Poetry, Music and Love – on the bus at Folklife

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The Poetry on Buses Roadshow is on! We’re looking forward to the poetry reading + workshop coming up at Bellevue Library on May 9. The next stop: Folklife, the regional Memorial Day festival now in its 44th year. This year, Folklife is celebrating the cross-cultural roots of Hip Hop in the Northwest. 

Amos Miller, curator of music at Love City Love, will be on board the RapidRide Poetry Bus at Folklife. (He’s also the force behind a new album being celebrated at the The Triple Door on May 13 – congrats Amos!) In this guest post, he reflects on Love City Love and Poetry on Buses, and invites you to join the ride.

The nature of Love City Love is to create an all inclusive space where anyone can show their art, speak their mind or play their song. Personally, Love City Love has always been a prompt, a muse, an invitation to take my music seriously. After nine months of its existence, in June 2013, I committed to playing music at Love City Love on a weekly basis.

At first it was just me and some friends improvising every Wednesday. We invited anyone who came to share, play with us, sing with us, say a rap, spit a poem, do a dance, collaborate with the live music in whatever capacity they felt. What was just a few friends jamming quickly became a city-wide all-call open mic inviting everyone to perform. We have had three pop up locations and are currently looking for a permanent home.

Last November, 4Culture invited us to collaborate with poets from Poetry on Buses at the historic Moore Theatre in downtown Seattle. 36 poets jammed with Evan Flory-Barnes on bass, D’Vonne Lewis on drums, Ahamefule J. Olou on trumpet, Adra Boo and Otieno Terry on vocals, and me on the piano. This coalition of forces was powerful. It was an aligning of like-minded vibrations. The integrity, awareness and consciousness of everyone involved, from organizers to poets to instrumentalists, resonated out with fierce intensity. It was a compelling show, as over 800 people danced to the words of the people, and took in the rhythms of the city.

Thank you poets, for speaking your truths, and thank you Seattle for vibrating with love!

Amos Miller, Photo by Meg Stacker
Amos Miller, Photo by Meg Stacker

I’m writing today to invite you to come jam with us at Folklife on Saturday May 23rd on the RapidRide Poetry Bus that will be parked in the Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center.

Poetry on Buses poets will read their poems (in the bus!) at the top every hour from Noon to 5:00 PM. And then, at 5:00 PM Love City Love will perform in the bus for a full hour of poetry and music. Come collaborate with us!

You’re invited to join poet Michelle Peñaloza, 40 Poetry on Buses poets, and Love City Love on May 23rd. Love City Love also performs at the Folklife Mural Amphitheatre Stage that evening at 9:00 PM. See you at Folklife!