Cascadia Poetics LAB logo



DraftCoverAmericanSentences1 Original postcard by Brendan McBreen

State Tightness Looseness Rankings

(View CV here)

View Paul Nelson's profile on LinkedIn

After The Japanese Wordlcoud I

Paul Nelson on Facebook

For over 26 years in radio (& years after that) Paul E Nelson has conducted interviews with authors, poets and activists who understand the shift from a mechanistic ethos to one of process, partnership and interconnection and worked to better understand and practice that himself, through being a parent, a poet, a husband, a literary arts activist, essayist, gardener, Subud member and other activities.

Bio: Paul Nelson founded SPLAB in Seattle and the Cascadia Poetry Festival. Author of Organic Poetry (essays), a serial poem re-enacting history, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies. Co-editor of Make It True: Poetry from Cascadia, he has interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Ethelbert Miller, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Joanne Kyger, Brenda Hillman, presented poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Qinghai and Beijing, China, has been translated into Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese & writes an American Sentence every day.  Work has been published in Golden Handcuffs Review, Zen Monster, Hambone, and in other journals and online magazines. Engaged in a twenty year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia, he lives in the Cedar River Watershed, in Seattle, with his partner Bhakti Watts and youngest daughter Ella Roque. research on a process perspective in poetics, Organic Poetry, extends the work of poets like Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov and his daily practice of writing an American Sentence has taken a form Allen Ginsberg created to new levels.

His own poetry extends the North American West Coast tradition of the serial poem with the well-regarded book A Time Before Slaughter and the work in progress Pig War & Other Songs of Cascadia.

Habib at Jack's Shack with Hozomeen

Habib at Jack’s Shack with Hozomeen

With this site you can book a workshop with Paul and bring him to your community. His workshops are transformative experiences for writers of all skill levels. This site provides many resources for people interested in this work, in the spontaneous method of poetry that has been his research focus since 1995 and in his various writing and interview projects.


About Paul’s first collection of poetry, A Time Before Slaughter (Apprentice House, Oct ’09), Michael McClure said: “Here’s one more big hunk of the American shoulder, as Olson carved his from the North East, Nelson takes his from the Pacific North West. It’s beautiful time-space in new words.

A professional radio broadcaster between 1980 and 2006, Paul E Nelson has interviewed poetic luminaries such as Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Nate Mackey, Anne Waldman, Robin Blaser, Sam Hamill, Wanda Coleman, Eileen Myles, Jerome Rothenberg, Brenda Hillman, Ethelbert Miller, Sam Hamill and George Bowering. He’s gathering some of his best interviews into a book project to be called American Prophets.

Brian Love's Hat

Brian Love’s Hat at the Rainbow Cafe, July 5, 2013, after it was rescued from the crash scene where Brian was killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver.