What Drives Cascadia Culture?

Part of the reason we chose the headliners we did for the 2nd Cascadia Poetry Festival is because my short investigation of innovative Cascadia Poetry has led me to a couple of early conclusions:

1) Robert Duncan and Jack Spicer’s poetics (along with the Black Mountain School) have had a huge influence on the innovators from this bioregion.

2) Gary Snyder’s Dharma Eco-Poetics is another huge influence on the poetry from here.

We did not get Gary Snyder to read at Cascadia 2, but two poets who were a part of the late 50s literary scene in San Francisco and knew Duncan and Spicer personally, Joanne Kyger and George Stanley and they’ll be part of the Keynote Reading, Friday, May 2, at Pigott Auditorium (Seattle U) at 7:30, as well as at the panel on Innovations From Here, Saturday morning in the Pigott Building at Seattle U at 10:20.

George Bowering was also inspired by Duncan and Snyder and is part of that Keynote reading. George and Daphne Marlatt were attendees at the seminal Vancouver Poetry Conference of 1963, the first official gathering of poets aligned with the New American Poetry after publication of that influential anthology and Daphne does a workshop, Friday morning at 9 and reads Thursday night at the Kickoff reading which features all BC women poets. (There is space for a few more in the workshop.)

Panels on Saturday: Saturday, May 3, 11:40a-12:50p, Panel 2: Geoactivism (Geography & Activism). The panel includes: Kim Goldberg (Facilitator, Nanaimo), Eric De Place (Seattle), Trevor Carolan (North Vancouver), Kaia Sand (Portland, OR). Paccar Atrium at Seattle U

and Sunday: Sunday, May 4, 10:20a-11:30a. Panel 3: Geopoetics (Regional Ecology & Poetics): Gordon Miller (Seattle U), Facilitator. Panel: Derek Sheffield (Leavenworth, WA), Renee Sarojini Saklikar (New Westminster, BC) and Daphne Marlatt (Vancouver). Paccar Atrium at Seattle U,

begin to address the Dharma Eco-Poetics school of Cascadia poetry and we are developing a free Massive Open Online Course (see this link: http://cascadiapoetryfestival.org/mooc) that seeks to delve deeper into the notion of how poets shape culture in this bioregion. The MOOC is scheduled to be based  at Cascadia Community College (where else?) starting in the summer of 2015.

We hope to see you at Cascadia 2. An IndieGoGo campaign with some cool premiums has been launched here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cascadia-poetry-festival

Gold Passes for the whole weekend are only $25 and available now at: http://cascadiapoetryfestival.org/contact

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB in Seattle and the Cascadia Poetry Festival. He wrote a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger.) He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets, has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois and other places & writes an American Sentence every day. www.PaulENelson.com

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