Cascadia Poetics LAB


Bhakti and I were delighted to have been offered a chance to visit Nuchatlitz, BC, thanks to Adelia MacWilliam and Shannon Bailey. It required a long drive to Tahsis, BC, with a ferry just to get there and then a 45 minute water taxi to the ancestral homeland of the Nuu-chah-nulth people. Their remarkable cosmology was the subject of Richard Atleo’s book Tsawalk and has fascinated me since I read the book and interviewed Richard Atleo.

The setting was Shannon Bailey’s summer home which she has had for 33+ years. Here are just two of the many photos of the place:

Nuchatlitz Sunset Nuchatlitz Sunset

The noise of Seattle is quite harsh after cleansing my spirit on Nuchatlitz with Bhakti, Shannon, Adelia, Jason Wirth and Elizabeth Sykes.

And we experienced the remarkable hospitality of legendary Cascadia reinhabitarians Craig Rogers and hie wife Maggie, did Latihan, and enjoyed food from their five mile diet lifestyle which prepared me well for my reading at Kristina Campbell’s lovely Artful Gallery in Courtenay, BC. She is creating a remarkable community-gathering place with wonderful art. She captured my last poem (97. Clues from Hell, from Haibun de la Serna) of a reading I gave on Sunday, August 28, 2022. I did mistakenly say that The Lake, where I did a residency at the Morris Graves Foundation is in Southern CALIFORNIA, but I meant Southern CASCADIA.

Paul E. Nelson Cascadia Poetics LAB Artful The Gallery.mp4 from Kristina Campbell on Vimeo.

Huge thanks to Ed Varney for his organizing efforts, to all the attendees, including postcard poets Diana Kolpak, Ursula Vaira, Ann Graham Walker, Lorraine Martiniuk and Louis Stevenson. What a joy it is being a Cascadian! What a remarkable bioregion it is. Visiting places like Nuchatlitz only increases the desire to do what it takes to save the biosphere one bioregion at a time, starting with committing to staying in THIS ONE, changing my own lifestyle to meet the needs of this historical moment and documenting what is happening. Poetry has no commercial desires, so can be liberated to serve the higher purpose of witnessing what has happened and what is happening. Each visit to one of the remarkable reaches of this bioregion only deepens the desire to leave this place, if not better for those who come after us, at least habitable. With a plan and course of action that can reverse the worst of the impacts of our fossil-fuel addiction.

Yours in Cascadia,