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Celebrate Poetry on the Sidewalks at the July 18 Reception and Reading

Meet the Winners and Finalists of the 2022 Sidewalk Poetry Contest

Celebrate the City of Cambridge’s Sidewalk Poetry program at a free reception for ‘TRA•VERSE’, an exhibition highlighting the literary program at Cambridge Arts’ Gallery 344 in the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, second floor, Cambridge, Monday, July 18, 6-8 p.m. (rain date July 25). Launched in 2015, each spring, Sidewalk Poetry invites Cambridge residents of all ages to submit their poetry for a chance to have their words etched in concrete as part of the city’s sidewalk repair program. At the reception, see the exhibition, listen to a reading, leave with a poem, enjoy a free ice cream.

Our “TRA•VERSE” exhibition, curated 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 closed the gallery the day after the exhibition began. The exhibition has been extended until the end of August 2022, and it’s finally time to give it a celebration.

The free reception on July 18 will take place indoors and outdoors – view the exhibit inside the second-floor gallery and gather to listen to poetry outside in the annex plaza on along Inman Street. Starting at 6:30 p.m., the 2020 and 2022 Sidewalk Poetry winners and runners-up will read their poems, hosted by Peter Payack and Jean Dany Joachim,

Guests will also be able to choose one of 20 poems from 2020 and 2022 to have it stamped on a 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 free treats.

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

The Sidewalk Poetry Contest is a collaborative project of the Department of Public Works, Cambridge Arts and the Cambridge Public Library.

The poems chosen this year confront anti-immigrant bigotry, reflect on the surprises of aging, celebrate the voice and creativity of writers, observe life along our sidewalks, and call for an open-hearted tenderness that includes “the living man in the tent / On the concrete between the buildings. Read them at https://www.cambridgema.gov/arts/Programs/sidewalkpoetry/2022sidewalkpoetry.

2022 winners:
Jane Attanucci
K. Head of household
Jillian Murphy
Aelen Unan
Rachel Weinstein

2022 finalists:
Amy Bebergal
bright judy
Brianna Davis
Nancy Messon
Chloe Viner

At the heart of the Sidewalk Poetry program is access and opportunity, giving more people the opportunity to freely discover poetry and more writers to share their work. The Sidewalk Poetry Contest is a collaborative project of the Department of Public Works, Cambridge Arts and the Cambridge Public Library.

The 2022 Sidewalk Poetry winners – plus five runners-up – were chosen in March from 252 nominations provided this spring by Cambridge residents across the city. Applications were reviewed by a selection committee, assembled using a public call for jurors. This is the first time that we are launching a public call for jurors for this program. Its members included Betsy Groban, Madeleine Holzer, Jean Dany Joachim, Daisy Lu, Peter Payack, Dhonyale Jones from 22-CityView, Jen Letourneau from the Department of Public Works, Drew Griffin from Cambridge Public Library and Hilary Zelson and Lillian Hsu from Arts of Cambridge.

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