Seattle is perhaps better known for its computer programmers than its poets or novelists, but a new initiative just might change that. The city is looking to hire a local scribe to hang out part-time in the northwest tower of the Fremont Bridge for one year. Not only will the writer be equipped with a poetically isolated garret to work in, they’ll also be paid $10,000, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.
Established wordsmiths living within 100 miles of the city are welcome to apply for the gig. If they’re selected, they’ll be required to produce at least one piece of writing that can be presented by the city. It can be anything from a spoken word piece to a collection of poetry, so long as it’s inspired by “some aspect of the bridge and the bridge’s history, be it real or metaphorical.”
While seemingly straight out of a 19th century Parisian novel, the program is actually coordinated by the city's Office of Arts & Culture, and funded by the Department of Transportation. Like all City of Seattle departments, the Department of Transportation is required to put one percent of its budget for new construction toward art. Over the years, the program has funded numerous works of local public art, ranging from freestanding sculptures to building designs. Now, they want an ode to the Fremont Bridge, which turns 100 next year. The striking overpass is only steps away from the famous Fremont Troll sculpture, and boasts the distinction of being the most frequently opened drawbridge in the country.
Since the tower isn’t well-heated and doesn’t have running water, the writer-in-residence isn’t expected to shack up there 24/7. As of 2009, it also had no WiFi—a boon for easily distracted creative types, or a burden for the hyper-connected. If you’re interested in becoming a (gainfully employed) bridge troll, applications are available online, and are due February 16.
[h/t Atlas Obscura]