I’m looking forward to my evenings this winter because I’ll be settling in with Cascadia: The Life and Breath of the World, a new anthology of Northwest writers and artists put out by the University of Hawaii Press.
Many of the region’s better-known voices are included, but this isn’t a volume of greatest hits. It’s a quieter and more meditative collection presenting lesser-known work from some of the most expressive Cascadians, often in genres other than the ones we’re accustomed to. So we find a memoir by Emily Carr (accompanied by a few sketches) alongside an essay by Gary Snyder. The volume includes both poems and a lecture by Robert Bringhurst, voices from the First Nations, like Chief William K’HHalserten Sepass and Eden Robinson, and dozens of others, some well-known (like Barry Lopez) and many I’ve never encountered.
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I’ve only just begun, but to me the book has the gravity and pace of something for a long night by the fire. You can find numerous excerpts available online from the publisher. And you can purchase a copy here.
Also, editor Frank Stewart will be presenting on a panel at a writing conference in Seattle on March 1.