CPF3 in Nanaimo

March 15, 2015

Mary Ann Moore has sent this wonderful invite to her poetry friends:

Hello friends from afar (not that far):

Nanaimo is filled with poetry! It’s the skin of our city, poet Kim Goldberg says. We have a poet laureate, Naomi Beth Wakan; a poem gallery (at the downtown branch of the library); monthly readings with an open mike run by the WordStorm Society at the Vault Café and many other readings and book launches in Nanaimo and vicinity. Now, for the first time, outside the U.S., the Cascadia Poetry Festival will be held in Nanaimo from April 30 to May 3, 2015.

For several months now, I’ve been part of the planning committee gathering sponsors, inviting publishers to the small press fair, and publicizing the event.

I hope you’re able to make it to at least part of the festival. The all-access Gold Pass is just $25 for all four days(excluding workshops which are $60 each). The price for students is $10. Buy your passes here: www.cascadiapoetryfestival.org

If you’re needing accommodation in Nanaimo, there are several hotels and motels to choose from at varying rates. Our hotel sponsors are the Coast Bastion, Dorchester Best Western and the Howard Johnson. I’ll attach some information about them.

The goal of the festival is to gather writers, artists, scientists and activists to collaborate, discover and foster a deeper connection between all inhabitants and the place itself: Cascadia, a bioregion that stretches from California to Alaska including Vancouver Island. You can see a map on the Cascadia Poetry Festival website:http://cascadiapoetryfestival.org/?page_id=1395

Cascadia is described as “a life-place or bioregion, with its own distinctive character and context. Water is the voice of this place.” David McCloskey, Professor Emeritus of Ecological Studies at Seattle University and considered “the Father of Cascadia” for his extensive mapping of the bioregion, will give the opening lecture at VIU on May 1st.

All these poets!

More than forty poets from across the Cascadia bioregion will meet in Nanaimo to examine and explore the relationship between poetics, landscape, history, culture and ecology. As Paul Nelson, founder of the festival and of SPLAB, a Seattle-based non-profit organization, said at our last planning meeting, Robert Bringhurst and Sam Hamill will be together for the first time in twenty years.

We expect there to be more historical moments throughout the four days of the festival as we welcome the featured poets  Brenda Hillman, Susan Musgrave, Barry McKinnon, Sharon Thesen, Joanne Arnott, Stephen Collis, Christine LeClerc, Rita Wong, Garry Gottfriedson, Janet Marie Rogers and many others.

I’ll be hosting the first Living Room on Thursday, April 30 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Nanaimo Museum. And I’ll be part of the 30 + poets reading at the After Party on Saturday, May 2 from 10 p.m. on at the Globe Bar & Grill at 25 Front Street in Nanaimo. One of the panels at VIU in Bldg 355, Room 203 is On the Margins. I’ll be hosting that panel on Sunday, May 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It features Nadine Maestas, Joanne Arnott, Janet Marie Rogers, Susan Musgrave and Renee Sarojini Saklikar. Wow!


You can find all of the events mentioned above on the Cascadia website here:


Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning (May 1 – 3) will be filled with panel discussions at VIU in Bldg 355, Room 203. Evenings will include multi-poet poetry readings at the same location. A Small Press Fair will be running throughout in the lounge across from the lecture theatre.

As well, there will be daily opportunities for everyone (including students and members of the public) to read their own poetry to an audience at The Living Room – a democratic poetry reading circle we will hold downtown at the Nanaimo Museum daily, beginning April 30,  from 3 – 5  pm.

The Marmot Spoken-Word Bout will be held on Friday, May 1 at 10 p.m. at the Globe Bar and Grill at 25 Front Street. Cascadia poets will compete for the right to be crowned the Cascadia Marmot Champ. The other late evening event I mentioned above is the After Party on Saturday, May 2 where more than 30 poets from around Cascadia will read their poems.

And there are workshops! Anastacia Tolbert and Missy Peters are offering a Spoken Word, Writing and Staging workshop on Friday, May 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. at VIU Bldg 355, Room 103. I’ve signed up for a workshop withBrenda Hillman, Barry McKinnon and George Stanley on Saturday, May 2 from 2:15 to 5:15 p.m. also in VIU Bldg 355, Room 103. I’m excited about that.

Have a look at the website and considering coming to Nanaimo for this international poetry event. I hope to see you here at the end of April!

Best wishes,
Mary Ann


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