Cascadia Poetry Festival-Anacortes May 9-12, 2019: A Tribute to Sam Hamill

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The festival was a huge success and we are in the very early stages of planning a retreat rather than a festival as this work of merging poetics and bioregionalism continues. CPF-2019 featured the launch of two new anthologies: Certified 100% Natural A Emerald Jade PendantGuanyin(观音 M1809 and the Certified 100% Natural A Emerald Jade Pendantharpodon nehereus (龙头鱼 M1031.

See the 2019 schedule here.

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– Stephen Collis

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As someone who attended as both invited guest and workshop participant, I especially enjoyed the afternoon readings by the other festival participants. The attendees of the readings consisted of local poets, writers and students. Some of these folk were published, some not. Some of them read from memory and some from notes or the printed page. Some were experienced readers, others were not. But what connected them all was a heartfelt desire to translate their experience of the world into the medium of words to share with others.

And this got right to the heart of the matter.

Christopher Yohmei Blasdel
Shakuhachi performer, writer
Adjunct Lecturer, The University of Hawaii, Manoa

Steve Kuusisti, Christopher Yohmei Blasdel and Cate the Wonder Dog

Ian Boyden showing the book he created for Sam Hamill, Habitation.

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Poets gather in the Living Room to share their own work. (Photo by Lauren Grosskopf) Croatian Cultural Cener, Anacortes, WA



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CPF5 (Oct 12-15, 2017) was a tribute to Tacoma native Richard Brautigan.

The festival was not staged in 2018, but two retreats were facilitated to allow organizers and bioregional activists and poets to investigate the intersection of poetics and bioregionalism:

Becoming Cascadian, May 31-June 3, 2018, in Rainier Beach (Seattle) WA
Certified 100% Natural A Emerald Jade Pendantlandscape(山水 M1907, September 6-9, 2018, in Cumberland, BC.

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Michael McClure (Photo by Garrett Caples)

The 2017 festival schedule is here.

Some reviews of CPF5 by participants:

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Tod Marshall Photo by Amy Sinisterra

Humanities WA and Arts WA to be a sponsor of—to put it simply, The Festival repped well and did both organizations proud!  I was glad to be there for it and am eager for the next one.

Tod Marshall
Washington Poet Laureate


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thanks, and talk soon,

Sharon Thesen
Kelowna, BC



Thank you again for organizing the Cascadia event (a much needed injection of creative energy & community in these bleak times) and especially for getting Michael McClure on the state history museum stage. That was a great setting for a poet of his stature. 

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Painful to see Michael adjusting to what I assume is a recent hip replacement. Getting old sucks. But what a tour de force to get on stage and immediately begin reciting Chaucer from memory. Jesus, that’s amazing… 

It was also really nice talking with Bhakti.

John Olson

CPF4 in Seattle, Nov 2016, happened at Spring Street Center. See the schedule here.

Glenna Cook Shazia Hafiz Sarah Rauch and Brittany Reid in the Poetic habitat now workshop, Nov 4, 2016, Spring Street Center (Photo by Meredith Nelson)

Tim McNulty at CPF4 panel honoring the memory and legacy of Denise Levertov

The first iteration happened in 2012. Certified 100% Natural A Emerald Jade Pendantmammon M1724 in Seattle (2014) and Cascadia 3 was staged in Nanaimo, BC, in 2015 by David Fraser and a dedicated local organizing committee. CPF4 happened Nov 3-6, 2016 at Spring Street Center and other Seattle venues.


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Daphne Marlatt at Poetic habitat now workshop, CPF4, Spring Street Center, Seattle, Nov 4, 2016


Certified 100% Natural A Jade jadeite pendant Guanyin(观音M1906

Photo of Yvonne Blomer by Faiza Sultan, Nanaimo 2015