#WATWB: Inscribed in a Sidewalk

What has surprised me about participating in We are the World Blogfest is that I have learned much about my own community – from the Cycling Without Age program at Brewster Village to the Fox Valley Memory Project to the work that Habitat for Humanity does in the Appleton area. This has been an eye-opening experience in how I have not paid attention to the events and organizations that are doing good things for people in the Fox Valley community.

For this month’s #WATWB, I have found an Appleton city project that has been present since 2014.

I had no idea.

While sitting at the local coffee shop one day, reading a copy of Fox Cities Magazine, I discovered the Passionate About Poetry contest.

“The City of Appleton’s Department of Public Works is accepting submissions in its annual sidewalk poetry program. Five poems by Appleton residents will be selected for stamping in sidewalks throughout the city in 2018.

Sidewalk poetry is stamped in sidewalks on city-owned property and public sidewalks in neighborhoods throughout Appleton. The program, now in its fifth year, endeavors to transform the city’s sidewalks into an open poetry book and create everyday moments of open-air reading for residents.

All residents of Appleton and students of the Appleton Area School District are eligible to submit their own original poetry. Applicants may submit one poem per year. Poems must fit within a maximum of 10 lines, 35 characters per line including spaces and 225 characters overall including spaces and be appropriate for the general public.

Poems must be submitted by February 23 and selected poems will be announced on March 21.”

I read this a week after the deadline. Damn!

Nevertheless, I was extremely curious about this annual contest and ongoing project and wanted to know more. I found articles like this one, that announced the 2017 winners and contains a photo of one of the poems. If one goes to the Appleton City Department of Public Works, there are sidewalk poetry titles and locations from each year’s contest. The photo at the beginning of this post is sidewalk poetry in downtown Appleton. I can’t begin to count how many times I may have walked over the top of it and never looked down, never noticed.

In the spirit of #WATWB and its positivity, my goals for the coming year are two-fold:

  1. Take a tour of the city and find more sidewalk poetry.
  2. Submit winning poetry for the contest in 2019…before the deadline.

What a wonderful way to spread the arts and joy around the city!

I wonder what else I will find out about the Fox Valley in the months to come?

watw-turquoise-badge-275-x241-whiteThe “We are the World” Blogfest is in its second year of a heartfelt journey. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts, Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein, Shilpa Garg, Eric Lahti and Belinda Witzenhausen, welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time. You are always welcome!

Please SIGN UP for WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST in the linky list that opens up in a new window:

Click HERE to be part of the Light.

21 responses to #WATWB: Inscribed in a Sidewalk

  1. Dan Antion says:

    This is such a simple and easy way for a government to make a positive impact (and to let its citizens help) on the people it serves. I like the idea a lot, I like your goals and I look forward to your winning entry being stamped into Appleton. #leaveYourMark

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Right you are, Dan. The Fox Cities are very forward thinking and community oriented. I love it here and hope to add my words to a local sidewalk at some point. ☺

  2. Joanne Sisco says:

    I agree Mary that once we start paying attention, it’s amazing the stuff we discover is going on in our community. This one is unique and a wonderful opportunity in which the general public can participate. Like Dan said, I look forward to reading about your winning entry in 2019 🙂

    Happy Easter to you and your mom! 🌷🐣🐰💕

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I know you’ve found great things in and around Toronto as well. Exciting, isn’t it? I aspire to submit a piece of poetry in 2019, if I remember to meet the deadline! Need lots of reminders. 😉

      Happy Easter to you and Gilles as well, Joanne, if you celebrate. At least the chocolate part, right? 🙂

      • Joanne Sisco says:

        I celebrate chocolate on a regular basis – not just Easter 😉
        This year I have a centrepiece that’s a large flower vase filled with Cadbury Easter Cream Eggs. I expect that after all my *boys* have swooped through tomorrow, there will be a major dent in the pile 🙂

      • bikerchick57 says:

        I can hear the cries of the Cadbury bunny now as your boys devour it’s egglets. Oh the sorrow! 😀

      • Joanne Sisco says:

        Now I feel like an evil carnivore. I thought it was an improvement over precious years when the table was decorated in Lindt chocolate bunnies 😉

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I don’t know what individual thought it would be cool to etch poetry into the sidewalk, but it was a brilliant idea.

  3. Susan Scott says:

    I got onto the link – not the 2017 ones – but some current entries which are wonderful! Poetry that speaks to the heart. On the sidewalks no less. It’s such a great initiative, thanks Mary! Have a great weekend!

  4. Ally Bean says:

    Sidewalk poetry is fun. I don’t know of anything like that around here, but will investigate. I look forward to seeing what else you find as you wander around your city. #WATWB has clued me into the darnedest things.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’ve already found local subject matter for April’s #WATWB. It’s very unique and I’m excited to share. 🙂

  5. joey says:

    I absolutely love the way we suddenly SEE what we never noticed. That’s one of my favorite things in the world.
    I kinda like you didn’t see it, though, because looking down is no way to walk 🙂 I mean, even the sidewalk knows that!
    I love the premise of this contest, and thank you for sharing.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You’re right, Joey. I try very hard to look ahead when walking, except when I’m worried about tripping over my own two feet. 😀

  6. JoAnna says:

    The first thing I thought when I read the sidewalk poem was a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk next to the poem. Good luck in the 2019 contest. It’s a great idea!

  7. simonfalk28 says:

    There are so many things I love about this post, Mary. There’s the “look down” that takes me to a powerful part of the Les Miserables story. There’s the fact that it promotes local poetry. There’s the street poetry. (Incidentally, we probably need to check with Damyanti, but I was sure a year or two ago Lit Sing Station in Singapore had a feature on street poetry.) There is also that theme that you have turned to before, WATWB is helping us see the good where we are. Just love this, Mary, and to be on blogfests with you. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’ve become so excited about my community through #WATWB – finding projects and happenings that I had overlooked before. It’s made me feel more connected to Appleton and the Fox Cities. Glad you enjoyed the post, Simon, and I’ll have to check on the Singapore street poetry. Perhaps this is a project more communities around the world can embrace.

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