more words on walls

September 4, 2021

The Poetry Society of America has just announced a major new public poetry project featuring the haiku of Richard Wright (September 4, 1908 – November 28, 1960).

A grant from the Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo [Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass] Art Fund will support Seeing Into Tomorrow, which will transform poems by Richard Wright into large-scale installations on Brooklyn walls.

Best known for his searing depictions of racial injustice in books like Native Son and Black Boy, Wright spent the final 18 months of his life creating his own distinctive versions of haiku.

Seeing Into Tomorrow is one of 12 public art projects supported by the Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund, which seeks to enhance public space, increase access to cultural programming, and connect the neighborhoods of Downtown Brooklyn and Dumbo.

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Richard Wright photo

more public poetry

August 30, 2021

Opiemme is the street name of an Italian artist who creates site-specific public poetry, often in collaboration with other artists and community members. The artist also creates smaller-scale gallery works. See more on the Opiemme website, Brooklyn Street Art and on Facebook.

. . . . .
photo by Opiemme

visible language

August 29, 2021

Forced Entertainment is a group of six theatre and performance artists based in Sheffield, England. The group’s artistic director, Tim Etchells, is a visual artist and writer known for his performances, installations, and neon artworks. The latter are large-scale, often temporary pieces that explore “contradictory aspects of language — the speed, clarity and vividness with which it communicates narrative, image and ideas, and at the same time its amazing propensity to create a rich field of uncertainty and ambiguity.” Browse some of Tim Etchells’s projects.

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image by Colin Davison

stop and rest, Iowa style

November 20, 2019

For more than 20 years, the Iowa Department of Transportation has been redefining the term rest area. Rather than the minimal parking-plus-basic-amenities, each of Iowa’s “New Generation Rest Areas” reflects local history, culture, or natural resources.

Iowa City is the home of the University of Iowa and the venerable Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Appropriately, the Tiffin rest area on I-80 eastbound at milepost 237, less than ten miles from Iowa City, salutes Writing.

Designed by RDG Dahlquist Art Studio and called “It Has Iowa Written All Over It,” the facility includes, among other writing-specific objects and information, picnic shelters with pierced-metal walls displaying quotes from writers with an Iowa connection.

. . . . .
photo above, plus others
thanks to Miriam Sagan for the heads up!

Since yesterday’s featured poem mentioned Friday Harbor (on San Juan Island, Washington), we thought we’d mention that Friday Harbor has announced the establishment of four “new poetry gardens as a way of bringing poetry — a way of seeing our world through another’s mind — into our everyday experience.” Poems for the gardens are currently being collected in a contest for San Juan County residents of all ages (deadline November 30, 2019).

According to the San Juan Islander, “Selected poems will be professionally engraved on plaques and displayed artistically in one of several gardens located in the Town of Friday Harbor for a period of two years.”

The poetry gardens will supplement Friday Harbor’s already impressive collection of more than 20 public art installations around town.

. . . . .

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!

spring poem

April 9, 2019

An apt poem for spring by Rabindranath Tagore. It appears on a bench at the Dublin Zoo, as beautifully photographed by Diego Lopez. More about Tagore’s connection with Ireland, and more specifically with W.B. Yeats, here.

poetry in the wild

January 15, 2019

On-Site Poetry is an art project by writer/performer Nick J. Swarth and typographic designer Sander Neijnens. Since 2006, the two have collaborated on more than 30 site-specific poetry installations around the Netherlands. Some are permanent, others are temporary, like the 90-meter poem shown above, created for an art festival with 2747 orange peels from the juice press at a local supermarket. (As the artists explain, “Decay is part of this work.”)

Unfortunately, neither the poem, ‘Zachte dromer’, nor its translation, ‘Soft dreamer’, are available online, but you can find a lot more on the On-Site Poetry website, on Facebook, and @onsitepoetry.

meanwhile, in Trafalgar Square

September 21, 2018

If you happen to be in London as you read this post, hurry over to Trafalgar Square to see “Please Feed the Lions,” an installation by artist Es Devlin that fuses design, poetry, and machine learning. Painted a hard-to-ignore fluorescent red, the piece invites passersby to “feed” the lion a word and then uses a deep learning algorithm developed by Ross Goodwin, creative technologist at Google, to compose a poem, which appears on a display in the lion’s mouth. At night, the poem’s evolving text is projected across the body of the lion and on Nelson’s Column.

Part of the London Design Festival, the interactive work will be on display through Sunday, September 23, 2018, only. Read more about the project and the lion’s daily poem on Google Arts & Culture.

signs of poetry

July 24, 2017

Australian poet and artist Richard Tipping makes artworks that incorporate his own poetic texts — cryptic, subversive, humorous, and often public. His “Signed Signs,” including Private Poetry, are road sign lookalikes. Fun.

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