Seattle did not receive City of Literature designation this year

UNESCO just released their full list of new members of the Creative Cities Network. Seattle, which was making its second bid to become a City of Literature, is not on that list. UNESCO does not make its deliberations public, but it's not hard to come up with reasons why we might not have made the list this year.

The sad thing is, after the unpleasantness of the spring passed, our City of Literature organization found a terrific, capable leader in Bob Redmond. Redmond is a tireless advocate for the arts in this city, and it was great to have him repping for our (truly world-class) literary scene. The reason a Creative Cities designation would be so great for Seattle is that it would direct the city to create an office devoted specifically to Seattle's literary scene, both to promote the resources we have and to cultivate those resources in partnership with other cities in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network.

The current City of Lit organization is getting together to discuss the future of the bid early next year. I believe that with Redmond's leadership and a board that doesn't have to suffer through continual unnecessary distractions and drama, we could earn that bid in 2016. But for now, let's congratulate this year's new Cities of Literature:

  • Baghdad (Iraq)
  • Barcelona (Spain)
  • Ljubljana (Slovenia)
  • Lviv (Ukraine)
  • Montevideo (Uruguay)
  • Nottingham (UK)
  • Ă“bidos (Portugal)
  • Tartu (Estonia)
  • Ulyanovsk (Russian Federation)

To these new members: We in Seattle salute you, and we hope to join you soon.