Poems on the COMET 2018

CALL FOR POEMS

Theme: Two Cities

In fall 2015, poems appeared on Columbia’s buses, telling the stories of the city. In spring 2017, we saw poems about rivers posted on city buses and on movie screens during the Indie Grits Waterlines film festival. This year, we’re looking for poems about how we experience the city, what separates us and what unites us.

We’re thinking about the Indie Grits theme for 2018: “Two Cities.” We all live in the same city, but we work and live in the city in different ways. We experience the city in different ways—its landscapes and streets, its neighborhoods, its social and political spaces.

  • What are the frontiers of your city? What spaces define your experience?
  • What social events, what networks, what communities are your city?
  • How do race or socioeconomic factors define your experiences and interactions within our shared city? What spaces are accessible? How has your world been shaped by gentrification, accessibility (including access to the arts), housing displacement or development? by sidewalks and libraries and green spaces? By churches and community centers? By railroad tracks and speed bumps and traffic lights and bus stops?
  • How do we make our city more open, more inclusive, more welcoming? How do we have difficult conversations? How do we break down barriers, make things more accessible, express and experience empathy?

Because this year’s Indie Grits Labs are focused North Main, we are especially interested in poems by writers from North Main neighborhoods or poems about Main and North Main.

Requirements:

Poems should be 10 lines or fewer & should address the theme. Submit your poems to poetlaureate@onecolumbiasc.com by Feb 15, 2018, for consideration.

A New Year

— for Coralee

Bert’s outside taking down the strings
of lights, this winter sun bright enough
for a new day, new year. Colleen sent
a thick heart made of seeds—we’ll hang it
in a tree today for birds, for the winter
that persists despite the sun. Last night’s
fireworks were gorgeous, though Barry ran back
and forth with his torch to relight them—
the way, sometimes, we have to do for
our little resolutions, for our glorious
dreams, for our tired hearts, when it’s
dark, when it’s still so cold.