his father was a high-school chemistry teacher. Bowering is author of more than 100 books. Bowering is the best-known of a group of young poets including Frank Davey, Fred Wah, Jamie Reid, and David Dawson who studied together at the University of British Columbia in the 1950s. There they founded the journal TISH. Bowering lives in Vancouver, British Columbia and is Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University, where he worked for 30 years. In 2002, Bowering was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. He was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2004. When the Indian Hungryalist, also known as Hungry generation, poet Malay Roy Choudhury, was arrested at Kolkata, India, Bowering brought out a special issue of Imago for helping the Indian poet in his trial. Bowering was one of the judges for the 2008 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Kate Braid, Vancouver, BC, has muddled about in the intersection between loving trees and being responsible for cutting down whole forests full – as a carpenter and builder – for years.  She has written poetry and non-fiction about subjects from Georgia O’Keeffe, Emily Carr and Glenn Gould, to mine workers and fishers.  In addition to co-editing with Sandy Shreve, In Fine Form, she has published five books of poetry. Her memoir of fifteen years as a carpenter, Journey Woman, is forthcoming in 2012.  Her work has won and been short-listed for a number of awards and is widely anthologized.    See

Kathleen Flenniken, Seattle, WA, is the 2012 – 2014 Poet Laureate for the state of Washington.  She is the author of two books of poetry: Famous, named a Notable Book by the American Library Association and a finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and Plume, selected by poet Linda Bierds for the Pacific Northwest Poetry Series. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Artist Trust, and a Pushcart Prize. Flenniken teaches poetry in the schools through arts agencies like Writers in the Schools and Jack Straw Foundation, and serves as co-editor and president of Floating Bridge Press, dedicated to publishing Washington State poets.  She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Pacific Lutheran University, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Washington State University and University of Washington.

David Fraser, Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island, BC, is the founder and editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine, since 1997. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Rocksalt, An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry. He has published four collections of poetry, Going to the Well (2004), Running Down the Wind (2007), No Way Easy, 2010, and Caught in My Throat ,2011 and a collection of short fiction, Dark Side of the Billboard (2006). In addition David has co-authored with Naomi Beth Wakan, On Poetry an inspirational book on poetics and poetry. To keep out of trouble he helps develop Nanaimo’s spoken-word series, WordStorm. In October 2009 and 2010 he participated in Random Acts of Poetry, a national poetry program that brings poetry to the streets of Canada. David is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets and is available for performances and readings via funding with LCP.

Kim Goldberg, Nanaimo, BC, is an award-winning poet, journalist, and spoken word performer in Nanaimo, BC. She is the author of six books of poetry and nonfiction. Her Red Zone collection of poems about urban homelessness has been taught in university literature courses. Her previous collection, Ride Backwards on Dragon, was a finalist for Canada’s Gerald Lampert Award. She is a winner of the Rannu Poetry Prize for Speculative Literature, the Goodwin’s Award for Excellence in Alternative Journalism, and other distinctions. Her poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies in a dozen countries. In 2012, she organized and chaired the Eco-Poetry session for the inaugural Cascadia Poetry Festival. Visit

Heidi Greco, White Rock, BC. A resident of Cascadia since 1970, Heidi Greco lives just north of the Douglas border crossing. She and her partner share a house that’s surrounded by a tall stand of Western Red cedars. Besides writing and editing, she’s worked with her local arts council to establish two reading series. Zero to 360 provides open mic opportunities for writers in the community. Readings by the Salish Sea brings in professional authors of all genres from across Canada for evening events. She served as panel member in SPLAB’s inaugural Cascadia Poetry Festival. An offshoot of the panel’s discussion of eco-poetry was a chapbook, Igniting the Green Fuse: Four Canadian Women Poets. She looks forward to playing a role in the next Cascadia Festival. Greco’s books include Rattlesnake Plantain (named for a forest orchid in her bio-region), A: The Amelia Poems, a chapbook of poems about the enigmatic Amelia Earhart and a novella, Shrinking Violets. A longtime environmentalist, she has written and fought for the preservation of green space and trees. Even though those causes haven’t always been successful, she persists. She trusts that the power of words contributes to positive change. She keeps a sporadic blog at

