Congratulations to the 2020 Sidewalk Poetry Contest Winners

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The City of Cambridge announced today five winning poems that will be imprinted into the fresh concrete of new sidewalks around the city beginning in fall 2020. The poems were selected as part of the city’s sixth annual Sidewalk Poetry Contest. This year’s winning poems focus on the love of a bookstore, aging and youth, the hidden meaning of a lotus bloom, driving courtesy, and memories while sipping coffee.

“I want to congratulate this year’s winning poets,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “This annual contest is an innovative way to share our residents’ creativity while engaging our community to enliven our public spaces.”

The five winning poems and poets are: Stay by Anne Dane; Double Walker by Laura Deford; When the Lotus Bloomed by Peter Levine (Inspired by Rabindranath Tagore); One-Lane Two-Way Street (AKA Ode to Howard Street) by Brian MacPherson and Caroleen Verly; and This Morning’s Reprieve by Sarah Anne Stinnett.

The five runners-up are: haiku for a new season by Charles Coe; Thirst by Lisa DeSiro; Curvature by Elizabeth Flood; Bush Birds by Marjorie Jacobs; and Water's Edge by Madeline LaFarge.

Launched in 2015, the Sidewalk Poetry Contest is a collaborative project of the city’s Department of Public Works, Cambridge Arts, and the Cambridge Public Library. It combines a basic infrastructure repair program with the imbedded poetic creations of residents, building a collective creation and sustainable program generated by a collaboration between residents and government. Every winter, 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.

Entries were reviewed by a selection committee composed of a past Cambridge Poet Populist and representatives from the three city departments that collaborated on the program. Five winners and five runners-up were chosen from 91 entries submitted this year by Cambridge residents.

For more information or to view an online map with locations of past winning poems, visit CambridgeMA.gov/SidewalkPoetry.

Page was posted on 7/22/2020 5:27 PM
Page was last modified on 7/22/2020 5:27 PM
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