Notes for Personal Myth and Genius Loci

(Workshop given at Tacoma Poetry Festival, Saturday, October 17, 2015)

Personal Myth, Place, Genius Loci – Paul Nelson

What is the myth you are living? Your Personal Mythology, relationship to place and to the spirit of the place in which you live are components of a healthy foundation for poets interested in preparing themselves to respond as deeply as possible to the chaos of our time.

Two Levertov poems

From the essay What is Consciousness, there is this model of the levels at which consciousness manifest:

Belief System
Personal Mythology
Chaotic/Cosmic Consciousness/Buddha-field

Two Examples from Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia

Duo Corpse Exercise

Two More Examples from Make It True

Tribe Exercise

Pass Out Harmony Hoss Drawings. Genius Loci, animating spirit of place. Daphne Marlatt, sh’te.

Harmony Hoss Sun 1 Harmony Hoss Sun

Handout: Personal Universe Deck

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). He has published 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) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. 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 (see: has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day.
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