Seattle City Council
9/1/2005 10:23:00 AM
Frank Video (206) 684-8849
SEATTLE’S 5TH POET POPULIST TO BE NAMED AT BUMBERSHOOT
Top four contenders will perform
SEATTLE — Seattle has voted, and the top five nominees for Seattle’s Poet Populist will perform before the winning poet among them will be announced to the audience at the Bumbershoot Arts Festival this Monday, September 5th, at Starbuck’s Literary Stage, the Alki Room at 5:30 p.m.
“Seattle may well be the only city in the world to elect its civic poet rather than to have him or her appointed by a government official,” said Councilmember Nick Licata, chair of the Council’s Arts Committee and founder of the Seattle Poet Populist citywide election.
Over the past several months, local poets were nominated by 12 Seattle literary organizations for election to the post of Seattle Poet Populist for 2005-2006. The Seattle Central Library held a candidate’s ‘read-off’ on July 31st, which attracted an audience of 150 poem lovers on a hot summer Sunday. The public was invited to vote through a web site up to August 15th.
The top four poets elected are Nancy Dahlberg, Pesha Joyce Gertler, Donald Kentop, and Kary Wayson. One among them is Seattle’s next Poet Populist. Another eight poets were nominated as well: Christa Bell, Irene Drennan, Rajnii Eddins, Paul Hunter, Ann Batchelor Hursey, Frances, McCue, Brian McGuigan, and Cathy Ruiz.
The winning poet will receive a commission to write a poem and perform at various readings throughout the city during their 2005-2006 term as Seattle Poet Populist. They will also receive a cash prize award of $500 and they are expected to represent and promote the principals of populist poetic expression when performing in and around Seattle.
Previous Seattle Poet Populists since 1999 have been Barnard Harris, Bart Baxter, and Tara Hardy have served.
Visit the Poet Populist Web site at http://www.seattle.gov/council/licata/poetpop/ for more information on the current nominees and on the history of the Poet Populist.