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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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Feb 4, 2020

How can poetry expand our understanding of civic life? Poet and former Town Hall Artist-In-Residence Shin Yu Pai invited us to the first of her Lyric World discussions, exploring the role of poetry as it stokes our curiosity and gives voice and attention to the human experience.

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma is a poet, magician, and musician who brings together many diverse practices in his creative expression. Pruiksma touched upon the similarities between poetry, magic, and music to explore the boundaries and edges of what’s visible and to gaze more deeply into the nature of wonder.

Joined in conversation with Seattle-based poet Melanie Noel, Pruiksma illuminated the ways that different languages alternately obscure or reveal truth. Together they asked us to suspend our judgement and embrace the not-knowing that defines these art forms.

Throughout their discussion, experience a performance by kora player and griot-trained jeli Ibrahim Arsalan. In West African society, the jeli preserved ancient stories and traditions through song, throughout the generations. They are believed to have deep connections to spiritual, social, and political powers.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle and KUOW.

Lyric World: Conversations with Contemporary Poets is fiscally sponsored by Shunpike and supported by The Windrose Fund and the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture.