New Poems To Be Imprinted In Cambridge Sidewalks


6/22/2022

People walk next to Molly Lynn Watt's poem, which has been imprinted in a sidewalk along Prospect Street in Cambridge.

New Poems To Be Imprinted In Cambridge Sidewalks

Announcing Winners and Runners-up of 2022 Sidewalk Poetry Contest

New poetry will be coming to Cambridge neighborhoods as five winning poems will be imprinted in city sidewalks as part of the City of Cambridge’s annual Sidewalk Poetry Contest. The chosen poems confront anti-immigrant bigotry, mull the surprises of aging, celebrate writers’ voices and creativity, observe life along our sidewalks, and call for an open-hearted tenderness that includes “the man living in the tent / On the concrete between the buildings.”

Celebrate the winners and runners-up for 2020 and 2022 and see “TRA•VERSE,” an exhibition highlighting the Sidewalk Poetry Program in Cambridge Arts’ Gallery 344 at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, second floor, Cambridge, on Monday, July 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. (rain date July 25).

Winners:
Jane Attanucci
K. Householder
Jillian Murphy
Aelen Unan
Rachel Weinstein

Runners-up:
Amy Bebergal
Judy Bright
Brianna Davis
Nancy Messom
Chloe Viner

Read the winning poems here.

Launched in 2015, Sidewalk Poetry invites Cambridge residents of all ages to submit their poetry for a chance to get their words stamped in concrete as part of the City’s sidewalk repair program. At the core of the Sidewalk Poetry program is access and opportunity—providing opportunities for more people to freely experience poetry and more writers to share their work. Find poems throughout the city via our Sidewalk Poetry Map. The Sidewalk Poetry Contest is a collaborative project of the Department of Public Works, Cambridge Arts, and the Cambridge Public Library.

Our “TRA•VERSE” exhibition, designed by Rick Rawlins, with video by Carl Tremblay, was installed in Gallery 344 in early March 2020 and was designed to celebrate five years of the Cambridge Sidewalk Poetry Program. But closures to stem the spread of covid shut the gallery down the day after the exhibition debuted. The exhibition has been extended through the end of August 2022, and it’s finally time to give it a celebration. The reception will take place inside and outside—view the exhibition inside and gather and hear poetry outside on the Annex plaza along Inman Street. Sidewalk Poetry winners and runners-up from 2020 and 2022 are invited to read their poems, facilitated by Peter Payack and Jean Dany Joachim, starting at 6:30 p.m. Guests will also be able to choose one of the 20 poems from 2020 and 2022 and have it stamped onto a drink coaster to take home. The stamping process will be inkless and mimic the sidewalk stamping process. An ice cream truck will be next to the plaza offering treats.

For more information on the exhibition, go to: https://www.cambridgema.gov/arts/publicart/gallery344

The 2022 Sidewalk Poetry winners—plus five runners-up—were chosen in March from 252 entries contributed this spring by Cambridge residents from across the city. Entries were reviewed by a selection committee, assembled with the help of a public call for jurors—the first time we’ve issued a public call for jurors for this program. Its members included Betsy Groban, Madeleine Holzer, Jean Dany Joachim, Dhonyale Jones, Daisy Lu, Peter Payack, Jen Letourneau of the Department of Public Works, Drew Griffin from the Cambridge Public Library, and Hilary Zelson and Lillian Hsu from Cambridge Arts.