Do the words travel like the footsteps of your pen?
Public Art St. Paul has re-opened its annual Sidewalk Poetry Contest, which seeks the best poetry that can fit on a stamped sidewalk sign across the city.
The competition, which went virtual and embraced chalk poems during the pandemic, is now back in the realm and will be judged by Twin Cities writers and artists Bao Phi, Sagirah Shahid, Rubin Hardin, Tou SaiKo Lee, Mark Tissen, Teresa Ortiz and Marian Hassan.
To be eligible, writers must live in St. Paul and can be amateur or professional artists of any age. Poems should be short – no more than 300 characters including spaces. Up to two entries can be submitted.
Poems will appear in residential areas. Public Art St. Paul’s competition announcement asks residents to “consider topics that will inspire people of all ages and walks of life who stroll or walk to the bus or go to school. How can your poem speak from the sidewalk to change the course of someone’s day, interrupt a bad mood, spark insight, enliven someone’s understanding, make them smile, or spark a conversation? »
The competition started on Monday and runs until April 25. Submissions are accepted online at publicartstpaul.org.
Poems can be submitted in Spanish, Somali, Hmong or Dakota, along with an English translation. In conjunction with St. Paul Public Works, the annual or semi-annual Sidewalk Poetry Contest has chosen 63 poems since 2008 to be etched into concrete more than 1,000 times across the city.