Events & Exhibitions

Adelia MacWilliam is co-founder of the Cascadia Poetics Lab and a longtime Subud-Canada member who splits her time between Cumberland, BC and Galley Bay, Desolation Sound. 


She was the black sheep of her family, and over the years the noir-ness of this element has faded and been replaced with country noir. Adelia believes that if you cast your mythic imagination across a piece of land that you love, everything will out. 


When she began to write about her family’s tenure on Salt Spring Island (since 1905), the land that had been familiar (the root word being famelier from mid-14th Century French, meaning intimate, very friendly, on a familiar footing) seemed very unfamiliar. What was her families footing on this land? What was her footing as a poet regarding the fraught history of this coast? Her poems are a requiem in which the dead have a voice.


Adelia’s chapbook, Details of the Passage: Poems From an Island will be available for sale at the reading, which will be followed by an Open Mic 7-9pm, Dec 5th.

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Paul E. Nelson

Artful : The Gallery welcomes poet and interviewer Paul E. Nelson as the feature poet to kick off our poetry Open Mic on Sunday, August 28th at 7 pm. Nelson is one of the co-founders, and current director, of the Cascadia Poetics LAB and the Cascadia Poetry Festival. As a professional journalist, Nelson has created over 600 hours of interview programming with legendary poets (yes, Allen Ginsberg is on the list!) and whole systems activists. 


A long list of published works includes the recent Haibun de la Serna (2022), American Prophets (2018), American Sentences (2015 & 2021), Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia (2020). Winner of the 2014 Robin Blaser Award from the Capilano Review, Nelson is engaged in a 20-year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia, and lives in Rainier Beach, in the Cascadia bioregion’s Cedar River watershed.


The Cascadia Poetics LAB hosts the annual Poetry Postcard Fest and registration for 2023 opens on September 1, 2022. Visit to learn more about our featured poet.


Paul E. Nelson writes an American Sentence everyday. Bring yours to share!

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Marvelous Memoirs

Two Island authors have productively used Covid to bring their memoirs to press. Adele Irving and Sheila Norgate have both taken years (and years!) to bring their efforts to completion, and luckily for us, neither of them gave up. 

Irving’s Splat! starts in 1995 when her ‘perfect’ life went splat! in her face. As she points out sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield. 30 years later, writing her story has allowed Irving to examine how she was able to pick herself up and keep going. It’s an engaging read, like getting a deliciously long letter from an old friend that you’ve lost contact with and catching up in one fell swoop. It’s the perfect read for a beachy afternoon or weekend when binging is possible. Reading Splat! I laughed out loud, I cried, I chastised, and I celebrated with Adele from start to finish. 

This book is a powerful reminder that most of us have struggles (especially under the covers of ‘perfect’ lives!) in our lives, and that secrecy is the enemy of healing and growth. This story of family inspires and entertains with the truth of one woman’s life, and the magic of patterns and synchronicities to guide and affirm. 

In 2021 Splat! received honourable mentions in the New York Book Festival, Paris Book Festival, New England Book Festival and Southern California Book Festival in the personal memoir category. 

Norgate’s memoir has been writing itself for at least 25 years. After many abandoned attempts to commit the thing to paper, a spate of confessional one-woman performances, and a half a dozen writers’ retreats, one of which involved an overnight greyhound bus ride to Saskatoon, Norgate has finally wrestled her self-reflective ducks into a row long enough to produce If You Are Reading This. 

The book is a collection of short essays, some as short as one page, covering a wide swath of territory. Making appearances are childhood trauma, World War II, the lesbian night owl (world famous oxymoron), God, false teeth, feminism, lady painters, Santa Claus, and a funny bone that has stood the test of both time and trouble. 

Norgate’s early accolades are saying: “stupendous, a beautifully crafted life story…”, devastating and witty…smooth like Noel Coward” and “a breathtaking accomplishment”.

Two different stories, two different worldviews, two talented women courageously and vulnerably sharing their life stories for our entertainment, for our edification, and to inspire our own self-examination. 

American icon Anne Lamott has plenty to say about encouraging women to write their stories and has famously prodded with her pithy wisdom, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

Monday, August 22, 7:00 pm at Artful : The Gallery, Irving and Norgate will each read selected segments of their books and be available for what promises to be a delightfully engaging and inspiring Q&A. 

By donation at the door ($10 suggested) with cash sales of both memoirs available that evening, personally signed by the authors.

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