The city of Clearwater has announced the winners of the city’s first-ever, city-wide poetry competition, “Poetry Made Concrete.”
The five winning poems will be featured in the coming months on Clearwater’s sidewalks for the life of the walkway, by stamping the poems into the concrete of newly constructed and repaired sidewalks in five locations throughout the city.
The city received more than 200 submissions from Clearwater residents and students. Thanks to the judges who participated:
- Dr. Greg Byrd – Professor at SPC-Clearwater, and published poet and author
- Sarah Hayes – Countryside High School student
- Juliahna Green – Clearwater Neighborhoods Coordinator
- Howard Smith – Community Redevelopment Business Administrator and Diversity Leadership Committee Member
- Lisa Baughman – Clearwater Librarian
“This program brings art and literature to the public realm by transforming something as ordinary as a sidewalk into a work of art. We hope that when residents happen upon these poems around the city, it will add moments of surprise and inspiration to an otherwise unassuming public space,” said Juliahna Green, Neighborhoods Coordinator.
The winners of Clearwater’s 2020 Poetry Made Concrete competition are Jason Fritsky, Karen Cunningham, Kathryn Marquina, Ted Knapp, and Shayna Walker. Their poems are as follows:
A Traveler’s Prayer
On this sidewalk let there be
No timid strangers
No scowling faces
No hidden dangers.
On this sidewalk we share
This day so fine
This place in the world
This fragment of time.
– Karen Cunningham
Your steps are ordered,
You don’t walk alone;
Your plan and purpose are Forward,
Unveiled one step at a time
– Ted Knapp
Here you are!
Please have a slice,
Of everything in Clearwater that’s nice,
While walking on…
A poetic concrete paradise.
– Jason Fritsky
Talons & Tufts
A feathered chest is clutching
A twig while its cypress trunk swings
At the breath of a gale come tumbling…
Of talons & tufts.
Of leaves & stumps.
Of whispering gusts…
I see—the struggle for a world at peace.
– Kathryn Marquina
Living in a world
A crazy wonderful world
There is only love
– Shayna Walker
The Poetry Made Concrete program is part of the city’s placemaking initiative to make public spaces fun and engaging. This is the sixth placemaking project the city has launched this year. The city has also introduced sidewalk rain art, signal box art, storm drain mural program, the little free library program, and dumpster art. All programs are active and have received widespread community interest and support.
For further information, contact Juliahna Green, City of Clearwater Neighborhood Coordinator, (727)-562-4559.