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Background: EcoRegions of Cascadia, Copyright © 2022 David McCloskey, Cascadia Institute; available from Feathered Star Productions.

life as rehearsal for the poem (LARFP) cascadian zen basket two: empty bowl

Cascadian Zen Vol 1

A five week online (Zoom) workshop for continuing participants in the online workshops facilitated by Cascadia Poetics Lab and Poetry Postcard Fest Co-Founder Paul E Nelson. Participate in reading and discussion of foundational essays, interviews, listening and other assignments, as well as spontaneous poetry composition exercises, in the second of two five week courses. This season we will be exploring passages from Cascadian Zen Vol 1 – Basket Two: Empty Bowl. How can one’s poetics be a cosmology and maintain some experience of the Poetry Postcard Fest, to allow one’s life as a poet to rise in one’s personal hierarchy of duties/activities? $250 for each five week session per person, scholarships are available. Sunday nights, 3-5pm PDT (May 19 & 26, June 2, 9, & 16, 2024) by invitation only. Preference given to participants who wish to commit to both five-week sessions in the 2024 season.

Sunday nights, 3-5 PM Pacific Time
May 19 – June 16, 2024

Link to purchase Cascadian Zen Volume 1

by invitation only. Zoom link: (to be announced)

Course Materials Week One
(Sunday, May 19, 2024, 3-5 pm PDT)

Read: Pages 1-7 (through Tim McNulty) in CZVI: Empty Bowl Note favorites. Come with favorite lines, or questions, to the May 19 session hosted by Matt Trease.

Re-read Denise Levertov On The Function of the Line Re-read Levertov’s work in Cascadian Zen with this understanding of lineation.

Read: RIP Jerome Rothenberg

Read: Postface to the Lorca Variations

Listen: 2001 interview with Jerome Rothenberg


Read: No Mow May

Write: What Are You Of. Yes, this is the last writing exercise from the last workshop. Try it again from a spring mentality if you’ve already done it. If you have not, give us a sense of your place at this time and your life in that place. You might be inspired by a different poem in the pdf. Feel free to writing a Cover Poem using any of them. You will not be required to read what you wrote at the check-in, but you are welcome to. Come to the Sunday, May 19 workshop with a 5 minute check-in focused on your response to these materials.

As always, the page is essential in understanding the stance-toward-poem-making we’re trying to get across in these workshops. Are you currently working on a multi-decade research project? Do you have a method/approach for the 2024 Poetry Postcard Fest?

Course Materials Week Two
(Sunday, May 26, 3-5 pm PDT)

Read: Pages 8-15 (in the pdf, through Red Pine, 144-157 in the book: CZVI: Empty Bowl Note favorites. Come with favorite lines, or questions, to the Zoom Room. Maybe you could write a poem that starts with the line “Below high cliffs…”

Listen Again:

BIG READ: RIP Affordances essay by Jason Wirth

WATCH: Earthrise:

READ: Grand Central Madison Mosaics

WRITE: Earth from Space poem

Course Materials Week Three
(Sunday, June 2, 3-5 pm PDT)

Read: Pages 16-26 (in the pdf, through Alice Derry, 157-178 in the book: CZVI: Empty Bowl Note favorites. Come with favorite lines, or questions, to the Zoom Room.

Read: Cancer Surgeon Uses Poetry to Train Doctors Surgeon Uses Poetry to Train Doctors

Listen: Michael Daley Interview

READ: Denise Levertov: Poetry and Peace:
Some Broader Dimensions (1989)

WRITE: Peace Poem


Course Materials Week Four (Sunday, June 9, 3-5 pm PDT)

Read: Pages 26- 36(in the pdf, through Tom Jay 179-199 in the book: CZVI: Empty Bowl Note favorites. Come with favorite lines, or questions, to the Zoom Room.

Watch: Whistled National Anthem

READ: The Yogin, The Philosopher (Gary Snyder)

Listen To This Playlist! It has new albums from Jean-Luc Ponty, (fusion, but fresh), David Murray (the best living Jazz sax player; a few squonky parts, but instant classics in Francesca and Ninno) and Paolo Fresu, last heard with Carla Bley, as well as a touch of Joni. If you listen to this several times, it will mark this period in such a way as to give you a sense of memory when you hear these tunes in a few years. Some remarkable music here and each album different from the other, but complimentary in a weird way:

READ: An essay on Bernadette Mayer’s Memory (This may give you a sense of the invention that’s helpful when writing a DaySong. Next DaySong Sunday, September 1, 2024.)

WRITE: Cascadian Zen Variations (Homage to Rothenberg) Here you can take any nouns from Basket Two of Cascadian Zen and make them into your own poem. Tom Jay has some rich material, eh? Maybe write some Dirt Variations for Tom. Maybe you’d get more juice out of a poet NOT from Cascadian Zen. No worries.

Course Materials Week Five
(Sunday, June 16, 3-5 pm PDT)

Read: The rest of Cascadian Zen, Basket 2 CZVI: Empty Bowl Note favorites. Come with favorite lines, or questions, to the June 16 session. Basket 3 will be the focus of the Fall 2024 LARFP and registration will begin by Sept 1 at the latest. It is the meatiest basket of the book, IMHO and the depths of Projective Verse will be plumbed. If you know someone who could use some opening via their writing practice, please let them know about this.

Barry McKinnon Section

Read: Notes on Gone South
Read: Barry McKinnon / from Head Out: (A letter, essay, poem – for C.S. Giscombe
Read: Sharon Thesen Interviews Barry McKinnon
Read: Three Poems by Barry McKinnon

End Barry McKinnon Section

WATCH: Porn Shaming
LISTEN AGAIN: Spring 2024 Ponty, Paolo, Murray y Joni Playlist
Read: Joanne Kyger 1997 Interview
Read: Dick Burkhardt on Cancel Culture book
Write: The Architecture of Your Lineage

September 1, 2024 Day Song Ritual