2015 Sidewalk Poetry Contest

Sidewalk poetry install photo


The City of Cambridge is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Sidewalk Poetry Contest. Poems written by Cambridge residents Rose Breslin BlakeBenjamin GrimmTy Muto,Carolyn Russell Stonewell, and Elissa Warner will be stamped into freshly poured concrete throughout the City during the course of routine sidewalk repairs this year. 

The Sidewalk Poetry Contest, held March 12 - April 12, 2015, attracted over 300 submissions from Cambridge residents. A committee comprised of representatives from the Department of Public Works, Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge Arts, in addition to past Poet Populists and a Cambridge resident selected the winning poems. The winning poets and six runners were invited to read at the Poetry Tent at the 36th Cambridge Arts River Festival, June 6, 2015. Runners up include Norman Belanger, Jim Borron, Olga Livshin, J. Philip Miller, Wendy Rosen, and Christian Soderberg. 

2015 Cambridge Sidewalk Poetry Contest Winners and Runners-Up


Ty Muto

Your blue-green glances 
My heart skips double dutch beats 
Caught in your rhythm

Elissa Warner

A Mothers Wish

Little boys, little treasures
Shine like lights from above
My son, my only one
My wish for you is that you wake
One day when you are old
And feel raindrops on your cheek
Tears of joy from my heart
For you to keep

Benjamin Grimm

I could not forget you if I tried. 
I have tried.

Carolyn Russell Stonewell

Sun takes a bite of
mango as it sets.
Its last rays
run down my cheek.

Rose Breslin Blake

Children, look up
Cherish those clouds
Ride grey ponies over their hills
Feed the shiny fish
Boo the big bear
Chase the gloomy giant
Giggle with the geese
Sing with the lambs
Cherish those clouds; they cherish you
Rest on their pillows.


Jim Borron

Someday I should like to write a poem. 
For now, 
I'll stick to living them.

Olga Livshin

Spring in Cambridge

I thought he was going to feed them:
he zigzagged towards the white geese
on crutches, in wind-blown snow.

Having reached them, he walked on,
The world requiring nothing of him,
Birds plodding along at his pace.

The sun gleamed on the frozen land.
He lifted one crutch high in the air.
How it flared in the sun.

Wendy Rosen


Geese have left their homeland.
No passport, no border stop, no
question of motive, just goodbye
and an imperative.  
No final look at what was.
Even a glance would disrupt 
the passage, the airy ascent,
the breezy movement toward
the unknown known.

J. Philip Miller

We walk to make the music
That stirs our city streets
Our hearts create the melodies
Our soles provide the beats

A city lives on energy
Derived from those we meet
Hand in hand we gather strength
But live from feet to feet.

Norman Belanger

not unmoored, not yet
though the knot that once tethered
gently slips a bit

If the hold is lost
If fragile cord be severed
would you fly, at last?

Christian Soderberg

Trees are beautiful.
They give you oxygen
Oxygen keeps you alive.
I get a book
and read
under a tree.

Press Release
DPW program page