Poetry on the Streets, LLC

Everyone has a poem inside. Everyone has a story.

Founded and created by Melanie Pappadis Faranello 

Poetry on the Streets' (POTS) Mission is to engage communities in creative expression, connect through sharing the voices of people from many different walks of life, and highlight our human experience. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a poem inside.

POTS has evolved from an interactive public poetry writing exhibit designed to engage passersby in writing spontaneous poetry to a broader initiative of workshops and offerings to various community groups, providing spaces for self-expression and connection. 

Over the past couple of years, Poetry on the Streets has received recognition from National Arts Strategies as being chosen for their Creative Community Fellows program, and The Pollination Project, who supports global leaders in support of social change. 

POTS new global initiative, "Essential Voices from the Pandemic" response to Covid-19.

Human Experience on the Street: A Story. When I'm set up on a street corner, or at a bus stop, or in a park with my Smith-Corona vintage blue typewriter and jar of words and some watercolor paints, I never know what to expect or who I will meet that day. But every single time, something very human occurs. Some people approach POTS with trepidation; others dive right in; some decide to trust a stranger and take a risk. But every time, people express feeling better after writing a poem. People connect; they share things they’ve never told anyone; laugh, talk of their pasts, futures, cry. They surprise themselves at their abilities, their reflections, their feelings on the page. They write in their native languages; they write to one another; they write for themselves. Some who have never written a poem, or say they can’t, do. They take a rare moment to pause, express, create, and connect and then go on their way.

The most surprising thing that occurred beginning in 2017 when I started POTS was many people wanted to leave their poems with me, wanting their words to be shared with others, asking to be heard. I felt a responsibility to share these expressions with a wider public. This became the impetus for Poetry on the Streets' first gallery show, displaying over one hundred poems alongside the people's photographs in Hartford, CT in Jan. of 2020. 

For updates on POTS, sign up for the mailing list by using the contact form, follow POTS on social media, and read the news page on the website.


"Loneliness"

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

-Angela (and Brooklyn)

"Addiction"

"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"

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

-Tommy

"Peace"

"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"

-Ashley

"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.

-Sid

"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"

"Trust"

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."

-Micky

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

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