reasons to go to… Vilnius

December 5, 2020

The next time you’re in Lithuania, be sure to stroll down Literatų gatvė (Literature Street) in Vilnius Old Town. The walls of the narrow walking street are decorated with plaques commemorating local writers and works of literature.

Find out more on Atlas Obscura.

. . . . .
Thanks to poet Yvonne Blomer, who mentioned in a Facebook posting that she visited Literature Lane in 2012 and proposed something similar as a legacy project following her stint as poet laureate of Victoria, BC.

Atlas Obscura calls it “digital detective work”: volunteers who visit online archives to decipher handwriting, tag photos, and other essential archival tasks. Find out more about this project here and see what else Atlas Obscura has mapped for your home enjoyment here. Think of it as one big poetry prompt.

Lyric World

March 5, 2020

This is a guest post by Shin Yu Pai.

The Lyric World poetry series launched in January at Town Hall Seattle and brings together contemporary poets to talk about the social role of poetry. In our first installment, we hosted Thomas Hitoshi Pruiskma, who reflected on the role of wonder in poetry, while performing a magic trick or two for our live audience. Ibrahim Arsalan, who is griot-trained jeli, performed music on the African kora.

I created the series as an extension of my previous work with Town Hall as an artist-in-residence for that organization, where I had a chance to curate programming that focused on poetry and the sacred in the everyday with Peter Levitt, poetry and place with writer Kathleen Alcalá, plus a program on creativity as it has innovated activism in the work of documentary poet Kaia Sand, public artist Susan Robb, and architect Rex Hohlbein of The Block Project.

My current work is committed to highlighting underrepresented voices who have not previously shared their work with Town Hall audiences. Our inaugural season highlights voices from the Asian-American diaspora. Looking around at other series in Seattle, I was aware of local event series that elevate the work of Indigenous and Black poets but didn’t see anyone producing programming on an ongoing basis related to Asian-American poets and our work.

On Thursday, March 19, 2020*, we’ll host the poet Koon Woon, who will speak on poetry and displacement and how poetry can create a sense of belonging where the notion of home has been complicated. In June, we’ll be back with a program with Prageeta Sharma, an author with Seattle-based press Wave Books. Our programs are distributed through KUOW Speaker’s Forum and you can listen to the first installment of Lyric World here.

If you’d like to support this program, please consider making a donation here. We are supported by The Windrose Fund, Poets & Writers, and Office of Arts & Culture for The City of Seattle.

To learn more about Lyric World, here is some press the series has garnered:

Seattle Review of Books
South Seattle Emerald
Northwest Asian Weekly
Cascadia Magazine

*IMPORTANT NOTE: Town Hall has suspended in-person attendance at programs scheduled through March 31, 2020. The program will be rescheduled once normal activities resume.

. . . . .

Shin Yu Pai is a poet, cross-media artist, and curator for the collaborative global exploration project Atlas Obscura. Her poetic origins inform an artistic style that has grown beyond the written word — manifesting in photography, installation and public art, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and sound. She was the fourth poet laureate of the City of Redmond.

Thomas Pruiksma photo: Eric Frommer
Shin Yu Pai photo: James McDaniel

looking at books

July 17, 2019

The University of Washington Libraries Book Arts & Rare Book Collections is home to more than 40,000 titles not found in the regular Libraries stacks. Dating from the 11th century to the 21st, the 21,000-strong Book Arts Collection includes an extensive and growing number of artist-made and poetry books.

Materials are limited to in-library use and some require an appointment. For information, visit the website, call Special Collections at 206-543-1929, and see photographs of a few artist-made books on Atlas Obscura.

photo by Joe Mabel

Looking for inspiration? Join Atlas Obscura tomorrow afternoon, Halloween Eve, Sunday, October 30, 2016, for a walking tour of Seattle’s history-rich Lake View Cemetery.
. . . . .
photo by Joe Mabel shows the grave of Austin A. Bell, for whom Belltown was named

%d bloggers like this: