Nature of Writing: Holly J. Hughes and Rena Priest / The Madrona Project

Event Details

When
Oct 15, 2021 from 07:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where
Online
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In "Keep a Green Bough: Voices from the Heart of Cascadia"  (volume #2, issue #1 in The Madrona Project Series), editor Holly J. Hughes invited sixty-four women writers and artists from the Northwest to reflect on what it means to live and write in the Cascadian bioregion at the end of 2020, a year that challenged our resilience on every level. Reaching out to national and regionally acclaimed poets and essayists from Alaska to Oregon, as well as new and emerging writers, she brings together a diverse chorus, including Indigenous voices and some who work the land or sea. The voices gathered here remind us that our lives in Cascadia are still interwoven with fir and cedar, salmon and kingfisher, heron and eagle, raven and crow‚Äìperhaps even more so as we face an uncertain future together, turning to the natural world for signs of resilience and hope. Throughout this powerful collection, writers and artists bear witness to the hard truths not only of our history but of ongoing inequities laid bare by the pandemic and the consequences of centuries of colonialism and exploitation, inviting us to consider the urgent question of our time: how to move forward into a future that's socially just and sustainable, that honors all our voices and stories. With a moving preface by Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest of the Lummi Nation, this collection affirms the beauty, strength, and resilience of Cascadia and her people, and how our fates have always been deeply intertwined and interdependent, now more so than ever.

Rena Priest is a poet and an enrolled member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation. She has been appointed to serve as Washington State Poet Laureate for the term of April 2021–2023. Her debut collection, Patriarchy Blues was published by Moon Path Press and received an American Book Award. Her second collection, Sublime Subliminal is available from Floating Bridge Press. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. 

Holly J. Hughes is the author of Hold Fast and Sailing by Ravens, co-author of The Pen and The Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World, and editor of Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease. Her fine art chapbook Passings received an American Book Award in 2017. She lives on the Olympic peninsula, where she leads writing and mindfulness workshops in Alaska and the Northwest and consults as a writing coach.