David McCloskey on Cascadia

After hearing about the concept in bioregionalism (in about 1991 or so) and getting interested in an organizing effort that went deeper than politics, I created the Cascadia Poetry Festival in March of 2012 at the former SPLAB in the old Columbia School. (The details on that fest are here.) And when I started my digging into the nature of Cascadia, I soon came in contact with David McCloskey. A retired Professor of Sociology at Seattle University, he now spends his days in Eugene, Oregon, in the house where he grew up, waving the banner for bioregional culture and autonomy. Literally. And running the Cascadia Institute.

David McCloskey & HIS version of the Cascadia Flag

And while I am interested in understanding the culture of this bioregion and have started a multi-decades research project on it, I am also interested, like McCloskey is, in shaping the culture into something just, sustainable and creative. The descendants of settlers and immigrants need to have a sense of place akin to what indigenous people had to be fully alive, in my view. We can’t really know ourselves until we know where we are and McCloskey is doing very important work to help that process. So on my way down to Southern Cascadia for a residency at the Morris Graves Foundation, I would be gifted with the phrase Bioregional Animation to describe what I am after in my efforts.

But Eugene is on the way to Loleta, CA, and found a kind and genial host on October 30, 2013, willing to discuss his notions of bioregional activism, his history with it and other fascinating related subjects. This interview will be serialized the next few weeks, but the whole interview will be archived here.

In the introductory segment the notion of the Cascadia bioregion was discussed, specifically how one must start with a sense of place (oikos) and not from a political or other sense which strengthens what he calls the abstractions and psyche projections that work against a truly ecological way of being in the world. (Part 1, 8:33)

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)
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to David McCloskey on Cascadia

  1. Salishan says:

    So refreshing to hear your interview with Dave McCloskey who offers something new to us in his understanding of Cascadia as a relational body in which we dwell. If Cascadia is ever to become realized in all its potential we need to love the place more than our ideas about the place. Thanx for the thoughtful interview.

Leave a Reply