Cascadia Poetry Festival – Cumberland 2019

On October 4th & 5th, 2019, the Cascadia Poetics LAB will present the Cascadia Poetry Festival-Cumberland  in partnership with the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS).  Our 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.

Jan Zwicky

We are excited to be collaborating with the Cumberland Community Forest Society this year, co-hosting a Friday evening Poetry/Science Pub event – Nature’s Phoenix: Forest Fire Ecology and the Poetics of Climate Change. The evening features climate scientist Dominick DellaSala and poet Sonnet L’Abbé.

Saturday morning there will be a panel discussion, Poetry and Climate Catastrophe, where poets and scientists from diverse cultural backgrounds discuss how we creatively respond to the climate crisis, with ample opportunity for audience participation.

Saturday afternoon consists of three concurrent workshops followed by a free living-room style open mic for the entire community to share poetry in a supportive environment.

Our Saturday night reading features Jan Zwicky, Matt Rader, Jordan Scott, and Jordan Abel.

This year we are also expanding our festival into the Cumberland Community School with an event featuring a presentation by climate scientist Dominick DellaSalla followed by a poetry workshop by Sonnet L’Abbé, using poetry as a way to help navigate and respond to climate catastrophe

All events other than workshops take place at the Cumberland Masonic Hall,  2687 Dunsmuir Ave, Cumberland BC. All paid events range from $10 – $25.







Ed Varney is reading this Sunday


Somewhere in my ancestry is a fish.

At night, it swims in my bed.

It hides in the shadows,

waiting, then quickly rises

to snap at the surface.

It glides gently through my life

and never sleeps.

I call it father.

Just a reminder about Ed Varney’s reading on May 19th


Ed Varney will be reading on May 19th at the Abbey.

Ed Varney will be the featured reader at the Red Tree reading series, Sunday, May 19th, 2019, at the Abbey, 2689 Penrith Avenue, Cumberland, B.C. Join us for open mic, starting at 7pm. Suggested donation, $5.00. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Ed Varney has been a poet, a visual artist, a book and zine publisher, an editor, a critic, a curator, a book designer, and a printer. He has a BA and an MA in English Literature. He has never worked for the man.

He began writing poetry and making art and visual poetry as a teenager and has never stopped. He has produced 26 books and chapbooks in the last 50 years and his work has appeared in numerous publications and exhibitions in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Varney lives quietly in Royston, BC, Canada. He is not into self promotion but he does have 1400 friends. He is currently the archivist at The Museo Internacionale de Neu Art, an editor at The Poem Factory, and a Senior Fellow at The Specific Research Institute. He does not have a cell phone but can be reached at

Red Tree Featured Reader – Louis Stevenson

Louis Barrett Stevenson is the featured reader at the Red Tree reading series, Sunday, April 28th, 2019, at the Abbey, 2689 Penrith Avenue, Cumberland, B.C. Join us for open mic, starting at 7pm. Suggested donation, $5.00. No one turned away for lack of funds!

Born in Whitehorse, raised across Canada, son of Cree woman and English/Norwegian Canadian soldier, educated at various colleges and universities in BC, Louis has worked in Australia, China and many logging camps in BC. His teachers include Barry McKinnon, Robin Skelton, Steve Jones, Marilyn Bowering, Frank Moher, and David Suzuki. He says he didn’t always do well, but the teachers were very good.

He has been heavily influenced by the classics in China, and by the people of China. He likes play jazz and Irish traditional music. Peace; Amituofo. He is a practicing Ch’an Buddhist and meditates daily. Louis now lives in Cumberland and is retired, although he has recently become the head gardener for the well known Irish musician, Peter Gilmore.  He has some great new work about how some of his best friends are poachers, his memories of China and the travesty of the herring fishery.