Spring For Poetry In Takoma Park

Put a Spring in Your Step!

Celebrating the arts abounds in Takoma Park this Spring with an urban poetry walk. "Spring for Poetry in Takoma Park", sponsored by the Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library, is a diverse selection of 34 poems by poets of the Americas, produced as 13 x 19-inch color posters, framed and mounted on steel street sign poles, and "planted" during the first week of April. Each poem is individually designed by typography students at the School of Art and Design at Montgomery College.

The poetry poles will be placed along the streets of Old Town, Takoma Junction, Maple Avenue, and in neighborhood parks and playgrounds. Rebekah Zanditon, president of The Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library, says "We hope that Takoma Park's pedestrians will be pleasantly surprised as they come across the poems while shopping in Old Town or the Co-op, walking to the Metro, or taking children to playgrounds and parks." Children will especially enjoy Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends, which will be in the playground on Westmoreland Avenue.

The poets of "Spring for Poetry" range in time, from Emily Dickinson (I shall keep singing) to Rita Dove (Fox Trot Fridays) and in between, Theodore Roethke (My Papa's Waltz), Langston Hughes (Mother to Son), Mary Oliver (Wild Geese) and Pablo Neruda (Ode to Salt). There are also poems by four former Maryland Poet Laureates, Lucille Clifton, Reed Whittemore, Linda Pastan, and the late Roland Flint.

Among the many who have donated their time and talents to "Spring for Poetry" are Professor Andrea Adams' typography students, and Montgomery College, which also printed the posters; Professor Wendy Ripley's literature students at Columbia Union College who researched the material for the website, which includes short biographies of the poets and their poems; and the Takoma Park Department of Public Works which provided valuable guidance on installing the poles..

A list of all the poems and locations will be available at the library and community center and on the websites of the library and the Friends. The poetry signs will be on display in town through mid-May.