Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009 CityArtist Grant


WooohoO! Five years after it's conception, thanks to a generous 2009 CityArtist grant from The Mayor's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs in Seattle, WA, my project, "Adopt-A-Poet," which entails placing me, the poet, in a corporation for a month, is finally happening. I've designed a separate blog for the project and welcome you to follow along as I undertake the nation's 1st Corporate Poet Residency. Click here to visit the blog. The residency begins January 2010 at NBBJ (Seattle), an architectural firm with offices around the world. I'm so very glad to be working with NBBJ. I'm also excited about my plans to row to work in a little wooden pram. I'll travel across Lake Union from Fremont to South Lake Union everyday. Many thanks to The Center for Wooden Boats for their generous support of this project.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Poetry Polar Bear Plunge, 2009

Date: Saturday 12 December, 2009
Location: Green Lake (Seattle, WA)
Temperature: 29F
Organizer: The Poetess at Green Lake
Polar Bear Poets: Julie Jane, Noah Star Weaver, A. K. Allin, Clinton Bliss, Vanessa DeWolf, Dave Kuhns and Carissa Quisenberry
Not a Poet/Not a Polar Bear: Lydia Swartz
Friends: Mylinda Sneed, Beckett Arnold, Kate Freeman, Bond Aster
Photos & Media: John Cornicello, CityArts, MyGreenLake, Komo News

Noah and Julie Jane emerging from the lake
John Cornicello's Flickr page
Blue's Flickr page

Thanks to polar-poet Dave Kuhns for videotaping!

The Weather
It may look sunny, but it was cold, cold cold. There was a week-long arctic blast hitting the region. The low on Saturday was 23F and Green Lake was frozen at the edges. I couldn't feel my feet after the dip. Next year, booties for sure, and more poems, poems, poemS!!

Congratulations to all the polar bears, poets, helper cubs and fans (you too Mr. Bear) who made this event spectacular! Thanks for being so bold and brave and high-spirited and for coming together to make a proud, loud statement for pOetry. I'm honored to be part of this community.

Oh yes, we DID!
On Saturday 12 December, seven brave pioneers ambled to Green Lake and stripped down to their poetry. Seven brave poets made a splaSh heard round the globe. What did it say? It said, "poetry matters."

Brave Poets
Twice as many poets were signed up to plunge this year, but then it grew cold, very veRy cold. Then came the frost. Puddles froze. Some poets fell sick. Others were smart and stayed in their dens. A few were held back by family members. Alas, when the day of reckoning arrived, the arctic air stayed on though it was predicted to go. Sun shone on the thin crust covering the lake. And the hair stood up on our skin. The we who were left gave our poetry up and broke the prose that day. WhooOO!!

Polar Poetry
I wrote a poem called "You Came out of the Twinkling Sky." Julie Jane and Noah each read part of an adorable rhyming poem. Clinton read a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. Vanessa wrote one called "Take Back My Alaska." Carissa sang "The Garden" by Shel Silverstein. Dave Kuhns read a poem he authored that morning, which ended with a raised fist and a, "Go, go go!!" And so we did. We counted to three and we went, went wenT!!

Ice on the Lake
Witnesses commented on the curious sounds the ice made as we plunged. The ice swelled ever so gently and, as it did, it crinkled and cracked and broken in a wave.

P.S. Thanks to Kate, not one pair of eyeglasses were lost this year.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,