poetry walk

September 19, 2020

It has been a while since we mentioned the sidewalk poetry of Northfield, Minnesota. In the intervening years, the City of Northfield Arts and Culture Commission has been busy. The program, which started in 2011, is ongoing, and the interactive map is impressive, with more than 260 poems to date. There’s a documentary, and Northfield residents can even petition to have a winning poem impressed on the sidewalk in front of their house.

In July of this year, Northfield adopted a Racial Equity Action Plan and the Sidewalk Poetry program has wasted no time in showing its support. Submissions for the 2021 sidewalk poetry season are now open to Northfield residents of all ages, and all poems must be in Spanish. (Just under nine percent of the population identifies as Hispanic or Latino.) Go Northfield!

vending machine poetry

July 30, 2019

We’ve posted before on the subject of poetry-dispensing machines. They’re popping up around the world. For example, in Brooklyn, Chicago, Dunedin, Grenoble, Provo, and San Antonio.

Here’s another one, and it’s part of an impressive program. Poems written by incarcerated prisoners, their writing instructors, and well-known poets, are dispensed for 50 cents each from repurposed gumball machines set up in five Minnesota bookstores, including Milkweed Bookstore, Moon Palace Books, Subtext Books, and Magers & Quinn.

The Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop (MPWW), founded in 2011 by Jennifer Bowen Hicks, offers imprisoned men and women creative writing classes, a one-to-one mail mentor program, readings, publication opportunities, and more. The gumball vending machines are a low-tech fundraising effort that also raises awareness of prisoners and prison programs.

MPWW also has a robust website that includes suggestions for ways that the literary community can be more inclusive.

More MPWW on Facebook.

calling Doctor Poetry

December 13, 2016

poetry bandaid

Here is yet another addition to the Ideas We Love file: in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the HealthPartners Como Clinic, “a doctor and a health coach meet regularly with two dozen patients to recite and discuss the works of great poets,” according to this article in the StarTribune.

Make sure you are keeping up with your poetry prescription, especially during the holiday season!

good idea

November 17, 2016

The Floating Library

Here’s one for the Ideas We Love file: The Floating Library. A public art project by artist, writer, and art administrator Sarah Peters, “The Floating Library is a collection of artist-made books and printed matter aboard a raft, on a lake, accessible by boat.”

Come summer, Sarah and her Floating Librarians serve paddlers on a Minnesota lake (different lakes each year) with a selection of circulating and reference material contributed by (or commissioned from) artists nationwide and internationally.

Find out more on The Floating Library website and The Floating Library on Facebook.

Okay, who’s going to organize a floating poetry reading? It’s November…you have plenty of time!

. . . . .

Arrivals and Departures” is Motionpoems’ first large-scale public art project, an installation/collaboration/event by poet Todd Boss that will transform the entire block-wide facade of Saint Paul’s historic Union Depot. You can watch a video of the project in development and the opening is scheduled for October 10 and 11.

Here’s more from Todd Boss’s website: “Todd orchestrated a statewide poetry contest on the theme of “arrivals and departures” that yielded 14 finalists. A panel then green-lighted films based on four of them. Nine 30-foot screens were custom fabricated to hang between the columns. The installation will project the four completed films across the entire screen-filled block-wide facade in 20-minute loops on October 10 and 11, 2014, during the Saint Paul Art Crawl.”

more poetry walking…

August 27, 2013

"Seaside Studio" poetry box by J. Pavone & M. DixonJust the other day, we posted about “Poetry of the Wild” by Ana Flores. Somehow, this article by Susan Dunne in The Hartford Courant, about a recent Ana Flores project at the University of Connecticut at Groton, escaped mention in that post and it’s definitely worthwhile, especially for the accompanying photos. Shown here is a poetry box, “Seaside Studio,” made by Julia Pavone and Mark Dixon, which includes the Pablo Neruda poem, “Aqui.”

And as long as we’re doing follow-up posts, here’s another. We have previously mentioned the Sidewalk Poetry Project in Northfield, Minnesota. This year, the project’s third, eight local poets had their poems selected from a field of 121 submissions and will have their poems added to the growing collection. More on the City of Northfield website.
. . . . .
Photo by Richard Messina, The Courant

Mankato poetry walk and ride

Mankato, Minnesota, will soon join the swelling ranks of communities (including Bellingham, Washington) that have poetry walks. The Southern Minnesota Poets Society invited local residents to submit poems from which winning selections will be turned into sign boards to be posted along Mankato-area walking and biking trails. In addition to the poem, each sign will offer some directional information to the viewer.

Mankato also has a CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour and the Poetry Walk and Ride further enhances the region’s outdoor culture options. Shown above is the proposed design for the placards.

Read more about the Mankato Poetry Walk and Ride. See other posts tagged poetry walk.

roadside poetry…

October 4, 2012

Roadside PoetryIn our continuing interest in demonstrating the many ways in which poetry is moved from the page into the fresh air, here’s another: Roadside Poetry. Since 2008, Roadside Poetry has posted 22 student poems along Tower Road in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. In the style of the old Burma Shave signs, the very short poems are revealed a line at a time. The Summer 2012 poem, which is the last one in the project, is here; an archive of previously-posted poems is here.

Here’s a link to additional posts about poetry walks and other public appearances of poetry.

(Happy Birthday to two faithful friends of the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest: Jim Bertolino and Susan J. Erickson!)

another poetry walk…

September 12, 2012

Northfield, Minnesota, sidewalk poetry

For our growing collection of poetry walks, here’s one from Northfield, Minnesota, which is about 35 miles south of Minneapolis. The Sidewalk Poetry Celebration began with a contest in 2011. Nine winners were selected. Another ten were selected in the 2012 contest and, one by one, the poems have begun taking the place of damaged sidewalks in this town on the Cannon River, between St. Olaf and Carleton colleges.

Shown above, workers from Hansen Concrete and Remodeling put the finishing touches on a poem by Anne Running Sovik in front of the Northfield Public Library. It reads:

The whistled tune
travels along the sidewalk
stepping up up up
down up
jaunty as the man
who follows

The Sidewalk Poetry Celebration is a project of the Arts and Culture Commission of the City of Northfield in partnership with the Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library, and the Northfield Public Library, and receives major funding from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.

Read the winning poems from 2011 and 2012.

Read more posts tagged poetry walk. And be sure to stroll by the Bellingham Public Library to see the Walk Award poems from the 2012 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, now on view.
photo: Bonnie Jean Flom

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