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Queer spoken word returns to Gay City

Seattle’s vibrant and diverse arts community is about to grow a little bigger. Gay City Health Project, Capitol Hill’s gay health and wellness organization, will be playing host to Word Play on Thursday, August 18. Billed as a “fun, free, smart, and sexy sober spoken word event”, Word Play is sure to please even the most discerning fan of queer spoken word.

Gay City is a proud supporter of queer and queer friendly arts through their Gay City Arts program, and includes a variety of artistic programming as part of their mission to promote health and build community. Gay City Anthologies, soon to publish Volume 4: At Second Glance, provides a creative forum for previously unpublished queer comic art, fiction, poetry, and photography. Gay City also presented the Seattle premier of The Infection Monologues, a touching, humorous, and thought provoking performance that challenged the way people think about the contemporary experience of men living with HIV.

“We’re very excited about incorporating more arts into our programming,” says Gay City Executive Director Fred Swanson. 

Word Play continues the tradition of Shifting Words, providing an outlet for queer spoken word artists in recovery to share their experiences with living with addiction. Marketing Manager Robert Roth adds, “I remember going to the Shifting Words events a few years ago and loved them.”

“I believe, actually I know, that my sobriety is inextricably linked with creating art,” says Tara Hardy, founder, and Art & Education Director at Bent Writing Institute, and Word Play’s featured performer. “It’s a way to channel all the energy that I used to focus on using, as well as being something to do with all the free floating anxiety that seems to follow addicts around.”

The evening will include performances from such notable queer spoken word artists as Maya Hersh, Jodie Knowles, Jack McCarthy, Okanomode, and Gay City’s own Susan Rees, as well as featuring Hardy.

Word Play will run from 8pm -10pm at Kaladi Brothers Coffee, and is free to attend. The event is co-sponsored by the Shift Peer Recovery Network and Kaladi Brothers Coffee.

For more information, visit

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About Gay City

Gay City promotes wellness in LGBTQ communities by providing health services, connecting people to resources, fostering arts, and building community. Gay City is the leading provider of HIV and STI testing in King County.
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