Public Art: Step into Poetry

Step into Poetry Public Art

April is National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world, and 2016 will mark the 20th anniversary of this event. The Writing Studio is celebrating with Step into Poetry: One of the best ways to transform a blighted area is to infuse it with art that “plants a measure of splendor in people’s hearts.” The Writing Studio plans to paint 20 illustrated, three-line poems called haiku on 20 front steps of residences, city properties, and businesses on eastside Erie. “Step Into Poetry” will not only enhance the center city neighborhoods but will also be respites for wonder, for imagination, for a new way of looking at life. Poetry, like all works of beauty, contains the possibility of sensitizing human beings to life in all its forms and so reducing acts of violence.

READ an article about Step into Poetry in the Erie Times-News. Click here.

Steps at St Mary's A Place to CreateWorking in tandem with the Sisters of Saint Joseph Eastside Neighborhood Network, the Trinity Square Foundation, and Emmaus Ministries we will get permission for 20 sites and partner with Erie artist Joe Gallagher, originator of the idea, and other Erie artists, if necessary, to complete the work. The project will begin in April and continue through the summer months. The poems used in this project will be those written by classic haiku masters.

More on National Poetry Month: Erie, like communities across the country, celebrates poetry’s important place in our culture and in our lives through a variety of activities. The universities in the area schedule poetry readings by national poets, sponsor writing contests and publish special editions of student writings. Erie, through the sponsorship of Erie Arts & Culture, is a participant in Poetry Out Loud: A National Recitation Contest, created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The Erie County Poet Laureate, a position funded by Erie County, stages a reading. Elementary and high schools engage in poetry projects during April and many of Erie’s local poets stage events to mark the national celebration.


The Writing Studio is part of The Studio at Saint Mary’s: Space to Create, where studio space is available for artists and innovative programs that can positively impact center-city Erie. For more information, contact Holly Nowak.