“Your Body of Water”: Poetry on Buses launches 2016-2017 season theme

Poems will be accepted starting May 15

April 21, 2016 – In celebration of National Poetry Month and just in time for Earth Day, 4Culture and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is proud to announce a brand new season of Poetry on Buses focused on the theme of water. The program has expanded to offer community sourced poetry in nine languages on a broad range of bus, rail and station venues.

Poet Planner and Theme Developed by Jourdan Keith, Poetry on Buses’ 2016 Poet Planner, the theme “Your Body of Water” is a poetic exploration of the meaning of water and its local stewardship by King County and Seattle Public Utilities.

“We are all bodies of water, connected to one another through the water web,” says Keith. “Your body of water is connected to streams, rivers, lakes, tides, waterfalls, toilets and faucets…to present homes, childhood homes and ancestral ones by memory, by the water cycle, and by stories. Come tell your story through poetry.”

Keith brings her experience as a poet, playwright, creative non-fiction writer and founding Director of Urban Wilderness Project to the program. She believes that connecting to the natural world is critical to restoring communities and has over 15 years of experience in project management as an artist, environmental educator, community organizer and social justice advocate.

Call for Poems Individuals can submit a poem online starting May 15 through September 30. Anyone who resides in King County, Washington is eligible to submit one poem up to 50 words in length on the theme of water. For more information and to submit a poem go to poetryonbuses.org.

Community Poetry Workshops Starting in May, a series of free community poetry workshops will be held to encourage the public to submit a poem. They can explore poetic traditions as well as their local and global connection to water and how it is protected and cared for by Seattle Public Utilities and King County’s Wastewater Treatment and Water and Land Resources divisions.

Community liaisons are working collaboratively with poets and Poetry on Buses staff to shape bilingual workshops tailored to the needs of Seattle and King County’s diverse communities. Workshops focused on the Chinese, Ethiopian, Punjabi, Spanish speaking, African American and Tlingit communities will be held from May through September. Everyone is welcome to attend a workshop.

Partnerships An expanded Poetry on Buses program is made possible through a partnership between 4Culture, City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Sound Transit, King County Metro, King County Wastewater Treatment Division, King County Water and Land Resources Divisions, and Seattle Public Utilities. Poetry on Buses is managed by the Public Art staff at 4Culture and the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture using both transit- and water-related Percent-for-Art Dollars and Equity Initiative funds allocated for the commissioning and management of art in public space. It is supported through a grant from Amazon Literary Partnership.

About Poetry on Buses Poetry on Buses began in 1992 as a partnership between 4Culture and King County Metro Transit to present poetry by local community members on buses.. It was rebooted in 2014-15 with poems and workshops in five languages, an online poetry portal (showcasing 365 poems – one new poem released every day of the year) and a focus on Metro Transit’s RapidRide.

For more information and images contact:

Christina DePaolo, 4Culture, (206) 263-1588 Erika Lindsay, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, (206) 684-4337

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