Poets and scientists discuss climate issues at Cascadia Poetry Festival in Cumberland

Poets and scientists discuss climate issues at Cascadia Poetry Festival in Cumberland

The Cascadia Poetics LAB Society (CPLS) presents its second biennial Cascadia Poetry Festival – Poetry in a Time of Climate Crisis – taking place in various locations in downtown Cumberland, Oct. 4-5.

CPLS’s vision is to engage the public in a community-based literary arts festival, encouraging dialogue and collaboration between audience, writers, artists, and scientists to foster a deeper connection between all inhabitants and to Cascadia itself.

Cascadia Poetics Lab artistic director Adelia MacWilliam said the idea for this year’s theme was the result of a retreat last year that featured Dr. Dominick DellaSala as a guest speaker.

In addition to being the president and chief scientist of the Geos Institute in Ashland, Ore., Dellasala is also an internationally renowned author of over 200 technical papers on forest and fire ecology, conservation biology, endangered species management, and landscape ecology (see complete bio at the end of this article).

“Dominick DellaSala came to see us at a poetry retreat last year… and he gave a talk to [a small gathering], so we thought we could get him back and make sure a lot of people show up so he is addressing a larger audience. He gave such a good talk last year. It was wonderful.

“He is really a prominent person and we are really lucky to have a connection to somebody like that, and to have him come to our part of the world.

MacWilliam said part of the CPLS agenda is to get poetic people to think about things on a deeper level.

“We like the idea of mixing it up with something like this; we are all concerned about the environment,” said MacWilliam.

DellaSala will make a couple of presentations at the festival – one each day.

The Cascadia Poetry Festival kicks off Friday, with a special Science Pub.

At 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4 at the Masonic Hall CPLS is collaborating with the Cumberland Community Forest Society, co-hosting a Poetry/Science Pub event: Nature’s Phoenix: Forest Fire Ecology and the Poetics of Climate Change. The Poetry/Science pub features climate scientist Dominick DellaSala and poet Sonnet L’Abbé. There will be touch and taste samples, on-theme beverages, live screen printing, ambient electronica and more. Admission is $15. CCFS Science Pubs are presented with the support of Cumberland Village Works, Cumberland Brewing Company, Wayward Distillation House, Raven’s Moon Ciderworx, and Harmonic Arts.

Saturday morning, (Oct. 5) at 10 a.m. there will be a panel discussion: Exploring the Poetics of Climate Crisis, where our poets and DellaSala will discuss how we can creatively respond to the climate crisis, with ample opportunity for audience questions.

Saturday afternoon consists of four concurrent workshops (led by Matt Rader, Jorden Abel, Sonnet L’Abbé , and Meaghan Cursons) followed by a free living-room-style open mic at 3:30 in The Abbey, where anyone from the community is welcome to share poetry.

The final event, on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at the Masonic Hall, is a reading with poets Jan Zwicky, Matt Rader, Jordan Abel, and Jordan Scott.

MacWilliam said she is looking forward to seeing a great mix of participants, adding this festival is really for anyone who cares about environmental issues.

“I think Saturday’s panel is bound to be interesting, just to see the interaction – it’s not just about poetry but about the response, including creative response, to the climate crisis. Where do we go from here, and what happens when creative people mix with scientists.”

For details, and advance tickets to the festival, see cascadiapoeticslab.ca

For bios on all the poets and presenters, see link at the end of the article.

-With files from CPLS

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Hydro will release higher volumes of water down the Puntledge River on Nov. 24-25. Black Press file photo
BC Hydro testing hydroelectric facility system along Puntledge River all week

Tests will result in high water levels, possible siren initiation

Chelsey Moore’s character Chloe in the upcoming virtual reality game Altdeus: Beyond Chronos. Screengrab
Black Creek actress finds success in a virtual world

Chelsey Moore lends her voice to a new video game set for release in December

The Comox Valley Sports Centre re-opened in the summer. Photo supplied
Comox Valley Sports Centre Commission chair commends staff efforts in challenging year

Comox Valley Sports Centre Commission chair Daniel Arbour delivered a year-end report… Continue reading

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before B.C. teen’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Brenda Schroeder thought she was reading it wrong when she won $100,000 from a Season’s Greetings Scratch & Win. (Courtesy BCLC)
New home on the agenda after scratch ticket win in Saanich

Victoria woman set to share her $100,000 Season’s Greetings lottery win

Most Read