For some time now, City Councilmember Nick Licata has sponsored a neat event at City Hall called the Words' Worth Poetry Series. Selected poets would read a poem to kick off City Council meetings. It was a small gesture, but an important one: it's always good to remind the City Council that the arts is what makes Seattle so wonderfully livable.
Today, Seattle poet Sierra Nelson says:
City Councilmember Nick Licata is leaving City Council at the end of this term, and to celebrate his innovative Words’ Worth Poetry Series and legacy of championing the arts in Seattle, current Words’ Worth curator, poet and performer Sierra Nelson, has invited past curators and readers to return to Seattle City Hall (600 4th Ave, City Council meeting room) on Wednesday, December 9th, 2015, 2:00-2:15 p.m., to read just the last lines of the poems originally read, creating a new “Last Lines” collaborative poem on the spot as a collective portrait of the city and its voices. As with all readings in the series, this event is free, open to the public, and will kick off an official City Council committee meeting; people may also watch it streamed live on The Seattle Channel.
Licata really has done a world of good for Seattle in the arts. He's supported artists in just about every way a city councilmember possibly could: by directing funds their way, by giving them the city's attention, by helping them find housing and creative space, by being in the audience. Some member of the new council had better step up to fill the hole that Licata is leaving; it will be an estimable challenge, but a very worthy one. We need an advocate for the arts at that level of government, and we're losing one of the very best advocates when Licata leaves office. I'm glad that the poets of Seattle are coming together to give him this weird, wonderful sendoff. If you can't make it to City Hall in half an hour, you should watch the poem as it's read online.