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Thu 3/9, 2023, 6:00pm
Derek Sheffield, CMarie Fuhrman, and Elizabeth Bradfield
Defining Cascadia: A Cultural Celebration


What comes to mind when you think of the Pacific Northwest? You might think of land forms like the Cascade Mountains, Olympic Peninsula, and the Willamette Valley, or of the Coast Salish and other Indigenous peoples who lived here since time immemorial. Or perhaps you’d think of urban centers like Vancouver, Seattle, or Portland, and the city-dwellers who call them home. And don’t forget the iconic flora and fauna that live and grow here –– lush ferns and mosses, huckleberries, salmon, orcas, and the mountain beaver. These, and so much more, define our region as a unique and special place found nowhere else on earth. This is Cascadia, stretching from Southeast Alaska to Northern California and from the Pacific Ocean to the Continental Divide.

In a collection of art, poetry, and stories just as diverse as the region itself, the Cascadia Field Guide brings together scientific, sensory, and cultural knowledge to celebrate this unique corner of North America. Editors Derek Sheffield, CMarie Fuhrman, and Elizabeth Bradfield bring together dozens of authors and artists to describe 13 communities (from Tidewater Glacier to Shrub-Steppe) and 128 beings (from cryptobiotic soil to the giant Pacific octopus) that fill Cascadia with wonder.

Ranging from comic to serious, colloquial to scientific, urban to off-the-grid, and narrative to postmodern, the Cascadia Field Guide offers any reader, local or visitor, a new way of connecting -– with heart and mind and body -– to place.

Derek Sheffield grew up in the Willamette Valley and on the shores of the Salish Sea. He is the author of four books, including Not for Luck, winner of the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize, and his poems have appeared in High Country NewsPoetry, and Orion. For the past 20 years, he has taught nature writing at Wenatchee Valley College. The poetry editor of, he lives with his family near Leavenworth, Washington.

CMarie Fuhrman is the author of Camped Beneath the Dam and her writing has appeared in many journals and anthologies. Fuhrman is the Director of Poetry for Western Colorado University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program where she also teaches nature writing. She lives in West Central Idaho with her partner, Caleb, and their dogs, Carhartt and Cisco.

Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of five books, and her poems have appeared in The New YorkerPoetryThe Atlantic MonthlyOrion, and elsewhere. A Stegner Fellow and Audre Lorde Prize winner, she is the founder of Broadsided Press, teaches at Brandeis University, and has worked as a naturalist in Cascadia and beyond for the past twenty-some years. Bradfield grew up in Tacoma and attended the University of Washington; she lives on Cape Cod.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

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