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Melissa Locker
January 19, 2016

Seattle’s Fremont Bridge already has a troll, now it’s looking for a poet, too—the city is offering to pay a wordsmith $10,000 to spend time in the bridge’s tower and write.

As part of the so-called Emerald City’s mission to incorporate art into city life, Seattle is inviting established poets and writers to apply for a residency to come and work in the Fremont Bridge’s northwest tower and to find inspiration in the idyllic setting. Since there’s no running water or substantial heat in the bridge’s tower, poets will need to have other permanent digs and use the bridge as a studio space, so the city prefers writers who live within 100 miles of Seattle.

The writer selected for the Fremont Bridge post will be expected to produce at least one work that can be presented by the city, according to Calandra Childers, a deputy director at Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture. That work could be a collection of poetry, an essay, or a spoken-word piece. “Having an artist reflect on what they are to the city … helps us see things that we might not have seen,” Childers said.

A related residency is inviting artists to create a light-based installation project on the city’s University Bridge for $15,000 remuneration.

The money for the modern-day patronage comes from Seattle’s Department of Transportation, which is required by local law to put 1 percent of its new construction budget toward public art, according to the Seattle Post Intelligencer. The unique program has allowed the government to pay for hundreds of works that now decorate the city. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the city’s public art via downloadable maps or the STQRY app, which will point out 50 works of art from Seattle's collection, including nearly 25 at Seattle Center.

The deadline for applications for either residency is Feb. 16. Get the details here.

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