Cascadia Poetry Festival-Anacortes 2019 Report for SICA-USA
The Cascadia Poetry Festival’s 6th iteration was staged in Anacortes, Washington, May 9-12, 2019, with support from SICA. The fest itself happened in Anacortes for two main reasons. One was that Sam Hamill, to whom the festival was dedicated, lived in this island town for the last eight years of his life. The second was that long-time Subud member, world class photographer and SICA supporter Marius Hibbard supported the idea from the moment he heard about it, garnered support from the local arts commission and key arts supporters in the town and steered us to the venue, the Croatian Cultural Center, which served quite capably for the intimacy and openness that you would expect of an event supported in part by Subud.
The launch of two anthologies, one a bilingual (Spanish and English) poetry book which came out of two previous anthologies, is entitled Make It True meets Medusario. The other was a collection of writings honoring the founder of Copper Canyon Press, Sam Hamill, who was a poet, editor, translator, essayist and founder of Poets Against The War. That book is entitled Samthology: A Tribute to Sam Hamill.
The festival highlights were the launch of Make it True meets Medusario and the panel on Cascadian Zen, which was forthright, intimate and courageous. One of the poets in the bilingual anthology, Stephen Collis of Vancouver, BC, wrote:
The Cascadia Poetry Festival is absolutely unique, offering both attention to local conditions (both social and geograpical/ecological), and to general matters of aesthetics (what poetry is up to right now–what matters to poets, and how are they responding to what matters). I know of few communities like this in the world – the other I am familiar with is in the UK: open, focused, exploratory, welcoming, democratic and engaged to its very core. The Cascadia Poetry Festival is a vital necessity.
Longtime Subud member Julia Hurd, who was invaluable in providing assistance with community media outlets and other tips a local would have said she loved hearing Subud mentioned very directly in stage announcements, which is a rare thing, but was made possible by a grant of $1,000.
The festival appears to have been guided by the Latihan and the next iteration of the fest promises to be more in the direction of supporting a robust inner life, which would make sense given the Subud notion of culture coming from the jiwa.
Find fest video on Youtube and find the anthologies on-line:
Huge thanks to SICA-USA for support.
Paul E Nelson