Paul E Nelson
Poet & interviewer Paul E. Nelson is the son of a labor activist father and Cuban immigrant mother. Born on Chicago’s west side in 1961, he’s lived in King County since 1988. He founded the Cascadia Poetics LAB (formerly SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB)) & the Cascadia Poetry Festival. Since 1993, CPL has produced hundreds of poetry events & 700 hours of interview programming with legendary poets & whole systems activists including Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, Robin Blaser, Diane di Prima, Daphne Marlatt, Nate Mackey, George Bowering, Barry McKinnon, José Kozer, Brenda Hillman & many others.
Paul’s 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) A Time Before Slaughter (2009) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (2013). Co-Editor of Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia (2015), 56 Days of August: Poetry Postcards (2017), Samthology: A Tribute to Sam Hamill (2019) Make it True meets Medusario (2019) (a bilingual anthology in Spanish and English.) He’s presented poetry/poetics in London, Brussels, Nanaimo, Los Angeles, Qinghai & Beijing, China, has had work translated into Spanish, Chinese & Portuguese & writes an American Sentence every day. He published a chapbook in late 2022 entitled: The Day Song of Casa del Colibrí.
Awarded a residency at The Lake, from the Morris Graves Foundation in Loleta, CA, he’s published work in Golden Handcuffs Review, Zen Monster, Hambone, and elsewhere. Winner of the 2014 Robin Blaser Award from The Capilano Review, he serves as Literary Executor for the late poet Sam Hamill, is engaged in a 20 year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia and lives in Rainier Beach, in the Cascadia bioregion’s Cedar River watershed.
About Their Work:
In his new book Haibun de la Serna: 99 Ne-Barroco Haibun, Paul takes us on a Basho-ed trip through the evergreen net of Cascadian dams and diversions. Along the way, we meet a host of characters, human and nonhuman alike, that guide Paul (and us) through conflicts of consciousness, of place, of ethics, and of the limits of our own understanding of the natural world. These poems are a trip, both literally and metaphorically, through that uncanny valley of the cosmos, where the here-and-now of everyday life dissonantly harmonizes with the music and Paul's keen sense of humor and spirit, always reaching to touch a world just beyond our perception so that at any given moment we might feel, in the words of Michael McClure, more alive than we aught to be
Books (for purchase):
Haibun de la Serna
A Time Before Slaughter/Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia
The Day Song of Casa del Colibrí
Read for Margin Shift: