Poetry on the Streets, LLC
Everyone's voice matters.
Everyone has a poem inside.
POTS MISSION: To engage communities in creative expression, and by sharing the voices of people from many different walks of life, highlight our human experience, and through our diversity witness our commonality.
Set-up in various locations including bus stops, pedestrian areas, public parks, and street corners, I engage passersby to write a spontaneous poem based on a word from a "jar of emotions," then type it up on the vintage blue Smith-Corona typewriter.
I initially piloted Poetry on the Streets at a summer festival, "Art on the Streets," sponsored by the Greater Hartford Arts Council and Aetna in support of the connection between art + wellness. Everyone who wrote a poem reported feeling better both mentally and emotionally after expressing themselves creatively.
Poetry on the Streets has since continued to grow over the past couple of years and has received support and recognition from National Arts Strategies and The Pollination Project.
POTS now offers a range of creative writing workshops for many different populations in the community. Check out Workshop page for more info!
A Human Experience on the Street: Some people approach POTS with trepidation; others dive right in; some decide to trust a stranger and take a risk. But every time, a beautiful thing occurs. People connect; people share things they’ve never told anyone; laugh, talk of their pasts, futures, sometimes cry. They surprise themselves at their abilities, their reflections, their feelings of release and emotions that arise. They write in their native languages. Some who have never written a poem, or say they can’t, do. People take a moment to pause; share their vulnerabilities, hopes, fears, laughter or tears; express and create.
The most surprising thing about doing Poetry on the Streets was that many people wanted to leave their poems with me. They wanted their words to be shared with others. They wanted to be heard. This became the impetus for launching Poetry on the Streets into its larger initiative, including holding a gallery show of over one hundred poems alongside people's photographs. Showcasing these works with a wider public is a chance to hear one another’s words, perhaps share perspectives or experience a different point of view, or maybe even feel a moment of connection.