Crater Lake Illustration by Roberta Hoffman

Empowering people to practice poetry & deepen connections to place, self & the present moment.

We believe that poetry is the nexus

at which self-knowledge, bioregionalism and expansive creativity converge. Cascadia Poetics Lab is a vibrant community whose workshops, festivals, and opportunities for connection can open the door to transformative experiences.

Interview with Larissa Lai on Iron Goddess of Mercy: a Poem

by Paul E. Nelson

Larissa Lai Iron Goddess of MercyIron Goddess of Mercy is a long poem that channels the vengeful energies of The Furies to address modern-day issues of systemic racism, colonialism, climate destruction and genocide in 64 dense haibun. With influences ranging from Hanna Arendt to Muppets creator Jim Henson, from Bing Crosby to the Dead Milkmen, from Rita Wong to Mao Tse Tung and the Tao Te Ching, Larissa Lai blends them all together in a dense stew of language with a haiku to cleanse the palate. Larissa Lai is the author of two previous books of poetry and two novels, holds a Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary where she directs the Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing.

Recorded Wednesday, July 7, 2021 via Zoom at 10am PDT.


We recognize that our home office is on the ancestral homeland of the Duwamish, Muckleshoot and other Coastal Salish tribes. Our dedication to bioregionalism is to co-exists on this land in the sacred manner as practiced by the traditional ways of these indigenous people.


Statement on Ahimsa by Board Member Jason Wirth

January 20, 2021

The (Poetry Postcard Fest) and the Cascadia Poetry Festival (are) connected… When you’re writing poetry… part of poetry is the craft… rules (to be understood) in a variety of contexts… (Craft is…) a necessary but not sufficient condition. You’re also… experiencing your mind, at a very deep level. And that mind as you experience it more deeply, is not in a vacuum… It’s now and here… rooted in the socio-economic and ecological conditions that make it possible. And participating in… the spiritual exercise of these postcards, is already entering into… a deep bioregional awakening and conversion. In a way we’re trying for something like a spiritual revolution, and that poetry is not just an interesting thing that you can do, if you like. It’s a fundamental exercise of being here in a less harmful way… it’s a deep ahimsa, a deep practice of non-harming and cultivation. And so, it’s all connected… And… our ambition is… trying to have a mind that would be capable, of being in this place in a better way… We’re going to live or die, by how we come down on these issues going forward.