Cascadia Daily, Jan. 23, 2018

The debut of Cascadia Magazine continues this week with a lovely poem by incoming Washington Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna. Claudia composed and read “Lyric for a day like today,” for the recent inauguration of Seattle’s new mayor and city council. It’s a reflection on a city always building and rebuilding itself…
“Imagine every spoken word
as part of a very large scaffold
that when we hear “hold” and “please”
steel decks, posts and leveling jacks
shift this way and that…”
Read the complete poem on-line here.

Acclaimed Oregon author Ursula K. Le Guin dies at 88

Longtime Portland author Ursula K. Le Guin, who revolutionized fantasy novels and earned the genre respect as literature, died at the age of 88 yesterday. The Hugo and Nebula-award winning author was probably best known for The Left Hand of Darkness, and in addition to scores of fantasy novels, Le Guin wrote essays and poetry. OPB has more on Le Guin here, or you can read Maria Popova’s commentary on Le Guin’s feminist essay “Introducing Myself.” And required viewing is Le Guin’s extraordinary speech at the 2014 Nation Book Awards: “the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art.” Rest in peace.

Oregon Health Measure 101 vote is today

Today is the postmark deadline for Oregon’s Measure 101, which will determine if Oregon continues to fund its Medicaid program through a tax on hospitals and health insurers. The tax currently funds insurance for 350,000 people, and an article in the Statesman-Journal notes that if it fails, the state could face a budget deficit of up to $320 million.

Hearings begin on proposed British Columbia pipeline

CBC reports that Canada’s National Energy Board will begin hearing testimony on KinderMorgan’s proposed new TransMountain pipeline across BC. Among those opposed are many residents of Burnaby, a Vancouver suburb whose municipal government is a vocal opponent.

Will legal weed be the end for an eastern WA congresswoman?

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a 7-term Republican member of Congress from Spokane, has easily won re-election many times, but the issue of legal cannabis may make it possible for her opponent to unseat her, according to the Inlander. Since supporting attorney general Jeff Sessions’ change of US policy on legalization, McMorris’s constituents have become vocal in opposing her position.

Two Tacoma artists explore the moon

A review at City Arts profiles “Moon Moon,” an exhibition of interactive art by Asia Tail and Raven Juarez at Tacoma’s 950 Gallery. Viewers can handle various trinkets in the artist’s collection as they contemplate a series of paintings and installations investigating the symbolism of the moon through the ages.

Seattle poet interviews Kaveh Akbar

Kaveh Akbar is having a moment, as Twitter’s most passionate cheerleader for poetry, and as the editor of DiveDapper, a journal of intense, conversational interview with poets. At NPR, Seattle-based Jeevika Verma interviews Akbar: “The fact that poems exist is the load-bearing gratitude upon which I have built my life,” he explains. You can read one of Verma’s own poems at Kajal.

That’s today’s news and culture from the upper corner of the continent. –Andrew Engelson

Photo credits: Ursula K Le Guin by K. Kendall on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, photo of Claudia Castro Luna by Timothy Aguero