If you’re a St. Paul resident, it’s not too late to have your poem immortalized in concrete on city sidewalks for years to come.
St. Paul’s sixth annual Sidewalk Poetry contest will be accepting online submissions through midnight Friday. There’s no age requirement; the only restrictions are city residency and your ability to craft whimsical, meaningful or touching poetry.
Here’s an example of a winning poem from last year, written by Donna D’Amalfi: “The cat danced across the noonday sun/to a stutter rhythm/of front porch boogie/hot feet playing the floor.”
As many as five winning poets, selected by a panel of judges in a blind selection process for awards of $150, will be announced in mid-April. Their poems will be added to several sidewalks undergoing replacement this summer, said Dave Hunt, a Public Works Department spokesman.
“Everyone who works on this project enjoys it. It’s such a departure from the routine,” Hunt said.
Since the contest began in 2008, nearly 50 poems have been pressed into cement in 700 locations around St. Paul. Other cities have picked up on the idea for their communities.
No more than two original poems can be submitted per person. They must be in English and no longer than 10 lines and a total of 250 characters, including spaces. A $3 entry fee (waived for school groups) will be charged.
To submit a poem and get a complete list of rules, go to www.stpaul.gov/poetry/.