ARTS staff Exquisite Corpse

For National Poetry Month this year, we managed to get most of our staff to participate in writing an exquisite corpse poem. Here it is!

It was a quiet storm
broken bark let secrets loose secrets
open up and let the light shine in
dance and let the light shine out.

Let possibility be your north star
and reach for it, until your arms become the universe.
The assemblage of all existing matter, energy, and space
still can’t outweigh that little tickle of doubt
replaying in the back of your mind, over and over.
It is impossible to stop, just like that catchy theme song that you hum all day.

The world is changing, you cannot stop progress
change with the time or wake up to find the world’s left you behind
the little remembered places, full of mud and debris
and the shining city, a place of glass houses, all angles.

Amidst the storm and sharp angles, the city rejoiced to celebrate Ella Fitzgerald’s birthday
with her voice calming the world.

The squirrels continued their fight with the lobsters in Discovery Park
the wind blew and all was calm
our wretched moment had passed and we were once again alone.

And then the bunnies came
they sat among the flowers
and dreamed of a world with no pain
the dream made my nose tingle
the sensation spread and I tingled all over with elation.

Civic Partner Highlight: The Raven Chronicles

April is National Poetry Month, making it a perfect time of year to grab your favorite literary work and enjoy the ever-changing spring weather. Inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), the Academy of American Poets established National Poetry Month in 1996.

The Raven Chronicles, an organization that creates journals of art, literature, and spoken word, exemplifies what National Poetry Month represents. Publishing their first issue in 1991, The Raven Chronicles strive to promote literary endeavors within the greater Seattle area.

In late summer, Raven Chronicles Press, the book-publishing venture of Raven Chronicles Literary Organization, will publish two books. The first, Stealing Light: A Raven Chronicles Anthology, Selected work from Summer, 1991 — Fall, 1996, edited by  Paul Hunter, Kathleen Alcalá, Phoebe Bosché, Stephanie Lawyer, Tiffany Midge and Matt Briggs, is a snapshot of Raven Chronicles first issues. The second book, Words from the Café, is an anthology of writings from emerging artists at Seattle’s Recovery Café in their journey toward recovery from addiction and/or mental illness. Words from the Café is edited by Anna Bálint with photos by Willie Pugh.

In 2017, Raven Chronicles Press will publish an anthology of the work of poets who read at our co-sponsored event at the downtown Seattle Public Library, “Poets Against Hate.” 48 poets read on February 13, 2016, including Seattle’s Civic Poet, Claudia Castro Luna. The entire event was filmed by Seattle Channel and can be viewed here. For more information about Raven Chronicles, upcoming events and announcements, and for videos of readings and audio recordings, visit; Phone: 206-941-2955; Email:

What does being a Civic Partner mean to The Raven Chronicles? “Being a Civic Partner means that Raven Chronicles is a part of the cultural fabric of the City of Seattle; that Raven endeavors to help enrich the cultural makeup of the City; that our culturally-diverse audiences and writers and artists encourage ongoing discussions about what it means to live in a multicultural city and nation.”

The Raven Chronicles personifies the type of organization that the Civic Partners program funds. The Civic Partner program awards funding to arts, cultural, and heritage organizations in all disciplines with a minimum three-year history of serving Seattle residents and visitors. The City’s investment is aimed at creating broad public access to a rich array of quality arts opportunities while promoting a healthy and diverse cultural community.

Water is the new muse for Poetry on Buses

Popular poetry program launches a region wide effort in 2016-17

SEATTLE (February 8, 2016) – After a successful reboot in 2014, Poetry on Buses is now going region-wide, sharing locally-sourced poems in at least eight languages across multiple transit systems, an online portal, and in communities across King County.

The program will be formally announced and launch to the public on Earth Day, April 22, 2016 and detailed information will be available at Residents will have through October 2016 to submit poems for consideration and the poetry will roll out on transit and online in April 2017, just in time for National Poetry Month.

Poetry on Buses is expanding this year thanks to funds from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) 1% for art funds. In celebration of this, residents will be invited to submit poems on the theme of water. Exploring a water-related theme has local resonance as well as universal significance; water defines our geographic landscape and impacts our health and wellbeing on a daily basis, and offers rich poetic possibilities.

A series of community poetry workshops will be held during the spring and summer months to encourage the public to submit poetry, explore the theme and multiple poetic traditions, and foster creative thinking and expression. Community liaisons and poets in Amharic, Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish-speaking and Urban Native communities will create custom, bilingual workshops to reach Seattle and King County’s diverse communities.

The program is further expanding to present poems on a broader range of buses, light rail, street car and station venues. This is in thanks to a partnership between 4Culture, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and Sound Transit.

About Poetry on Buses

Poetry on Buses began in 1992 as a partnership between 4Culture and King County Metro Transit to present poetry from the local community on placards found right above bus seats. 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.


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Office of Arts & Culture | Seattle The Office of Arts & Culture envisions a city driven by creativity that provides the opportunity for everyone to engage in diverse arts and cultural experiences. The Office is supported by the 16-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the mayor and City Council. Find out more at Follow @SeattleArts or


4Culture As the cultural funding agency for King County, 4Culture works to make our region vibrant. Using lodging tax and percent-for-art funds, 4Culture’s four main program areas—arts, heritage, historic preservation, and public art—put public resources to work in your community.