Martha Linehan

MML BumpershootMartha Linehan moved to Seattle in 1992 to live near her sister after living in Paris, France for twelve years. Right away she joined the vibrant poetry and spoken word scene and began performing at local venues; The Weathered Wall, Pioneer Square Saloon, Red Sky Poetry Theater at The Ditto, Puss Puss Café, Neumos, The Storeroom, Lake Union Café.  She soon partnered with, poet Louise Dovell  and they started the band Union which later evolved into il Onion with Orietta Chiusamonti (Deep Traction), Tim O’Neal (Capital Hillbillies), John Jenson, and Gregg Virgil Robinson (Value Ape). Since the late nineties, she has worked as a chemical dependency professional with homeless youth in Seattle. More recently her work has been specifically with commercially sexually exploited girls. In 2001, her sister Jennie Linehan and Martha co-founded Word UP SHOT, a photography and poetry project for teenage girls as they begin to consider the possibilities of their lives and identities clean and sober.  She is currently working with OPS; the Organization for Prostitution Survivors; a survivor-based grassroots social service / social change non-profit organization, doing arts development and facilitating  art workshops for prostitution survivors and family members of victims of the Green River killer. They are currently in phase one of the  creation of a permanent public memorial for the  49 known (90 presumed) prostituted women and children murdered by Gary Ridgeway in King County between 1981-2001. The memorial will honor the women and girls we have lost, recognize and remember their lives and offer our community a place to grieve and heal while raising awareness to the ongoing intergenerational violence against women. Meanwhile she continues to write, live and sporadically perform her poetry with some of her favorite musicians and poets in the community. A book of her poems entitled Au Revoir Georgette was published in 2007 by Poetry Around Press. She also performed her original “Mary’s Poem” on the 1996 Home Alive benefit CD, “Home Alive – The Art Of Self Defense.”

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