Poetry on the Streets, LLC

Everyone's voice matters. 

Everyone has a poem inside. 

Created by Melanie Pappadis Faranello in 2017.

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.

"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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