Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk
Marcus Young describes sidewalks as "the blank pages of our city as a book." Inspired by names or initials stamped in concrete, Young capitalized on sidewalks as an underutilized public space to give poets a new place to showcase their writing.
Through a contest open to all residents of Saint Paul, a panel of judges chose twenty winning pieces and fourteen honorable mentions. Young constructed large stamps of the winning poems and teamed up with the city’s sidewalk maintenance program to create 100 prints across the city.
Young explains, "Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk is inspired by the universal, childish desire to draw a finger through tempting wet cement. Our public realm, crowded with commercial and regulatory text, could use more poetry. On our modest sidewalks, we hope to create delightful moments of open-air reading, and make public space the beauty in our hearts as expressed by our poets. Beautiful poetry can be as present and plain as sidewalk, as grass and sky."