Poetry on the Streets

Everyone is a poet. Everyone's voice matters. Everyone has a poem in them.

POETRY ON THE STREETS is an interactive exhibit designed to engage pedestrians in writing spontaneous poetry in various urban locations created by Melanie Pappadis Faranello in 2017.

MISSION: Poetry on the Streets' (POTS) mission is to engage communities in creative expression, and by sharing these voices of people from many different walks of life, promote tolerance, highlight our connectedness, and through our diversity witness our commonality.

Poetry on the Streets consists of a vintage blue Smith-Corona typewriter, water color paints, and a jar full of different words called "the jar of emotions." Set-up in various locations including bus stops, pedestrian areas, public parks, and street corners, Melanie engages passersby to stop and write a spontaneous poem based on the word they pick, then type it up and paint it.

Hundreds of poems later, Poetry on the Streets is humbled and honored to share these poetic expressions of human emotions and experiences.

How did POTS begin? After Melanie initially piloted a version of Poetry on the Streets for the Greater Hartford Arts Council's, “Art on the Streets” festival in summer 2017, the public response and engagement was so positive that it inspired her to keep going. Poetry on the Streets has since continued to grow over the past couple of years and has received support and recognition.

Click on the More Info tab for information about location, upcoming events, and recent POTS News.


"Back bares wounds/ to all the times I've been a fool/ Loneliness, I feel you."

-Angela (and Brooklyn)


"It's a very hard thing to fall hard to addition. I've been an alcoholic for 40 years. I don't have a job. I don't have a home. But if I get myself a new set of teeth, it will boost my self-esteem and confidence." 

-John James L. 

(POTS youngest poet! 3yrs old) 


"Love is RED. Monster trucks are GREEN! Kisses and hearts! Kinder Surprise Eggs!"



"Sought after and rare/Perfect but simple/ It's so odd that something so gentle/can only come from strict intentionality--Fight for it/ Peace"


"My Passion"

I don't remember/what these spaces/between the seconds/are called...but I think of you/in these intervals."

-Lucas F

Edwin and Evelyn wrote their first ever poem together. Evelyn titled it "Quiet" after Edwin because she joked he's always talking. They moved to Hartford two weeks ago and said they like it here because it doesn't matter what color skin they have.

"Beauty Within"

Beauty is/You are/We are/Nothing more/Than our experiential sums/Beauty is within/When we live for a friend/When we live from within/ Not free of sin/ But understanding that we are only men.


"Reaching the Stars"

Life is a journey/that takes you wherever you want to go/sometimes in life/you have to go with the flow/but never forget/who you are/you will forever reach the stars."

-Kim H.

"Shining Star"

"When you wish upon a star/dreams will take you very far/ but when you wish upon a dream/life is what is always seems."

After he wrote his poem and painted it, he sang me a beautiful song and then went on his way.

Father and Son 

"Black Man in the Park, by Manual" + "Zazie, My Dog, by Max"


What a challenge it is to trust this life/to have faith that all is worth the pain and strife/but what choice do we have?/Hide our heads in the sand?/Or stand up for what is right/ Believe, take a stand, ignore the injustice or try to be the change/ I will choose to be brave/and face what's wrong/to trust in this life/Be loving and strong."


"Dean the Dream" on break from his job on Pratt Street wrote a poem titled "Guilt"


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