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Cascadian Zen - Paul Nelson, Jason Wirth, & Adelia MacWilliam - Nature of Writing

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Sun, 04/21/2024 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Event address: 
Village Books
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225

Join three of the editors of Cascadian Zen, a gorgeous anthology celebrating zen within the bioregion we call home!

This is another great event in the Nature of Writing series with our friends at the North Cascades Institute.


What is the nature of the bioregion known as Cascadia? How is this insight expressed by the people who live, work, practice, and play here? Is there a connection between Zen practice, broadly construed, and the Cascadia bioregion? If so, what is it? Who have been the teachers in the relatively short time that Zen has been known in this bioregion? What role does water play here, more so than in other bioregions and what implications does that have for the people who live here, for their practice? It is these questions and related questions that we seek to explore in the work Cascadian Zen, edited by Tetsuzen Jason Wirth, Paul E. Nelson, and Adelia MacWilliam, with Theresa Whitehill. Volume One of The Cascadian Zen anthology was published in October, 2023. The anthology brings together nonfiction, poetry, interviews, translations, and artwork that explore expressions of Zen within the Cascadian bioregion and features, among others: Daphne Marlatt, Diane di Prima,  Joanne Kyger, Cedar Sigo, Philip Whalen,  Gary Snyder, Jane Hirshfield, Robert Michael Pyle, Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Sam Hamill, Denise Levertov, Tim McNulty, Robert Sund, Samuel Green, Holly J. Hughes, Tess Gallagher, Michael Daley, Red Pine (Bill Porter), Alice Derry, Tom Jay, Judith Roche, Robert Bringhurst, Wedlidi Speck, Rena Priest, Jan Zwicky, Robin Blaser, Brenda Hillman, Gary Copeland Lilley, John Brehm & Michael McClure.

Poet/interviewer Paul E. Nelson founded the Cascadia Poetics LAB & the Cascadia Poetry Festival. Books include Haibun de la Serna (2022), A Time Before Slaughter/Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia (2020) American Prophets (interviews 1994-2012) (2018) & American Sentences (2015, 2021). Co-Editor of Cascadian Zen Volume I: Bioregional Writings on Cascadia Here and Now (2023, Watershed Press), Make it True meets Medusario (2019) (Spanish & English) and other anthologies. Recipient of the Robin Blaser Award from the Capilano Review in 2013, he's Literary Executor for the late poet Sam Hamill and lives in Rainier Beach, alongside dəxʷwuqʷed.

When Adelia MacWilliam did her poetry thesis at the University of Victoria she discovered that if you cast the mythic imagination across a piece of land that has always been part of your life, everything will out.  What she encountered amidst the remnants of a stunning wilderness – a savage history, with its culturally sanctioned amnesia – changed her view of her home forever. Her work explores the complexities of a settler culture struggling to create a home in a world it is simultaneously gutting. Adelia was also co-founder of Terra Poetics which, pre-pandemic, produced annual poetry events and the monthly Red Tree reading series in Cumberland on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. She has poems published in Reckoning 3 and 4, and in the anthology, Sweet Water: Poems for the Watershed. She divides her time between Cumberland and Desolation Sound, British Columbia. She is a Founding Editor of Watershed Press.

Dr. Jason M. Wirth is professor of philosophy at Seattle University, and works and teaches in the areas of Continental Philosophy, Buddhist Philosophy, Aesthetics, Environmental Philosophy, and Africana Philosophy. His recent books include Nietzsche and Other Buddhas: Philosophy after Comparative Philosophy (Indiana 2019), Mountains, Rivers, and the Great Earth: Reading Gary Snyder and Dōgen in an Age of Ecological Crisis (SUNY 2017), a monograph on Milan Kundera (Commiserating with Devastated Things, Fordham 2015), Schelling's Practice of the Wild (SUNY 2015), and the co-edited volume (with Bret Davis and Brian Schroeder), Japanese and Continental Philosophy: Conversations with the Kyoto School (Indiana 2011). He is the associate editor and book review editor of the journal, Comparative and Continental Philosophy. He is currently completing a manuscript on the cinema of Terrence Malick as well a work of ecological philosophy called Turtle Island Anarchy. He is an ordained priest in the Soto Zen lineage. He is currently editing with Paul Nelson a collection of poems and essays dedicated to awakening the mind to bioregional thinking in general and to Cascadia in particular. He is a Founding Editor of Watershed Press.