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Town Hall Seattle: Arts & Culture Series

Town Hall’s Arts & Culture series elevates the voices of local artists while bringing world-renowned cultural icons to Seattle audiences. The series celebrates music, photography, sculpture, philosophy, heritage, and traditions around the world that enrich our lives.

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Jan 18, 2018

The 2016 demolition and relocation of Seattle’s beloved literary center, The Richard Hugo House, inspired comments and musings from local luminaries on the future of our city’s cultural and physical landscape. Among them are recent mayoral candidate Cary Moon and Hugo House founding director Frances McCue, who take our stage for a conversation on McCue’s latest poetry collection Timber Curtain. The pair offered a mediation on the intersection of poetry and urban planning, and the ethics of the myths-of-place we create for ourselves. They invited us to explore the space between ramshackle and remodel, merging literature and engineering perspectives to reflect on our city’s bygone or transformed structures—and the institutions they represent. McCue and Moon examined poems originally written as narration for McCue’s forthcoming 2018 documentary Where the House Was, and discussed the aesthetic, social, cultural, and political transformation of Seattle.

Frances McCue is a poet and essayist, and the founding director of Richard Hugo House in Seattle from 1996-2006. In 2011, McCue won the Washington State Book Award for her poetry collection The Bled and placed as a finalist for a second book The Car That Brought You Here Still Runs. Her first poetry collection, The Stenographer’s Breakfast, won the Barnard New Women’s Poetry Prize.

Cary Moon is a political activist, urban planner, and engineer who was the recent runner up in Seattle’s 2016 Mayoral election. She has provided professional expertise to many Seattle departments, commissions, community groups, and committees including the Seattle Design Commission, the Seattle Department of Transportation, and the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department. She has received multiple Awards including The Stranger’s Political Genius Award in 2007 and the Municipal League’s Citizen of the Year in 2009.

Recorded live at Seattle University by Town Hall Seattle on January 16, 2018.