While walking around Takoma Park, look down at your feet to see poems written by local residents imprinted on new sidewalks across the city.
So far, three poems have been set in stone as part of an interactive public arts project organized by the City of Takoma Park’s Arts and Humanities Division.
Earlier this year, a contest asked city residents to submit original poems. A committee of local poets acted as judges. They chose 10 adults and 10 children as the winners. Each received $100 and well-cemented celebrity.
“It’s exciting to see poetry by local residents in unusual locations,” Arts and Humanities Coordinator Brendan Smith said. “Takoma Park is a very walkable city so we wanted to bring some poetry to people where they live.”
You can find 8-year-old Nala Miller’s poem about her little green ball stamped at the entrance to Opal Daniels Park at 7414 Carroll Avenue. Nala was very excited to see her poem on the sidewalk. She will attend third grade at Piney Branch Elementary School this fall.
Richard Weil’s sidewalk poem can be found at 8106 Flower Avenue.
“My wife and I moved here 40 years ago because we discovered a beautiful wooded place where there is a diversity of creative people who look out for each other,” Weil said.
7-year-old Aissatou Thiam’s short, funny poem about ants in her pants is located on Flower Avenue across the street from the Sligo Seventh Day Adventist Church near the Carroll Avenue intersection.
The poems will be continue to be stamped across Takoma Park during new sidewalk construction or repairs. You can look for more poems along Philadelphia Avenue in the upcoming weeks.
To read all 20 of the winning poems, visit the City of Takoma Park’s website.