Sam Hamill, Anacortes, WA, Sam Hamill is Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press, where he edited and printed for 32 years while writing more than forty volumes of poetry, essays, and celebrated translations from ancient Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Latin, and Estonian. In January 2003, declining an invitation to the Bush White House, he founded Poets Against The War, compiling the largest single-theme anthology in all of history—30,000 poems by 26,000 poets—now archived at Ohio State University. His most recent books include Border Songs (Word Palce Press), Almost Paradise: Selected Poems and Translations (Shambhala Publications) and Measured by Stone (Curbstone Press). “Sam Hamill has reached the category of a National Treasure, though I doubt he’d like the idea.” —Jim Harrison “The shape of Sam Hamill’s mind is the shape of both a revolutionary and a monk at work. His sacred text is poetry.” —Terry Tempest Williams “No one—I mean no one ever—has done the momentous work of presenting poetry better than Sam Hamill… [his poetry] is no less than essential.” —Hayden Carruth

Robert Lashley, Bellingham, WA, has been called “The Sweetest Scary Ass Brother You Will Ever Know”. A semi finalist for the PEN/Rosenthal
fellowship, Robert lashley often performs at Northwest spoken word venues and has helped Bellingham, where he lives, develop one of the nation’s finest open mic scenes. He has had poems published in such Journals as Feminete, No Regrets, and Your Hands, Your Mouth. He is not, however, a fire breathing dragon. His poetry was also featured in “Many Trails To The Summit”, an anthology of Northwest form and Lyric poetry. His full length book, Songs My City Taught Me, was published by Radical Lunchbox Press in 2009.

Jared Leising, Seattle WA, is the author of a chapbook of poems–The Widows and Orphans of Winesburg, Ohio–and in 2010, Jared curated the Jack Straw Writers Program.  He’s served as president of the Washington Community College Humanities Association and on the Board of Directors for 826 Seattle.  Before moving to Seattle, Jared received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Houston.  Currently, he’s teaching English at Cascadia Community College and coordinating 826 Seattle’s 2012 adult writing workshop series: “How to Write Like I Do.”

Joanna Lilley, Whitehorse, Yukon, doesn’t strictly speaking live in Cascadia but that doesn’t stop her feeling as if she does. She’s only just over the border after all. Joanna emigrated from Britain to Canada in 2006 and finds herself writing about place quite a lot, including in her first poetry collection, The Fleece Era, forthcoming from Brick Books in spring 2014. Joanna has a master’s degree in creative writing from the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde and in 2011 received an Advanced Artist Award from the Government of Yukon. Joanna helps organize the biennial Whitehorse Poetry Festival and is on the editorial board of Arctica.

Peter Ludwin, Kent, WA, is the recipient of a Literary Fellowship from Artist Trust and a Finalist for the Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award.  For the past eleven years he has been a participant in the San Miguel Poetry Week in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he has workshopped under such noted poets as Mark Doty, Tony Hoagland and Robert Wrigley.  Work has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, The Com-stock Review, Nimrod, North American Review and Prairie Schooner, to name a few.  His first full length collection, A Guest in All Your Houses, was published in 2009 by Word Walker Press.  A chapbook manuscript, Gone to Gold Mountain, was a Semi-finalist for both the 2010 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Award and the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award.  His second full length manuscript Rumors of Fallible Gods was published in the summer of 2012 by Presa Press.  A featured reader at the University of South Dakota, Whittier College and in the Czech Repu    blic, he has work published in A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry.  He has journeyed by canoe to visit remote Indian families in the Amazon Basin of Ecuador, hiked in the Peruvian Andes, thumbed for rides in Greece, bargained for goods in the markets of Marrakech and Istanbul, and spent nearly a month in 2011 in China and the Tibetan region of Sichuan Province.

Jarret Middleton, Seattle WA, is the author of An Dantomine Eerly and other fiction. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Dark Coast Press, and has been profiled in Shelf Awareness and The Stranger as an exciting new presence in independent publishing. His fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in The Collagist, Smalldoggies, Big Other, HTMLGIANT, Smoke Long Quarterly, and Slingshot, and.

