Tag Archives: Carmel Bentley

Poet Kaia Sand helps keep Portland’s troubled history from fading into invisibility

Poet Kaia Sand, Photo by Ken Hawkins

Story By Carmel Bentley

Contributing writer
How do I notice
what I don’t notice?

How do I notice
what I don’t know
I don’t notice?

This poem, which begins on the first page of “Remember to Wave,” (TinFish Press, 2010) by Portland poet Kaia Sand, challenges both author and reader to acknowledge what is no longer visible — entire communities removed from sight.

“Remember to Wave” began in 2008 as a tour of Portland Expo Center, Delta Park, and the Stockyards Commerce Center, a project funded by a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council.
“I wanted to create a dynamic form for thinking about our local political history and its connections to the present,” Sand says. “I wanted to create a participatory experience as well as words on a page.”

She developed the tour, which she still leads free of charge, by walking the area alone every day for a month. She wanted to feel the wind coming off the Columbia Slough, to hear the bird calls mingle with the roar of the 18-wheelers on Marine Drive, to smell the wet grass and see the rain clouds swell on the horizon, to get a sense of the place where thousands of people had lived not long ago: Japanese Americans awaiting deportation to internment camps and shipyard workers no longer needed after World War II. Continue reading