Death Rattle, WA 129, Postcards, Cascadia Po Fest

October 4, 2017
by Paul Nelson

It used to be that the summer in Seattle had very little in the way of literary arts events. When Labor Day weekend came around, poets got caught up at Bumbershoot at the Bookfair and the Sunday night Red Sky Theater Open Mic. A new literary season would begin. Not so anymore. Even though there is still much truth to my American Sentence from 2005:

8.21.05 — Seattle license plate holder: Yard Work is for People who don’t Kayak.

Things have changed. Not everyone is backpacking or kayaking in the summers around here.

Paul, Sept 2000, refusing media interviews for once

For me though, summer is road trips and postcards and September backpacking, only once requiring a helicopter. So, I plan my autumns around literary arts events and Fall is here. A few upcoming events, updated from last week’s post.

8pm, Thursday, October 5 – Death Rattle Writer’s Festival. I will read at the Flying M Coffee Garage, 1314 2nd St S, Nampa, Idaho 83651. Quenton Baker and Janet Holmes are also on the bill, so it should be a fine night.

7pm, Monday, October 9 – Poetry Postcard Panel, Mt. Baker Theater Encore Room, 104 North Commercial Street, Bellingham, Washington. Ina Roy-Faderman, Joanna Thomas, Nancy Pagh, Eugenia Hepworth Petty and Tallie Jones are on the panel and I moderate. Judy Kleinberg set this all up and she is a dynamo! She, with Ina Roy-Faderman and I, co-edited 56 Days of August: Poetry Postcards and the book is beautiful! They worked their asses off and it shows. Consider supporting our IndieGoGo campaign that is going to aid the effort to offset publication costs.

6pm, Wednesday, October 11 – WA 129 reading, at Vashon Bookshop, 17612 Vashon Hwy SW, Vashon, WA, with WA Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, Shankar Narayan, Laura Gamache, Allen Braden, Martha Silano, Paul Nelson and Vashon’s new poet laureate, Merna Hecht. I have a haibun published in the book and I admire the range of poetry and the geographic representation which you would expect from the first Poet Laureate from Eastern Washington. This project is my favorite of all the projects done by WA poets laureate.

7pm, Thursday, October 12 – 56 Days of August launch, King’s Books, 218 St Helens Ave Tacoma, WA. Like I said, the book is beautiful and this is the event that kicks off the 5th Cascadia Poetry Festival.

3pm Friday to 7:30pm Sunday, the 5th Cascadia Poetry Festival, Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific, Tacoma, WA. The biggest event I’ve ever attempted. Michael McClure, Patricia Smith, CA Conrad, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Bruce Weigl, Tod Marshall, Ianthe Brautigan and a tribute to her father, Tacoma native Richard Brautigan. The Saturday morning panel on Brautigan’s life and legacy promises to be a highlight and you can imagine how excited I am to present Michael McClure as the closing reader Sunday night, 5 days she of his 85th birthday. He’ll share some memories of his friend Richard Brautigan.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 3-5pm during the fest, Living Room is a democratic reading and the Puget Sound Poetry Connection is hosting the event Friday, Creative Colloquy on Saturday and Sam & Sarah Tower on Sunday, right after the unveiling of a plaque to honor Richard Brautigan and Steven Jesse Bernstein.

I hope to see you soon at one of these events.




  1. Saundra Fleming

    All the upcoming poetic glory!!!! Starting in on the visual side of things with a psychoanalytic vengeance, so I’ll see you on the other side. You and Bhakti have a blast of joyousness. Xxoo

  2. Splabman

    Bless you Saundra and good luck with your new series. I look forward to seeing it.


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