HomeAsian AmericansSeattle Civic Poet Shin Yu Pai launches poetry campaign

Seattle Civic Poet Shin Yu Pai launches poetry campaign

Poetry installations have flooded the streets of Seattle as a part of the city’s Public Poetry campaign, which was created by Shin Yu Pai, Taiwanese American Seattle Civic Poet. 

As a part of her two-year commission with a multi-site public poetry installation, Seattle Magazine reported, Pai celebrates April as National Poetry Month by featuring five Seattle poets: Kathya Alexander, Bryna Antonia (Á Thanh) Cortes, Cindy Luong, Joe Nasta and Bryan Wilson.

The poetry installations will include postcards, posters, window clings, vinyl banners and other paper installations. The work will be displayed at the Seattle Public Library, Wa Na Wari, Friends of Little Saigon, Seattle Municipal Tower, Slide Gallery and Bureau of Fearless Ideas, Seattle Magazine reported.

The Public Poetry campaign was designed by graphic designer Jayme Yen and created with the help of the Academy of American Poets, with funding from the Mellon Foundation, the city’s Office of Arts & Culture reported. The program was also supported by The Windrose Fund.

“It’s important for me to highlight and work with Asian American artists and creatives,” said Pai to the Asian Weekly. “[Yen’s] work as a designer is really next level.”

Pai, who was a child of Taiwanese immigrants, said she felt disconnected between her “two cultures and two languages.” Pai became interested in poetry and literature since it provided her a “beautiful, imaginative (and) liberatory space,” Seattle Magazine reported. 

As the city of Seattle’s 2023-2024 Civic Poet, Pai works to “[foster] community dialogue and engagement between the public and artists while celebrating the literary arts,” according to the Office of Arts & Culture.

Pai is also a Poets Laureate Fellow of Academy of American Poets, a 2022 Artist Trust Fellow and was one of the top contenders for a 2014 Stranger Genius in Literature. Some of her notable works include the new haiku comics collection Less Desolate from Blue Cactus Press and the poetry collection No Neutral, Office of Arts & Culture reported.

“I’m excited to bring poetry from fresh voices into the public eye through this series of partnerships with local poets and community partners,” said Pai to Seattle Magazine.

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