walk with Emily

May 7, 2021

Perhaps next year the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and the Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk will be live and in person once again, but for now, those of us not in Massachusetts can easily join in the annual event. “Called Back”: A Virtual Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk will happen on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 8:30am Pacific (11:30am Eastern). Registration is required, and free, with donations gratefully accepted.

We have winners!

May 4, 2021

Congratulations and thanks to ALL of the poets who submitted work to this year’s Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, and in particular to the poets who have been selected as this year’s winners:

WALK AWARDS: Ty Colson, David P. Drummond, Marie Eaton, Peyton Eberhardt, Jory Mickelson, Maddie Patterson, Timothy Pilgrim, Janette Lyn Rosebrook, Noa Shelsta, J.L. Wright.

MERIT AWARDS: Rylie Anderson, Margaux Barber, Barbara Bloom, Kathleen Byrd, Lynn Geri, Arden Haines, Sophie Hall, Callum LaPlant, David M. Laws, Payton Ling, Phelps S. McIlvaine, Isabella Nelson, Robert Stern, Kami Westhoff, Genevieve Whalen.

The awards ceremony will be held online on Thursday, May 20, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific. Access information will be provided as soon as it is available.

In addition… the names of the winning poets and poems will be added to the Winners page. The winning poems and their beautiful illustrated placards will be featured on this page, one per week, over the coming months, and linked to the Winners page. And finally, the Walk Award poems will take their places on the Poetry Walk in front of the Bellingham Public Library, where they will remain on view for a full year. (If you haven’t seen the 2020 Poetry Walk poems, be sure to take a look before they go away.)

Meanwhile, please enjoy this wonderful video celebrating the contest and its namesake, Sue C. Boynton.

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!

meanwhile in Scotland

July 27, 2020

It has been a while since we added a poetry walk to the list, so say hello to the Corbenic Poetry Path.

Located on the grounds of the old Drumour shooting lodge and estate in Trochry, about 30 minutes from Perth, Scotland, the poetry path displays the work of more than two dozen local poets integrated with diverse landscapes and the artwork of stone carver Martin Reilly. Reilly and poet Jon Plunkett came up with the idea for the poetry path, which was built by volunteers and opened in 2015.

The 3.5km path is open and free, should you find yourself in the neighborhood. Until then, you can browse online here and here.

So…along one of the many roads that lead to these posts, there was information about a new poetry walk (a recurring topic) in Newton, Massachusetts. (We posted about another poetry project in Newton five years ago and were glad to see they’re still at it.) The new project has the excellent name Make Poetry Concrete. (Read more here and here.)

Thinking there might be a better photograph than the one from the City of Cambridge, we searched the term Make Poetry Concrete and were happily misdirected to a Concrete Poem Generator. (Poetry generators are another recurring topic.) Thus you have the silly poem-ish pumpkin-shaped image above. So Happy Halloween!

Happy to report that the North Olympic Library System (NOLS) has again partnered with Olympic National Park to offer a sixth season of Poetry Walks: four self-guided walks on trails featuring poetry in the landscape. Poems appear on signs in multiple locations along four trails: the Hall of Mosses Trail, the Madison Falls Trail, the Peabody Creek Trail, and Living Forest Trail. With the exception of the Hall of Mosses Trail, all trails can be accessed without paying fees. The poems will remain on view through May 31, 2019. For more information visit the NOLS Poetry Walks page.

still there

April 23, 2019

It has been five years since we mentioned Renée Adams and her Alexandria, Virginia, Poetry Fence of Del Ray. In fact, Adams has been “posting poetry, comic strips, and interesting news stories” on her fence for ten years now, and has added a poetry mailbox (above), which she keeps supplied with copies of poems for passersby to take. This year, she also “poem-bombed” 57 businesses in downtown Alexandria and invited the public to a poetry walk and reading for National Poetry Month. Read more in The Zebra.

. . . . .
photo by Amanda Socci

poetry you can walk on

September 18, 2018

It’s been a while since we mentioned poetry walks (we’re especially partial to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Walk at the downtown Bellingham Public Library) so here’s another one for the list. A first-time competition in Lansing, Michigan, yielded 76 entries and eight winning poems, which were subsequently etched into Lansing city sidewalks.

Each community seems to have a slightly different approach to the challenge of getting the poems onto the sidewalk (see a list of poetry walk links in the right sidebar). Lansing used a high-tech, computer driven etching system. See another photo and more information in The State News, and visit Lansing Sidewalk Poetry Competition on Facebook.

poetry walk

July 20, 2018

Every poem is written one letter at a time, but in Utrecht, a UNESCO City of Literature in the Netherlands, the process is being taken more literally than usual. At the rate of one letter and one tile per week, The Letters of Utrecht (not to be confused with the Brisbane, Australia, music project of the same name) is revealing itself in a poem-without-end. In fact, according to Atlas Obscura, the city- and subscriber-supported project is “being written by a changing roster of Utrecht’s Guild of Poets (so far there have been seven), the words known only to the next writer’s imagination.”

For more, visit this audio tour of Utrecht, including a brief audio introduction to the Letters.

It has been more than two years since we mentioned the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Poetry Trail in Queensland, Australia. Happily, the Pente Poets have been hard at work in the meantime and the trail “was launched in fine style in December 2017,” according to poet Judith Bandidt. The trail winds through “hinterland, urban centres and coastline,” with poems carved in sandstone, wood, and metal marking the route.

Congratulations to the Pente Poets for completing this ambitious project.

Read more about the trail, the poets, the poems (including audio), and the process, on the Pente Poets website and on Facebook.

. . . . .
image: Maleny Trail poem by Lyn Browne, excerpted from “Black cockatoos”

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