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Seattle, City of Literature?

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A campaign is under way to earn Seattle the distinction of being an international “city of literature.”

The man behind the effort is Seattle author Ryan Boudinot.

“I’m just a guy who wants cool things to happen in his city, who loves books and loves reading, and loves talking to writers and learning about new voices," he said. 

A few years ago, while talking to a poet friend in Iceland, Boudinot heard about something the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, does. It appoints cities with diverse publishing houses and educational programs as “cities of literature.”

Now Boudinot wants his hometown to be part of that club.

"There are currently six cities including Edinburgh, Melbourne, ?Reykjavik, Iowa City, Norwich, and Dublin," he said.

The distinction carries no financial award, but it would help Seattle connect with cities around the world to arrange author exchanges and to showcase its literary arts.

Boudinot will be speaking about the program and the application process involved at Seattle’s Central Library tonight at 6:30 p.m.

The application process opens next month.

Florangela Davila is KNKX’s news director. A journalist in Seattle since 1992, she’s earned numerous individual and team honors in print, online and broadcast, most recently three regional Murrows for KNKX.