Oakland Sidewalk Poetry Program

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Through the Oakland Business Improvement District’s sidewalk poetry program, nearly 60 people that live, work, study, or have other connections to the Oakland area of Pittsburgh submitted 82 original poems this year.

Poems were reviewed blindly and selected by a seven-person community panel of jurors. The 25 selected poems will be painted onto city sidewalks by OBID during the month of May.

The selected poets are: Rho Bloom-Wang, Kathy Chenot, Sarah McMullen, Shannon Valenti, Lily Rouleau, Laura Lind, Clara Weibel, Tylar Farmer, Robert Lonie, Lily Keener, Ziva Schmitt, Alexander Miller, Danielle Kelley, Susan Kochman, Lisa Kay Schweyer, Phyliss Anderson, Jonathan Rubin, Jessica Manack, Kira Brice, Erica Hom, and Gabrielle Noye.

The poems have been painted on the sidewalks of Oakland. Read our recent press release about the program here.

Explore the map and discover where the beautiful poems are located. Then go out and see them in person!


Project Description

Sidewalk poetry builds a sense of local identity and creates unexpected moments of pause, contemplation and reflection for pedestrians.

Up to twenty-five poems will be selected as part of this pilot project, adding art into the public realm of Oakland. Residents, students, workers or those who have another meaningful connection to Oakland are eligible to submit up to two original short poems or excerpts.



Celebrating Oakland: Past, Present, and Future

The theme of this year's poetry project is Celebrating Oakland: Past, Present, and Future. We ask that all entrants focus on their experiences of Oakland, Pittsburgh, whether these are residential, work-related, school-related, or visitor experiences. 

The poem should reflect on the connections to Oakland and the experiences had within the place.


Selection Criteria