Peter Pereira, Seattle, WA, is a family physician in Seattle, and was a founding editor of Floating Bridge Press. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Journal of the American Medical Association, and other magazines; have been anthologized in 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday, and the 2007 Best American Poetry, and featured online at Verse Daily and Poetry Daily, as well as on National Public Radio’s The Writer’s Almanac. His books include What’s Written on the Body (Copper Canyon 2007), which was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award; Saying the World (Copper Canyon, 2003), which won the 2002 Hayden Carruth Award; and the limited edition chapbook The Lost Twin (Grey Spider 2000). He also was recognized with a 1997 “Discovery”/The Nation award.

Dan Raphael, Portland, OR, has been active on the Portland poetry scene for over 3 decades as poet, performer, editor and reading arranger (including a monthly series that ran 13 years downtown.)  The State I’m In is his 18th & newest book, while last September’s Impulse & Warp: The Selected 20th Century Poems, includes work from his first 13 collections. Children of the Blue Supermarket, a CD of performances with jazz saxophonist Rich Halley and drummer Carson Halley, was released in February. Current poems appear in Rattapallax, Otoliths, Raft, Heavy Bear and Caliban. He has performed at places like Bumbershoot, Wordstock, Powell’s Books, Red Sky Poetry Theatre, Eastern Oregon U and the Portland Jazz Festival.

Bob Redmond, Seattle, WA. Bob’s experience in Seattle’s cultural and civic landscape dates from the late 1980s. Early work included actions with Operation Homestead, helping organize the first Tent City in 1990, and editing Real Change newspaper from 1997-1999. Bob’s arts and curatorial credits include positions at KBCS 91.3 (as Music Director), Bumbershoot (curating Arts programs from 2004-2009), and at Town Hall Seattle (Program Director in 2011-12). Most recently Bob founded the non-profit The Common Acre, which has produced “Bilocal: Seattle-New Orleans” and the “Art+Agriculture” series. He also runs Urban Bee Company, which maintains hives in community gardens and distributes honey by bicycle.

Jamie Reid, North Vancouver, BC, is a Canadian poet, writer, and arts organizer/activist. He was born in Timmins, Ontario and came of age on the west coast of Canada. Reid co-founded the influential poetry journal TISH in Vancouver in 1961 with George Bowering, Frank Davey and Fred Wah.[1] He published his first collection of poems, The Man Whose Path Was on Fire, in 1969. A short time later he joined the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)[2] and for a time, stopped writing poetry in favour of political work, “because [he] didn’t have a way of working the language of politics into the language of poetry.” Reid returned to poetry and cultural criticism in the late 1980s, with a special interest in jazz expressed in many of his works. There is a 25-year gap between his first book of poetry and his later books.[3] Married to painter Carol Reid since the 1960s, his home in North Vancouver continues to be a hub of literary activism and activity, from small press experiments like the local/international avant garde magazine DaDaBaBy to events and memoir writings in honour of a variety of literary figures who are, notably, human beings.

Judith Roche, Seattle, WA, is the author of three poetry collections, most recently, Wisdom of the Body, Black Heron Press and editor of First Fish, First People: Salmon Tales of the North Pacific Rim, both have been American Book Award recipients. She was Distinguished Northwest Writer at Seattle University  2007,  Literary Director Emeritus for One Reel, and a Fellow in the Black Earth Institute.  She has taught extensively in adult and juvenile prisons, and taught poetry workshops throughout the country.

Stephen Roxborough, Anacortes, WA, (aka roxword) was born in New York to a Canadian father and American mother. He’s a past board member for the Washington Poets Association, co-founder of Burning Word poetry festival, and Head Poet for Madrona Center on Guemes Island. An internationally acclaimed, award-winning performance poet, Rox has been third nominated for the Pushcart Prize (2003, 2006, 2011), appeared at the Skagit River Poetry Festival (2004), Brave New Words (Whidbey Island, 2009) and co-edited radiant danse uv being, a poetic portrait of bill bissett (2006). He is the author of making love in the war zone (2001), so far all the very long important subversive mind-expanding long ones (2002), impeach yourself! (2006), blurst (2009) and son of blurst (2010). His spoken word cd, spiritual demons (2002) is available at and

Ursula Vaira, Lantzville, BC grew up in northern BC; after studying Education at UBC, she taught school on the northern coast and in the Arctic, then moved to Vancouver Island in the early eighties. Ursula loves wilderness camping and kayaking, and has a passion for the west coast—in the summer of 2005, she kayaked with a group from Port Hardy to Zeballos, around Cape Scott and Cape Cook. In 1997 she paddled by Coast Salish canoe from Hazelton to Victoria as part of Roy Henry Vickers’s Vision Quest to raise addictions awareness and funds to build an all-nations recovery centre on Vancouver Island. Her poems have appeared in literary journals and chapbooks, and in anthologies published by Hawthorne Society, Outlaw Editions, Anvil Press, Quills, the B.C. Federation of Writers and Mother Tongue Publlshing. In 2011 Caitlin Press published her poetry collection And See What Happens. Ursula is the founder and publisher of Leaf Press (, publishing “poetry only” in print and online since 2001.

