Harvest The Arts, Mother’s Day in Mt. Baker

I performed with Jim O’Halloran (flute), Greg Powers (tuba) and Michael Nicolella (guitar) yesterday on a Mother’s Day program at the Mount Baker Community Clubhouse. The new Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken also read and closed the program. The theme was Mothers, of course, but the last poem I read took a different angle on that subject.

Harvest The Arts

Hadiyah Carlyle has asked me to write a paragraph about how Jim and I put our performance together:

Jim and I have been collaborating for over a year. When he got the call to perform at the Mt. Baker Community Clubhouse for their new Harvest The Arts series, he invited me to suggest a poem that we could do on the Mother’s Day program. I have some poems dedicated to the mothers in my life, my Mom and my wife, a new Mother. For collaboration with the full trio, I suggested a poem that, ultimately, honors the sacred mother, the mother of all things. It is (one interpretation) of the title poem from my first book A Time Before Slaughter. The poem is in three parts and after part one, there is a bit of singing that came to me while walking beside the Stuck River in Auburn as I had done many times. I sent Jim a recording of me reading the piece and he created a score utilizing the little melody that I provided. When we rehearsed, I was a little concerned when I saw Greg Powers bring the tuba in the room, but his touch was more evocative of Birth of the Cool than oompah bands and I was very pleased with rehearsal and felt the performance would go well. Here’s a recording of: A Time Before Slaughter.

About Splabman

SPLAB and Cascadia Poetry Festival founder Paul E Nelson wrote American Sentences (Apprentice House, 2015), Organic Poetry (VDM Verlag, Germany, 2008), a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, Washington, A Time Before Slaughter (Apprentice House, 2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme, Brazil, 2013). Founder of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, in 26 years of radio he interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, Wanda Coleman, Brenda Hillman, George Bowering, Joanne Kyger, Jerome Rothenberg & others, including many Cascadia poets. He lives in Seattle and writes at least one American Sentence every day. https://www.paulenelson.com. Co-Editor of Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia, he is in year five of a twenty year Cascadia Bioregional Cultural Investigation. www.CascadiaPoetryFestival.org (Oct 12-15, 2017, Tacoma, WA)
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