Poetry you can stomp on?

Here at the Saint Paul Almanac, we clearly value the written word, but there’s definitely a time when it’s good to walk all over it, scuff it, and jump around on top of it! For the fourth year running, the City of Saint Paul and Public Art Saint Paul have announced the St. Paul Sidewalk Poetry Contest.

Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk: A Project by Marcus Young and Friends, Saint Paul Public Works, and Public Art Saint Paul with Contributions from Saint Paul Poets

The contest is open March 15 through April 17, 2011 and accepts short poems from Saint Paul residents of all ages. Winning poems will be inscribed in sidewalks as part of the City’s annual Sidewalk Replacement program and winning poets receive a cash award.

Past winners have included Saint Paul Poet Laureate Carol Connolly, and other published Almanac writers including Margaret Hasse, Diego Vázquez, Jr., and Patricia Kirkpatrick. The project’s lead artist is Marcus Young, Saint Paul’s Artist-in-Residence since 2006. Since the program was inaugurated in 2008, 31 poems have been impressed into 268 sidewalk sites citywide:

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For more information see http://stpaul.gov/poetry/ and http://publicartstpaul.org/everydaysidewalk/


Saint Paul Poet Laureate Carol Connolly

The entire 2010–2011 season will be presented at the Black Dog Café, a popular Saint Paul venue for spoken word artists, and a co-sponsor of the series. Check back with us, or join our e-mail list or Twitter feed to be informed of coming events.

New writing from Gordy Palzer, Deb Pleasants and Diane Wilson

A Man’s Epiphany at O’Gara’s

By Gordy Palzer
It isn’t as far from Saint Paul to Nepal as you might think it is. This was all brought home to me several years ago, in the men’s room of O’Gara’s Bar and Grill on Snelling Avenue in Saint Paul, where I experienced an epiphany while gazing up at its fourteen-foot-high walls, and saw there evidenced a feat of heroic proportions—surely on a par, for ordinary men, that is, with Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in their conquest of Mount Everest. Read More

Deb dancing with Rince na Chroi (Photo courtesy Deb Pleasants)Not Your Typical Irish Dancer

By Deb Pleasants
Grabbing the ballet barre to support myself, I attempted to stretch out my right leg. My thigh felt like a vise was twisting it tighter and tighter. The pain was so intense, I was afraid to breathe. I hobbled out of the dance room and nearly collapsed on the hallway floor. Massaging my cramped leg, I watched those energetic adults and wondered how I, a forty-seven-year-old Black woman with no dance experience, ended up in an Irish dance class. Read more

Winter owl imprint. (Photo: Patricia Bour-Schilla)Early Spring

By Diane Wilson
Pale vision on an early day:
two gray wings gliding flat
balance on the body’s straight line.
A trill rises from the meadow….
Read more


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