A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Faces of Bushwick: Olivia Brownlee

To celebrate our longtime partnership with Bushwick Book Club Seattle, we’re speaking with local musicians who have composed and performed songs inspired by the written works of SAL speakers. Learn about these hometown talents and discover their music in our Faces of Bushwick interview series.

In this installment, we talk with singer, songwriter, and teaching artist Olivia Brownlee.

What SAL event did you write a song for?

Good Bones by Maggie Smith  (SAL’s Poetry Series, January 2021).

Where can people find this song online?

You can find a recording on my Patreon page, or listen right here:



What surprised you about the song that emerged from the process?

It was more ‘poem-y’ than most things I write, which I thought was appropriate. I expected to edit it more into a square-ish song, but I finished the poem and it said, “I’m done!”

What are you reading right now, or what book have you recently enjoyed?

Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth by William Bryant Logan. Took me years to finish because every chapter was so thought-provoking and exciting.

Got something recent to share? Or something new on the horizon?

I just released my 80th single in a row, and I helped birth the Know Better Do Better Project [an organization that aims to amplify the positive power of music to shape a more just and inclusive world].

I also got involved with Braver Angels Songwriters [an organization that seeks to restore civic trust in America]; I help to lead their online Song Square.

Thank you, Olivia! To learn more about Olivia’s work, visit her website.

Posted in Behind the Scenes