Everything Indicates: Bay Bridge Poems and Portraits

Local poets were hoisted up into the windy towers of the new eastern span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge in April 2011 to observe and map its progress and something of its soul. Their words, enhanced by the luminous photographs of Thomas Michael Alleman, are gathered in Everything Indicates, a tribute to the people designing and building the new bridge, and the waters it will span.

Set to open in 2013, the eastern span will be the world’s largest self-anchored suspension span bridge; however, beyond this remarkable feat of engineering, the bridge is a literal lifeline for the diverse communities, individuals, and businesses of the San Francisco Bay Area and far beyond.

The poems and photographs of Everything Indicates, which takes its title from Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” are themselves a bridge, bringing us closer to the common experience that unites us all.

About the Editors and Photographer

Thomas Michael Alleman was named California Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 1995 by the National Press Photographers Association. His photographs have been published regularly in Time, People, BusinessWeek, Smithsonian magazine, and National Geographic Traveler, and Harper’s. He is currently finishing “Sunshine & Noir,” a book-length collection of black-and-white “urban landscapes” made in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles, prints of which reside in the permanent collections of the Huntington Museum and Library, the Kresge Art Museum, and the Portland Museum of Art.
Elissa G. Perry—writer, artist, educator, and agitator—is of African and Choctaw descent. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds, I Do/I Don’t, and Black Silk. She was a finalist in Poets & Writers’s California Voices competition and is currently the recipient of an Individual Artist Commission from the San Francisco Arts Commission for her project “Mission Drift.”
Ben Davis is a champion of activating the arts and creative community for the advancement of the civic good. He is spearheading The Bay Lights—a monumental fine-arts installation of 25,000 LEDs along the western span of the Bay Bridge.
Tamsin Smith is a social entrepreneur and poetry evangelist. She is the president of global consultancy SlipStreamStrategy.com and founder of OBene.com, where, as founding president, she helped Bono and Bobby Shriver create and build (RED), which has generated over $175 million to fight AIDS in Africa. She hosts a weekly poetry circle at an assisted living community in Santa Rosa and blogs frequently on poetry, literature, philanthropy, and life at www.huffingtonpost.com/tamsin-smith.