Dale Winslow, Victoria, BC, is a poet, editor and publisher (NeoPoiesis Press).  She lives with her family in Victoria, British Columbia.  Dale holds a B.Sc in Wildlife Management from The University of Guelph and a B.Ed. from The University of Victoria.

Bill Yake, Olympia, WA, is a poet, naturalist, and environmental scientist with degrees in Zoology, Environmental Science, and Environmental Engineering. For years he directed statewide investigations into the toxic contamination of water, fish, soil and sediment for the Washington State Department of Ecology. Since the late 1960s Bill has written  poetry – often focusing on the wild, the backcountry, critters and landscapes. He is author of two full-length collections of poetry; This Old Riddle: Cormorants and Rain (2003) and Unfurl, Kite, and Veer  (2010) both from Radiolarian Press, Astoria OR, as well as several chapbooks, most recently The Islands at the Edge of the World (2012, Scatter Creek Press). His poems have been published in magazines and anthologies serving the environmental and literary communities – from Wilderness Magazine to Anthropology and Humanism, from Open Spaces Quarterly to Fine Madness, from Rattle to ISLE – Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment. Two of his recent tree-inspired poems were featured in a Between Earth and Sky, a book by the instigator of forest canopy research, Nalini Nadkarni. Bill’s poetry has also won the Alligator Juniper Award (2003) and the James M. Snydal Prize (2004), and his poem “The Lowly, Exalted” was featured in an exhibition and poetry collection celebrating invertebrates in art. For over 20 years Bill has served, in various capacities, on the board of the Olympia Poetry Network. He has worked to promote poetry in the country at the far end of the Salish Sea where he lives with his wife, Jeannette, on the verge of a ravine carved by a small chum salmon creek.

About Splabman

Poet & interviewer Paul E Nelson founded SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) & the Cascadia Poetry Festival. Since 1993, SPLAB has produced hundreds of poetry events & 600 hours of interview programming with legendary poets & whole systems activists including Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, Robin Blaser, Diane di Prima, Daphne Marlatt, Nate Mackey, George Bowering, Barry McKinnon, José Kozer, Brenda Hillman & many others. Paul’s books include American Prophets (interviews 1994-2012) (2018) American Sentences (2015) A Time Before Slaughter (2009) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (2013). Co-Editor of Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia (2015), 56 Days of August: Poetry Postcards (2017) and Samthology: A Tribute to Sam Hamill (2019) Make it True meets Medusario (2019), he’s presented poetry/poetics in London, Brussels, Nanaimo, Qinghai & Beijing, China, has had work translated into Spanish, Chinese & Portuguese & writes an American Sentence every day. Awarded a residency at The Lake, from the Morris Graves Foundation in Loleta, CA, he’s published work in Golden Handcuffs Review, Zen Monster, Hambone, and elsewhere. Winner of the 2014 Robin Blaser Award from The Capilano Review, he is engaged in a 20 year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia and lives in Rainier Beach, in the Cascadia bioregion’s Cedar River watershed.
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2 Responses to Cascadia Poetry Festival Advisory Board

  1. Carol Blackbird Edson says:

    Hi Paul,
    I went to a Childrens’ Book Writers Workshop in NJ and we all
    got marooned by Hurricane Sandy in a shuddering old 1920s formerly posh hotel by flashlight. It was a long wander home but much bonding
    occurred by candle light Hurricane Parties. That said-
    I would like to lend a hand for the Cascadia project.

  2. Joanna Lilley says:

    I’m so delighted to see the 2013 Cascadia Poetry Festival is becoming a reality. I’ll do my very best to be there! The 2012 festival was wonderful – a catalyst for new ideas, new poems, new friendships.

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