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Lancaster's Poetry Paths slam on November 4
6/23/2011 11:48:00 AM by PCA&D



Founders of Lancaster's Poetry Paths will host a poetry reading and slam on First Friday, November 4 at the Ware Center, 42 N. Prince Street. Click here for more about Poetry Paths.


Pennsylvania College of Art & Design completed its Poetry Paths project this past August, and it generated quite a bit of hubbub. 


One of TheLancast's newer podcasts features the PCA&D project.  Click here to hear the podcast and see photos taken that night. TheLancaster is Lancaster's leaders in hyper-local civic journalism.  Read more about them here.


During the launch party for fig Lancaster's Fall arts issue, PCA&D publicly acknowledged its Poetry Paths project and the partners who made it all happen.


fig magazine held their party on August 31 at PCA&D so that the public could see, first-hand, the newest addition to Lancaster city's public art landscape.


In addition, the Lancaster newspaper published a story in July 2011 about the project.


The poet Mary Szybist (associate professor at Lewis and Clark College) and the artists of Root 222 (PCA&D alumni Deric Hettinger '02, Schon Wanner '08, and Anthony Mark, all pictured above from l. to r.) were there to enjoy the fruits of their labor and the company of their friends and families.


Other attendees included representatives from the Lancaster County Community Foundation and the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House at Frankin & Marshall College.  See photo, below.


(Front row, l.-r.) Root 222 members and alumni Deric Hettinger ’02 and Schon Wanner ’08, Judy Ware (a portico project donor), Lois Dostalik (PCA&D Board chair), Anthony Mark (Root 222 member and PCA&D alumnus), and Tashya Dalen (Poetry Paths/Writers House); (back, l.-r.) Jeremy Waak (PCA&D faculty), Heidi Leitzke (PCA&D gallery director), Melody Keim (Lancaster County Community Foundation), Mary Colleen Heil (PCA&D president), Mary Szybist (poet), Linda Brown (PCA&D faculty), Constance Renfrow (Poetry Paths/Writers House), and Kerry Wright (director of the Writers House at Franklin & Marshall College and founder of Poetry Paths).


Before the fig magazine party, TheLancast produced a podcast from PCA&D and featured the key players in the college's Poetry Paths project.  In segment one, hosts David Moulton and Keith Slesser conversed with (pictured above, from left to right) Tracy Cutler (communications officer at the Lancaster County Community Foundation), Kerry Wright (founder of Poetry Paths), and Mary Colleen Heil, president of PCA&D.   In segment two, the hosts spoke with poet Mary Szybist, and the artists of Root 222: Deric Hettinger '02, Schon Wanner '08, and Anthony Mark.




Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is one of several Poetry Paths sites throughout the city of Lancaster that is presenting poetry and art together for the community to enjoy for many years to come.


Photos of the college's Poetry Paths project, which is completed, are posted on PCA&D's Facebook wall.  

Poetry Paths, founded in 2009 by Kerry Sherin Wright and facilitated by Wright and Tashya Leaman Dalen of the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House at Franklin & Marshall College, features an unusual public art concept that weaves poetry and the visual arts into Lancaster’s streetscape.  According to Wright and Dalen, Poetry Paths seeks to foster new ways of seeing our city and forge new connections in our community by bringing poetry and art into people's daily lives.

City residents have been engaged in the selection of poems and art for each Poetry Path's public art location.  Artworks completed now through November 2011 will include sculpture, pavement inserts, street furniture, murals, and interactive pieces, and will be installed at selected sites in five* neighborhoods throughout Lancaster city.  Each site will always be available for viewing by residents and visitors.


Poetry Paths is made possible through a grant from the Lancaster County Community Foundation and the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House at Franklin & Marshall College. 


We are grateful to these donors whose gifts ensured the transformation of PCA&D’s portico for Poetry Paths: The Brandt Family, Gregg & Terri Scott, Judy S. & Paul W. Ware.

On August 1, work began to transform PCA&D's portico, located at the corner of N. Prince and W. Chestnut Streets, into an environment featuring a unique mural created by Root 222 in conjunction with a poem selected specifically for the college's part in the Poetry Paths.


Click here to see photos on PCA&D's Facebook wall as the project unfolded. Root 222 completed its mural and then the final touches were installed: lighting, interpretive signage, and the custom-designed handrails by PCA&D faculty member Jeremy Waak.


Click here to read the article about PCA&D's portico project that ran in the Lancaster newspaper on July 5, 2011.


Week one of the Poetry Paths project at PCA&D.



More about Poetry Paths at PCA&D


The mural in the portico was created by Root 222, a Reading, Pa.-based group of artists who are also members of PCA&D's alumni community.  Deric Hettinger '02, Schon Wanner '08 and Anthony Mark comprise this artistic collaborative.

Their painting "serve[s] as a visual map to the metaphysical core of the poem…" according to   Root 222's artist statement.  It continues: [The mural's] "design is centered on a reinforcement of the clear solar form of the poem as crafted by the poet. This design allows the poem to be presented as legibly as possible, accentuating the content while extending the poem’s form to its natural conclusion. 

"The mural’s backdrop - a sun set within a nocturne - serves as a reference to the duality contained in the poem, as Szybist’s speaker is both compassionate and fierce. The sky could also be interpreted as a cosmos, a point of creative origin. This aspect seems especially appropriate given that the painting serves as a singular point in a city-wide celebration of creativity, to be installed on a building dedicated to the instruction of the next generation of young artists." 

The poem for PCA&D's project, "All Times and All Tenses Alive in this Moment," was written by Mary Szybist, a native of Williamsport, Pa., and an assistant professor of English at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.  Her poem is presented in a sunburst format with no linear beginning or end, and Szybist states that she was "…thinking about faith and doubt and how the two can be entwined and even, perhaps, simultaneous.  I wanted each line to read as a declaration and as an open question."

Szybist's poem was featured by, the web site of the Academy of American Poets, as a "poem of the day" in January 2011, and will be included in her second book, "Incarnadine," which is forthcoming from Graywolf Press.  "All Times and All Tenses Alive In this Moment" was selected with input from the public and by a committee comprised of PCA&D staff, faculty members, alumni and students.

Mary Szybist's first collection of poems, "Granted" (published in 2003 by Alice James Books), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  Szybist is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award; a  fellowship from the MacDowell Colony and a 2009 Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts; and a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress.
The Poetry Paths project at PCA&D also features one-of-a kind handrails that guide visitors up into the portico.  They are designed by Jeremy Waak, a member of the PCA&D faculty and chair of the Foundation department.

For updates on this and other projects at PCA&D, watch this news page, "like" PCA&D on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter.  A video showing the project's creation and installation will be posted on PCA&D's YouTube channel in September 2011.

* -- The five Lancaster city neighborhoods and participating organizations include:

Center City (Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, Fulton Theatre, Lancaster County Public Library, and Penn Square);

Northwest (Clipper Magazine Stadium and the Shreiner-Concord Cemetery);

Northeast (Lancaster General Hospital and Lancaster Amtrak station);

Southwest (Water Street Ministries, Bright Side Opportunities Center, and Keystone Art & Culture Center);

Southeast (Spanish American Civic Association, Tabor Community Services, and Conestoga Greenway).












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