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Council News Release

7/13/2006  11:53:00 AM
Frank Video (206) 684-8803
Zuzka Lehock-Howell (206) 233-3981

Public Can Vote for their Favorite Poet

SEATTLE Seven poets, candidates vying to win the Seattle Poet Populist election, will read poetry at the annual Read-Off held at the downtown Central Public Library this Sunday, July 16th at 2:00 pm in the Microsoft Auditorium (1000 Fourth Avenue, 1st floor).

The poets have been nominated by the citys literary community as candidates for the 2006-2007 Seattle Poet Populist election currently underway. Seattle residents can cast their vote (one per person, please!) at until 5 pm Monday, August 21st.

The winner of this years Poet Populist election will be announced on the Literary Stage at Bumbershoot Arts Festival on Saturday, September 2nd at 12:30 pm and will receive a cash prize of $500.

Rather than being appointed by government, explained City Council President Nick Licata, the Seattle Poet Populist is elected by city residents. I love that this program extends poetry beyond traditional boundaries, reaching new audiences. Licata launched the Poet Populist program in 1999, inventing it as an alternative to conventional poet laureate titles offered in other places.

This years seven nominated poets (and their nominators) are Anna Maria Hong by Eleventh Hour Productions, Lyn Coffin by PEN Washington, John Burgess by the Washington Poets Association, Joannie Kervran Stangeland by Rose Alley Press, Jourdan Keith by from the ground up reading series at Richard Hugo House, Barbara Petite by the Cancer Lifeline reading series at Third Place Ravenna Books, and Crysta Casey by It's About Time writers reading series, also at Ravenna Third Place Books.

The Seattle Poet Populist program is sponsored by Council President Nick Licata and Bumbershoot and is supported by the Seattle Public Library.

For more information, please visit the official Seattle Poet Populist Web site at


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