So why not a park to honor the works of Seattle authors, journalists, playwrights, and poets such as Frank Herbert, August Wilson, Richard Hugo, and Theodore Roethke? Why not indeed, asks Seattle City Council member Nick Licata. The curator of the council's poetry program says he's looking into creating just such a literary green space. "Seriously," he says, "why not pursue such a project? I'm going to raise it with the Parks Board."
We brought up the idea of a Writers Park a couple weeks ago, taken by Knute Berger's piece on Crosscut.com lamenting the lack of local writers' shrines--streets, statues, places, and parks--like those he recently toured in San Francisco and along the California coast. Licata contacted me and Berger to say he was taking up the cause in City Hall.
"I'm certainly going to follow up on this idea," Licata said in an e-mail yesterday.
Licata, founder of the now-defunct Seattle Sun, author of a children's book ("a shrewd send-up of recent Seattle politics"), and originator of the council's Words' Worth poetry program, hasn't mapped a plan yet. But "I'll be meeting with some poets first to get their ideas and then some park board members. I'll keep you informed of my progress," he says.
The council member also likes the idea of Seattleite Janice Van Cleve, who wrote to all members of the council supporting the park and suggesting that such a public space include the landmark P-I globe--if it is donated to the public by the Hearst Corp. now that PI.com offices are moving from beneath the neon orb.
"Maybe there is a place at Seattle Center where something like this could happen," she writes. "Maybe someplace in South Lake Union. In a time when bland, soul-less corporations slap their names on things, would it not be inspiring to name something after an artist who actually deserves it? Makes a good place to install the PI globe as well."