Poetry Programs

Sidewalk Poetry by Molly Lynn Watt on Prospect Street, Cambridge.

The goal of the Cambridge Arts Poetry Programs is to create opportunities for the Cambridge community to engage with and promote poetry from diverse backgrounds and styles. 

Announcing Winners of 2020 Sidewalk Poetry Contest

Poems about aging and youth, the love of a bookstore, about missing a lotus' bloom, morning, and driving etiquette are the winners of the City of Cambridge's sixth annual Sidewalk PoetryContest. The five winning poems will be imprinted into the fresh concrete of new sidewalks around the city.

Anne Dane
Laura Deford
Peter Levine
Braian MacPherson and Caroleen Verly
Sarah Anne Stinnett

Charles Coe
Lisa DeSiro
Elizabeth Flood
Marjorie Jacobs
Madeline LaFarge

Learn more about the program and read the five winning poems and five runners-up at the 2020 Sidewalk Poetry webpage.

TRA•VERSE, an exhibition celebrating five years of the Cambridge Sidewalk Poetry Program, runs from March 16 to Sep. 30, 2020, at Cambridge Arts Gallery 344, 344 Broadway, second floor, Cambridge. cambridgeartscouncil.org/gallery344

Gallery 344 is closed to help stem the spread of coronavirus, but we look forward to welcoming you back as soon as it is safe. The current exhibition TRA•VERSE has been extended to Sept. 30, 2010. For latest COVID-19 updates, see cambridgema.gov/covid19.

The Sidewalk Poetry Program is a partnership of the Department of Public Works, Cambridge Arts, and the Cambridge Public Library.

A scrim featuring text from Cambridge Arts' Sidewalk Poetry program wraps a construction site around Lafayette Square and Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square, April 2019.

To celebrate five years of Sidewalk Poetry, Cambridge Arts worked with designer Rick Rawlins and his Community Design students at Lesley Art and Design to print entries from each year across a giant scrim that wraps a construction site around Lafayette Square and Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square. It was installed in April 2019 and is expected to be on view through fall 2019.

Sidewalk Poetry map.

Find Sidewalk Poetry with our Online Map

Use one online map to find Sidewalk Poetry all over Cambridge.

In 2015 the City of Cambridge launched the first annual Sidewalk Poetry Contest and has continued yearly since. Every March, residents of any age are invited to submit poetry for the chance to get their words stamped in concrete as part of the sidewalk repair program. The poetry submissions must be a maximum of 10 lines, 40 characters per line including spaces, and 250 characters overall including spaces and punctuation. Each year an average of 150 poems are submitted from people ages 3 to 95. Five winners are selected each year and stamped throughout City. Additionally, every year the winning poets are invited to read at the Poetry Tent at the annual Cambridge Arts River Festival. Visit our Sidewalk Poetry webpage to learn more about the program and how to apply.