Seattle/ Arts & Culture
AI Assisted Icon
Published on April 23, 2024
Seattle Celebrates Local Poet Bryan Wilson with Public Installations of "Atmospheric River"Source: Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

Seattle's cityscape is getting a literary makeover, courtesy of local writer and educator Bryan Wilson, whose poem "Atmospheric River" now graces two public locations. Wilson's work, which is part of the public poetry program supported by the Academy of American Poets and The Windrose Fund, can be found at the Bureau of Fearless Ideas in Greenwood and the Seattle Municipal Tower in Downtown Seattle. In addition, those who fancy holding a piece of this urban wordsmithery in their hands can snag postcard and poster versions available for download on Seattle's official arts and culture blog.

According to the Office of Arts & Culture, Wilson, who juggles his pen between writing and illustrating, is also recognized as a nurturer of young talent in his role as program manager at the Bureau of Fearless Ideas, where he spearheads publishing projects with budding authors. The program's funding comes from a partnership arrangement with the Mellon Foundation, which aims to bring poetry into the public eye, and it's a nod, or should we say a stanza, to the potential of the arts to reimagine public spaces.

Designed by Jayme Yen, the installation features Wilson's poetry, which serves as an ode to the city and its natural environs, with elements of local color like "river-rain," "the neighborhood breakfast spot," and "eddies of garlic in a small kitchen." For city dwellers and visitors alike, Wilson's verses are a tangible embrace of Seattle's unique confluence of nature and urban living.

Seattle isn't just putting a pin on the cultural map with coffee and tech giants, now it's staking a claim in the empire of arts by integrating poetry into its very infrastructure. By choosing to spotlight a local creative talent like Wilson, and fostering a relationship between poetry and the public space, the city sends a ripple effect, encouraging a dialogue between residents and the creative pulse that runs through their city. The initiative resonates with the ethos that art, not unlike an "atmospheric river," is essential in sustaining the spirit of a city and its inhabitants.

Revelers of rhyme and rhythm can visit for a virtual view of Wilson's poem or see it in person at the aforementioned locations, where art and life in Seattle intersect more visibly than ever before.